Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament book of Proverbs which was written by Solomon the son of David and king of Israel. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters twenty-five through twenty-eight of this Old Testament book. “ˆIt is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter” (Proverbs 25:2). “Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: for better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen” (Proverbs 25:6-7). [ECCLESIASTES 5] “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Proverbs 25:11). “If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee” (Proverbs 25:21-22). [MATTHEW 5, ROMANS 12] “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls” (Proverbs 25:28). “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth” (Proverbs 26:20). “As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife” (Proverbs 26:21). “Open rebuke is better than secret love” (Proverbs 27:5). “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:6). “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend” (Proverbs 27:17). “As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man” (Proverbs 27:19). “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1). “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). “He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat. He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered” (Proverbs 28:25-26). “He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse” (Proverbs 28:27).
When you come to this particular section of the Old Testament book of Proverbs you will encounter what might very well be considered a third section found within this poetic book. As you continue on and progress within the book of Proverbs you will encounter the reality that the first nine chapters of this book are essentially the introduction for the entire book and will bring you face to face with the purpose of the book. In all reality, the opening nine chapters of this book might very well be considered as the introduction to all the language that will come in the rest of the book. Perhaps one of the most revealing and telling truths concerning the Old Testament book of Proverbs is that it is a book that can essentially be classified as instruction of a father given unto and passed down to his son. There is absolutely not mistake about it when reading the language of this book that Solomon wrote much of this book as a loving and concerned father who was desperately interested in being personally and intimately involved in the life of his son. Scripture is unclear at what point within Solomon’s life he wrote these words, but what we can be absolutely certain of is that the words which are found and contained therein are words which paint a very clear and vivid picture of a father who yearned and longed to be in the life of his son. We aren’t given any clue or indication what type of relationship Solomon has with his son—and in fact, we aren’t really given the name of any son of Solomon, save Rehoboam who would succeed him as king over the southern kingdom of Judah when the nation of Israel was divided into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. Whether or not the words found in this book were intended on being written unto Rehoboam as Solomon realized and recognized that he would be the one to succeed him as king is altogether unclear and uncertain. What is so absolutely remarkable and astounding about the words and language that is found within this book is that the words which are contained therein are words reveal just how much Solomon sought to be involved within his son’s life, and how much Solomon sought to impact the decisions his son would make. We cannot miss the awesome and incredible reality that Solomon—through the words found within this poetic book—sought to impart unto his son the wisdom which he had been given from the LORD over the years he served and reigned as king over the nation of Israel. There is absolutely no denying the truth that Solomon sought to present his son with much of the same truth and the same wisdom which he himself had received—from his earthly father David, from his heavenly Father who was the eternal God, and from the experiences which he had within this life.
Scripture makes it perfectly and abundantly clear that Solomon was not only that one who was to succeed David as the king who would rule from and upon his throne in the city of Jerusalem, but Solomon would also be that one who would build the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD which would stand in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this reality, for when it came to the book of Proverbs—not only did Solomon seek to impart unto his son the wisdom David his father had imparted unto him before his death, but also the wisdom which his heavenly Father gave unto him upon his asking that night in Gibeon. It is perfectly and abundantly clear when reading the words found within the Old Testament book of Proverbs that Solomon not only sought to impart unto his son the wisdom which he had learned throughout the years, but also the experiences which he had found himself encountering within and throughout his life. This concept of experience is most readily seen when Solomon writes and speaks of “the strange woman,” and warns his son avoiding her corner and staying away from her house. Solomon knew all too well the dangers of women, and how lust, fornication, adultery and sexual immorality can take a dramatic toll on the life of a man. Solomon himself clave in love to seven hundred wives and princesses, and had three hundred concubines. Solomon was a man who truly, deeply and intimately understood the dangers, the snares and the pitfalls of unbridled lust and sexual immorality, and as a direct result of this reality within his own life, he sought to warn his son concerning the same dangers, snares and traps which he himself had experienced. I find it absolutely incredible that Solomon would go to such great lengths—not only to warn, but to repeatedly warn his son concerning the strange woman, and to caution him against allowing himself to be seduced and enticed b y her. Scripture isn’t clear how Solomon came to develop such a vast harem of women, and whether or not these foreign women came on to Solomon, or whether or not Solomon saw these women as they came unto the city of Jerusalem—perhaps to hear the wisdom the LORD had given him, or perhaps to see the Temple and sanctuary which he had built in the midst of this sacred and holy city. We aren’t given any clue or indication how Solomon became entangled and ensnared in both love and lust with so many women, but we can be absolutely certain and clear that he deliberately and intentionally opened himself up many of the women who were found within his harem. There is not a doubt in my mind that Solomon willingly and intentionally opened himself up to the countless women whom we read about in Scripture, and had an insatiable lust, desire and appetite for foreign and strange women.
