My Son, Listen

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Proverbs 1-3

Proverbs are short sayings meant to tell the reader how to live. They show that the commands of God are proven to be valuable in practical experience. Like the Pentateuch and the Psalms, the book is divided into five parts. Solomon begins by calling attention to the fact that if we are to be truly wise, we must begin at the right point, which is a deep respect for God. He calls upon his pupil whom he addresses as “My son” to give attention to his instructions, for doing so will lead to joy, while failing to do so will lead to sorrow.

Wisdom is personified as a woman who is calling upon the pupil to practice what Wisdom teaches in order to enjoy the truly good life. The wisdom which the Lord gives is seen to be a shield and protection against danger. Of special concern is the need to avoid the wrong kind of sexual relationships, a warning that will be repeated again later.

It is important to trust in the Lord rather than to rely on one’s own viewpoint. It is important to honor God with our material possessions, a teaching which will be repeated later in the book.

The section ends with a series of “do nots,” for true wisdom is not only a matter of doing the right; it is also avoiding the wrong. Significantly, the “do nots” deal with our relationships to other people.

PRAYERFather, help us to trust You rather than our own ideas, for we ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.