“The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel.”
When I played baseball I was constantly working on my baseball swing. I was the first person to show up to practice and the last one to leave almost every day. There was nothing I wanted more than to become a better hitter. So I worked extremely hard at it.
One of the key things I did when working on my swing was listen to my coaches. Now, I had some great coaches and I had some coaches that were terrible. What made the difference between a great and a terrible coach was usually one thing.
The coaches I leaned in and listened closest to were the ones that had ACTUALLY PLAYED BASEBALL and played it at a high level. These were the men that I could look in their eyes, listen to their stories, and look at their statistics and know they knew what they were talking about.
I let all the 3rd string, cut by my Jr. High JV team, played more video games than real games, and never won anything higher than a participation ribbon instruction go in one ear and out the other. These coaches may know OF baseball, but that didn’t know ABOUT baseball.
Our journey through Proverbs begins with establishing whom we are listening to.
The writer of much of Proverbs is King Solomon. The son of King David, Solomon was considered one of the richest most successful men in all of history with his wealth nearing the trillion-dollar mark by our modern standards.
However, even more important to his credibility was his decision making. In 1 Kings 3:5 we read that “At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” You see before all of his surmounting wealth and power Solomon was given a chance to ask God for ANYTHING. Maybe I didn’t make myself clear, God said ask for ANYTHING and I will give it to you.
Solomon fought the urge for wealth or success or power and chose instead something totally different. Here are his words:
Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” – 1 Kings 3:8-9
Given the opportunity to ask God for anything Solomon chose wisdom and in doing so God found favor with him. So when we read in Proverbs 1:1 that these are “proverbs of Solomon” we should find great confidence knowing that these are wise words given from God to Solomon. This is truly someone that has “been there done that.”
I want us to find power in the Word of God. I want us to find confidence in the Word of God. I want us to find peace in the Word of God. I want us to find wisdom in the Word of God.
We only find these things when we stop approaching the Bible as a self-help book. We must stop looking for it to make us feel better or to find a loophole to keep sleeping with our girlfriend.
Pursuing wisdom through Scripture means we let it speak to us not us speak to It.
We need to lean into the inspired authors and let the words of God change our lives and in the process we become wise. Solomon chose wisdom over the fleeting pleasures of money and success. Those things came, but only as a result of choosing wisdom first.
You and I would be wise to do the same.