The Usefulness of Proverbs
Proverbs 1; I die daily devotional.
4 To give prudence to the naïve, To the youth knowledge and discretion,
Scott has no idea who I am, but I was curious as to how long it takes for a seed to germinate and grow? The research brought me to his YouTube channel that is very… fitting, I think—for lack of a better word—considering yesterdays devo. In his video Scott has two avocado seeds; one seed germinated in a couple days whereas the other took about eleven months (11 months!) to germinate.
It’s unknown the reason for the 11 month old seed to have finally germinated, but it goes to show that even in right conditions the seed might not be ready—for the day of Christ—until hanging on the cross.
Luke 23:39 One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
There is a metaphor in these two avocado seeds; Jesus being the first fruits raised from the dead, and after that those who are Christ’s at His coming. Wisdom is giving us prudence by explaining the right environment (that we are currently in) to germinate and grow, but we must be honest and truthful about this environment. If we are not, then we are in danger of choosing to be naïve likely to grow as chaff and burned in unquenchable fire, rather than wheat put into a barn.
- What about me is the Holy Spirit convicting me of?
- What is the condition of my faith in Jesus?
- Am I growing as wheat or chaff?
- What chaff needs to be removed?
However, if you’re young having tasted what sin is might not be naïve, but suffering. You might be suffering because you haven’t tasted of the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come. You might be in need of discipline that reveals knowledge and produces discretion by what you understand as having been truly separated from God; the consequence, and responsibility, of living as a free agent experiencing the elemental nature of our ‘good and evil’ existence.
- Are you suffering?
- Do you blame God?
- Have you accepted forgiveness?
- Have you extended forgiveness?
It’s important that our encompassing field is an environment of faith for our heart to grow in the good Word of God. And as we continue to devote ourselves to the instruction of Wisdom throughout our day, we’ll germinate in a field of eternal life through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 1 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: 2 To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, 3 To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; 4 To give prudence to the naïve, To the youth knowledge and discretion, 5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, 6 To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. The Enticement of Sinners 8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction And do not forsake your mother’s teaching; 9 Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head And ornaments about your neck. 10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. 11 If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait for blood, Let us ambush the innocent without cause; 12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, Even whole, as those who go down to the pit; 13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth, We will fill our houses with spoil; 14 Throw in your lot with us, We shall all have one purse,” 15 My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, 16 For their feet run to evil And they hasten to shed blood. 17 Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net In the sight of any bird; 18 But they lie in wait for their own blood; They ambush their own lives. 19 So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence; It takes away the life of its possessors. Wisdom Warns 20 Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; 21 At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings: 22 “How long, O naïve ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge? 23 “Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. 24 “Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; 25 And you neglected all my counsel And did not want my reproof; 26 I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, 27 When your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. 28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me, 29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD. 30 “They would not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof. 31 “So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way And be satiated with their own devices. 32 “For the waywardness of the naïve will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them. 33 “But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”
Matthew Henry (P1-V2) Commentary
III. For whose use they were written, v. 4. They are of use to all, but are designed especially,
- 1. For the simple, to give subtlety to them. The instructions here given are plain and easy, and level to the meanest capacity, the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein; and those are likely to receive benefit by them who are sensible of their own ignorance and their need to be taught, and are therefore desirous to receive instruction; and those who receive these instructions in their light and power, though they be simple, will hereby be made subtle, graciously crafty to know the sin they should avoid and the duty they should do, and to escape the tempter’s wiles. He that is harmless as the dove by observing Solomon’s rules may become wise as the serpent; and he that has been sinfully foolish when he begins to govern himself by the word of God becomes graciously wise.
- 2. For young people, to give them knowledge and discretion. Youth is the learning age, catches at instructions, receives impressions, and retains what is then received; it is therefore of great consequence that the mind be then seasoned well, nor can it receive a better tincture than from Solomon’s proverbs. Youth is rash, and heady, and inconsiderate; man is born like the wild ass’s colt, and therefore needs to be broken by the restraints and managed by the rules we find here. And, if young people will but take heed to their ways according to Solomon’s proverbs, they will soon gain the knowledge and discretion of the ancients. Solomon had an eye to posterity in writing this book, hoping by it to season the minds of the rising generation with the generous principles of wisdom and virtue.
1 Corinthians 15:20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.
Matthew 3:12 “His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Hebrews 6:4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. 7 For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; 8 but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.
-Holy Spirit (Wisdom)
-Discipline of the Holy Spirit
-Love of a Holy God—Father
-Consequence and Responsibility