Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Peek at Proverbs

The authorship of Proverbs in our Old Testament wisdom literature is attributed to Solomon, son of David, king of Israel (Proverbs 1:1).  Solomon had much to write about concerning wisdom.  When God said to Solomon, “Ask what I shall give you,” Solomon said, “Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil…’” (1 Kings 3:5, 9).  Because of Solomon’s humble request, God gave him wisdom, a discerning mind like none before him and none after him, riches, and honor beyond his imagination (1 Kings 3:12-13).  One cannot get a better reference letter and credentials than that which is directly from God!        
Though “the Preacher” mentioned throughout the book of Ecclesiastes is never referenced by name, it has traditionally been recognized as Solomon.  The Preacher was the son of David, king in Jerusalem (Ecclesiastes 1:1) and pursues wisdom, riches, work, and pleasure only to find out that, “All is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2b).  Though Solomon was blessed with wisdom and riches by the LORD, he set out to find fulfillment and meaning in these things.  So if having wisdom bestowed on him by the LORD God is not enough to impress, he had the experience to go along with these blessings from the Lord.  Solomon was truly a wise man who “spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005” (1 Kings 4:32).  Let us not neglect to mention the wisdom he had in love and relationships as witnessed in Solomon’s Song of Songs.  700 wives and 300 concubines must qualify as decent credentials of how to treat a spouse!  Though these women turned Solomon’s heart away from the LORD in his old age (1 Kings 11:3-4), we can learn from the wisdom he gained through those experiences as well as what the LORD blessed him with.
Having Solomon’s life written out is an enormous blessing because we can learn from his victories as well as his falls.  Solomon, as the King of Israel, played a significant role in the history of God’s people and recorded much of that wisdom and insight he gained directly from the LORD.  Let us consider these things as we delve into the grandeur of wisdom that has been left for us by King Solomon and inspired by the LORD our God.

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