If there is one thing I absolutely love about the Old Testament book of Proverbs it’s just how much Solomon sought to be involved within the life of his son. It’s almost as if Solomon wasn’t willing to depart from this life without speaking directly unto his son, and seeking to warn and caution his son against the many dangers, traps, and snares which would be before him within this life. What I so absolutely love about the book of Proverbs is that Scripture reveals how Solomon was fathered by God—a reality which was evidenced and manifested in the words which the LORD spoke unto David, as well as the two distinct instances when the LORD appeared unto Solomon by night. You will recall from Scripture how the LORD first appeared unto Solomon by dream during the night and invited him to ask of Him anything he would. Solomon would ask the LORD for the one thing he knew would provide him with the ability to truly step into the role and assignment that was before him—namely, a wise and discerning heart. The LORD appeared unto Solomon at the high place in Gibeon for the first time, and it would be this encounter with the LORD that would radically transform Solomon and his life forever. This encounter before the LORD at the high place of Gibeon would be that moment in Solomon’s life that would dramatically alter and transform him from one who felt inadequate to step into that which the LORD had for him. Moreover, you will find that after Solomon prayed his prayer of dedication over the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD in the midst of Jerusalem, the LORD would again appear unto him, and would declare unto him His delight in the Temple and sanctuary which Solomon had built and dedicated. The LORD would appear unto Solomon this second time and would provide great words of comfort and encouragement—not only concerning the Temple itself, but also concerning the people of God who would come unto the Temple to seek the face of the LORD, or prayed toward the Temple of the LORD from wherever they might find themselves. Twice before we read of Solomon’s harem of women we find the LORD appearing unto him and truly fathering him as he ruled and reigned upon the throne of David in Jerusalem. Concerning this reality of being fathered by God, I feel it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which the LORD spoke unto David concerning Solomon, the words which David spoke unto Solomon, and the words which the LORD spoke directly unto David. Consider if you will the following words which are written and recorded in the books of Second Samuel, First Kings, First Chronicles, and Second Chronicles:
“Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more, as before time, and as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that He will make thee an house. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will e his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: but my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David” (2 Samuel 7:10-17).
“Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall e moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning. And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore I tell that that the LORD will build thee an house. And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee: but I will settle him in mine house and my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David” (1 Chronicles 17:9-15).
“Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build an house for the LORD God of Israel. And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God: but the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight. Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. He shall build and house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his k indomitable over Israel for ever. Now, my son, the LORD be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the LORD thy God, as he hath said of thee. Only the LORD give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the LORD thy God. Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfill the statutes and judgments which the LORD charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed” (1 Chronicles 22:6-13).
“And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will e his father. Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments as at this day. Now therefore in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the ORD, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the LORD your God: that ye may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you for ever. And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searceth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thous eek him, he will e found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever. Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it” (1 Chronicles 28:6-10).
“And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God will be with thee: he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD” (1 Chronicles 28:20).
“Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; and keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: that the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel” (1 Kings 2:1-4).
“In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or do me in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not ask, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days” (1 Kings 3:5-14).
“IN that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast shewed great mercy unto David my father, and hast. Made me to reign in his stead. Now, O LORD God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great? And God said to Solomon, because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like” (2 Chronicles 1:7-12).
“And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments; then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenant Ed with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel. But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverbs and a byword among all nations” (2 Chronicles 7:17-20).
