Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:5-7)
Every culture has a collection of wise sayings about life. Here are a few proverbs from cultures around the world.
- There is no one who became rich because he broke a holiday, and no one who gained weight because he broke a fast. - Ethiopian
- An empty cart rattles loudly. - Korean
- The squeaky wheel gets the oil. - English
- The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today. - Chinese
- When the wine is drawn, one must drink it. - French
As you can see, proverbs are not absolute commands. This is true about the Book of Proverbs as well. Tim Keller says that proverbs are "observations about how life works." He continues, "A proverb is like hard candy: If you just bite down on it, you get little out of it and may even get a broken tooth. Instead you must meditate on it until the sweetness of insight comes." As we read the Book of Proverbs this week, let us keep that in mind. If a verse or two makes an impression in your soul, meditate on the verses as you would when you eat hard candy. The whole point of the Book of Proverbs is to gain wisdom, which guides us as we grow closer to our Lord Jesus Christ. May the LORD guide and bless you this week as you meditate on his wisdom.