Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Proverbs

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, fools despise wisdom and instruction"
Proverbs 1 v 7

How many of us when asked what we wanted by God would say "Wisdom please"? Knowing that this is not my default setting , I have spent quite a bit of time in Proverbs this year. This is a remarkably unread book in these days that is packed with wisdom for living life well and fruitfully. But how do you begin to read it? Well this great post is very helpful and suggests that this book...'only repays long study' and is also a mini-guide to life. So you probably need to plan, as I have, about a year in this book and then keep coming back to it over and over again- currently I feel I am only just getting started.

I first came across Proverbs as a new Christian reading Bill Hybels book Making Life Work in a home group which, though rather schmaltsy (is that a word?) in parts, is a good beginners guide to this book. A good one stop shop is Derek Kidner on Proverbs. The really grown-up guides are the very thorough commentaries (Part 1 and Part 2) by Bruce Waltke which are a must I think if you plan to teach this book to your church.

These talks were incredibly helpful to me as car listening last year and from them I learnt the idea of marking up each proverb by category-the heart, work, friendship, wisdom, guidance etc and I have been through the book doing that. Don't be scared to take a pen to your bible (see my scribbles).

Doing a study on these things when you are young is a mighty blessing- our youth group are currently doing this. I sadly am old and now own a travel suitcase with wheels but some of you aren't and also some of you now have the opportunity to teach these to your children. First though, teach them to yourselves.

I recently took delivery of this series of talks for the second time having listened to them six years ago. I had lent them to my friend and he had distributed them across his very large church for them never to be seen again. He has kindly sorted me a new copy which arrived last week and it is like being reunited with an old friend.

So why not join me in this journey with Solomon and his pals. This book is meant to be studied in community (in our church, on-line and international all count so shall we do this together?) Lets start with 'Fear' by listening to the talk or one of the three posted above and doing a first mark-up on the Fear of the Lord (FOL) through Proverbs.

You never know after all this we might even all end up a bit wiser?

No comments: