As I have done in the Psalms entry, I thought it would be best to only put in the key points of commentary for the books of Proverbs. As with the Psalms, it is just as important to have a daily reading of Proverbs as well in order to gain a deeper insight of who God is. It truly is amazing, that if all of the human race were to get together and combine our brains to reveal all the knowledge we have, it would be like a grain of sand compared to what God has.

“The fundamental context for the pursuit of wisdom is established by verses such as Proverbs 9:10: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” The fear of the Lord involves recognizing who God is (the sovereign Creator of all things) and who we are (creatures made by God and accountable to Him) and then living all of life with that awareness. The types of sayings found in Proverbs reflect a way of thinking and teaching that has been largely abandoned in modern Western culture. Proverbs are general statements of truth rather than invariable promises or laws, and an individual proverb normally captures a tiny cross-section of truth rather than making a comprehensive statement about a topic. It is our task to apply the principles of Proverbs skillfully to the complexities that one encounters in life. The goal of wisdom is to develop skill in living according to the order that is embedded in God’s creation. While the book addresses a wide variety of issues, it gives considerable attention to matters such as the contrast between the wise person and the fool, the importance of virtues such as diligence and self-control, the importance of using words wisely, warnings about sexual immorality, the responsible use of money, priorities, and advice about proper behavior in a variety of social settings. Most proverbs deal with the general and the typical, but their goal is to equip people with the skills to apply wisdom to the particular experiences of life.”

“1:20-33 reflect the wisdom doctrine of retribution: people reap what they sow, and often in proportion to what they sow. In verse 26, wisdom responds in kind to those who mocked her when she spoke from the entrance of the city gates. Her response in verse 28 reflects the reality that there are consequences to behaviors that are not turned aside, even by repentance. While clearly recognizing the sovereign providence of God, Proverbs also describes people as able to make genuine choices and as being responsible for the outcomes of those choices.”

In regards to 2:5-6, “The search for wisdom begins with an attitude of reverent submission to God (“the fear of the LORD”). It continues with the disciple’s persistence and diligence, and it actually leads to the knowledge of God. This outcome is assured because God reveals Himself to those who diligently seek Him. The rest of chapter 2 describes the benefits and outcomes that result from this serious pursuit of wisdom.”

“The goal of wisdom is not external adherence to a body of rules; rather, it is to internalize the principles in a way that produces character. In the Old Testament the “heart” is the central core of a person, and it controls the thoughts, words, and actions of an individual much as a computer controls a system. A heart programmed with wisdom’s values produces thoughts and behaviors consistent with God’s order.”

In regards to 3:10-12, “By including verse 12 in this context, Solomon makes it clear that honoring the Lord with the first of the produce is not simply a way to become rich. Outcomes in life are complex and unpredictable and may cover a broad continuum from great prosperity to discipline. God’s purpose for us it not to make us rich, but rather to develop in us godly character, and His responses are designed with that goal in mind.”

In regards to 3:21-26, “Critics claim that wise people do not always experience the benefits that this section promises, but the intention of the author is to emphasize the fact that wisdom enables a person to avoid many difficulties that foolish people frequently encounter in life. Diligence, careful planning, self-control, and the like allow people to avoid many obstacles that they otherwise might experience. The book of Ecclesiastes, as well as our personal experience, make it clear that the picture presented here is only one tiny cross section of truth about the reality of living in a fallen world, and that difficulties arise for many reasons other than personal folly. Even so, responding to circumstances based on wisdom will provide safety and protection and minimize the difficulties we experience in life.”

In regards to 13:24 as well as other verses found throughout the book of Proverbs, “Critics often point to verses like this as examples of cruelty and abuse of children. Such verses must be understood in the broader context of wisdom’s teaching about discipline. The Hebrew word for “discipline” (musar) is also used for “instruction,” “rebuke,” and “physical punishment.” The goal of musar is always to change attitudes or behavior, and the methods for accomplishing this goal range from giving gifts and providing for needs to offering instruction, rebuke, and even corporal punishment. When God’s discipline of His people is taken as a model, it becomes clear that discipline should begin with the least painful and severe methods and escalate to harsher ones, only when the more gentle methods fail to bring about the desired changes. Wisdom also recognizes that children do not, by nature, gravitate toward wisdom and God’s order, and that left to themselves children will move toward folly and self-destruction. Discipline is seen as a good and necessary thing in order to move children toward God’s truth. Thus appropriate, not abusive, discipline is seen as an act of kindness and love. Only a parent who does not love his child will allow him to destroy himself through folly.”

In regards to 28:21, “Far from being absurd, as some critics claim, this proverb shows the extent to which some people will take injustice, and how little it takes to buy some people’s favor. They will allow the favoritism and injustice to continue for no more than a piece of bread. Greed and lust for power drive people to amazing injustice.”

In regards to 30:21-23, “The point of riddles like this is to determine the thing that ties all the examples together. The “three things…four” formula reflects a Semitic poetic convention when numbers are used in parallel poetic lines. The first line uses a certain number and then the second parallel line uses that number plus one. The examples given here involve individuals who have experienced a significant reversal in their fortunes. The thing they have in common is that in each instance they forget their previous circumstances and become unbearable in their new situations.”