King Solomon wrote and compiled most of the book of Proverbs early in his reign. In this book, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Solomon gives practical insights and guidelines for life. The book’s final form could not existed earlier than the time of Hezekiah (approximately 700 B.C.) since Solomon’s Proverbs were still being collected at that time (Proverbs 25 v 1).
Solomon (the wisest man who ever lived), left us a legacy of written wisdom in three volumes – Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. In the first of these three volumes, Solomon passes on his practical advice in the form of Proverbs.
A Proverb is a short, concise sentence which conveys moral truth. A Proverb is a short, wise, easy-to-learn saying that calls a person to action. The purpose of the book is clearly to show the reader how to live life wisely, effectively or skilfully. The entire structure of the book is arranged to carry out this purpose.
Proverbs focuses on God – his character, works and blessings – and it tells readers how we can live in close relationship to Him. The person whom follows the advice given, will walk closely with God. Two kinds of people portray two contrasting paths of life. The fool is the wicked, stubborn person who hates or ignores God. The wise is the humble person who seeks to know and love God. God wants each of us to be wise!
Proverbs begins with the command to trust and reverence the Lord, and concludes with the picture of a woman who fulfils this command. Her qualities are mentioned throughout the book; hard work, fear of God, respect for spouse, foresight, encouragement, care for others, concern for the poor, wisdom in handling money. These qualities, when coupled with the fear of God, will lead to enjoyment, success, honour and worth.
A successful relationship with God is rewarded with eternal life. Everything else is perishable. All our resources, time and talents come from God. Individuals should therefore strive to use them wisely. Although many people work very hard for an education, money and status, God views success in terms of having a good reputation, moral character and the spiritual devotion to obey him.
If the reader incorporates these sayings into his/her life and masters the practical application of wisdom expressed, he/she will truly have an abundant and successful life. Knowing God is the key to wisdom. Listen to the thoughts and lessons and apply these truths to your life. Do not just read these Proverbs, act on them!