It is quite clear from each of these passages that Solomon was not only fathered by David his earthly father, but it’s also clear that Solomon was fathered by the living and eternal God. We cannot read these words and not encounter and come face to face with the reality that Solomon himself was indeed fathered by the LORD, and that the LORD was unto him as a father—even in the absence of his earthly father. As such—the wisdom which Solomon possessed not only came from the words which David his father had spoken unto him, but also the words which the LORD would speak directly unto him. Solomon undoubtedly knew that the living and eternal God would be his father, and would father him, and it is this reality which is quite powerful when you think about and consider the approach Solomon would take when writing the Old Testament book of the Proverbs. We must make absolutely no mistake about this Old Testament book, for within this book Solomon spoke unto his son as a father would that he might instruct him in the way in which he should go. We would like to read and examine the Old Testament book of Proverbs and think of it simply as a collection of the wise sayings and proverbs of Solomon, and yet the truth of the matter is that this book much be understood as being so much more than that. The Old Testament book of Proverbs must readily be seen and understood as an investment—an investment of a father into the life of his son. The Old Testament book of Proverbs must be seen as an investment into the life of his son that his son might walk in the ways of the LORD as Solomon himself was instructed to walk. You cannot read the words which David spoke unto Solomon, as well as the words which the LORD Himself spoke unto Solomon and not encounter and come face to face with the reality that Solomon was instructed in the ways of the LORD, and was instructed to walk in the ways of the LORD. You cannot understand the reign of Solomon king of Israel without also understanding his life as being one that was to be governed by the ways of the LORD, and as such that needed to be governed by the word of God. Before David died and went the way of all the earth he was very careful to warn and caution Solomon to walk in the ways of the LORD, and to walk according to his word. Undoubtedly David desired that Solomon be a man whose life was completely and utterly governed by the word of God as it would be a lamp unto his feet and a light unto his path. David would and could not die and go the way of all the earth without speaking directly unto his son Solomon and instructing him in the ways in which he should go that he might walk in a manner that is pleasing and acceptable in the sight of the LORD.
Oh there is something truly wonderful and powerful about fathers who are willing to speak directly unto their sons and to invest in their lives as they instruct them in the ways of the LORD. There is something to be said about those fathers who are willing to take the time to invest in their sons that their sons might walk in the ways and paths of the LORD. The Old Testament book 0f Proverbs wasn’t merely a collection of the wise sayings of Solomon, but it is a book that is in all reality an investment in the spiritual well being of his son. Here again, we aren’t at all sure, nor are we certain why type of father Solomon was to his son, nor even whether or not the son whom he was writing and speaking to within these proverbs was Rehoboam who would succeed him as king upon the throne of his father David. What we can be absolutely certain of, however, is that the words which are found within this book are a deposit and an investment into the life of Solomon’s son. It’s important that we recognize and understand this, for there are three other books in the New Testament where we find a father writing epistles and letters unto his sons that he might instruct and invest in them. If and as you turn and direct your attention to the New Testament you will find the epistles of First and Second Timothy, as well as the epistle written unto Titus, and you will find some of the personal and intimate epistles Paul wrote—epistles which weren’t written unto churches, but rather were written unto individuals. What’s more, is that these epistles weren’t merely written unto individuals, but they were written unto spiritual sons in the common faith which the apostle Paul and these sons shared with each other. You cannot read the words found within these epistles and not encounter the language of a father and son. I am convinced that just as the epistles which were written unto Timothy and Titus were deposits and investments of a father as he sought to speak directly into and unto the lives of his sons in the faith, so also was the book of Proverbs an investment and deposit of Solomon into the life of his son—that son whom he sought and desired to instruct in the ways of the LORD. With this being said, I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the New Testament epistles which were written unto both Timothy and Titus by the hand of the apostle Paul:
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Timothy 1:1-2).
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without easing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy years, that I may b e filled with joy; when I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:1-7).
“Paul a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth, which is after godliness; in hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the world began; but hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour; To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour” (Titus 1:1-4).
The words which we find within these passages of Scripture clearly point to the reality that these epistles weren’t merely written unto anyone by the hand of Paul, but were written unto those whom Paul considered to be sons in the faith. These epistles clearly point to the awesome and incredible reality that although the apostle Paul never married, and although the apostle Paul never had children of his own, he had at least two sons in the faith whom he sought to invest into before he left this world and departed into eternity and the glory of heaven. We understand that the apostle Paul never married, and the apostle Paul never had children of his own, and yet the apostle Paul viewed himself as a spiritual father to at least two individuals—Timothy and Titus—whom he sought to pour into and invest in within and during his life and ministry as the apostle of Christ. Pause for a moment and consider the fact that it is possible to not have children of your own and yet still be a father to others—to be a father in the spiritual realm. Would it shock and surprise you to think about and consider the fact that it is possible to to walk through this life not having any kids of your own, and yet invest in the lives of others as spiritual sons and spiritual daughters? Perhaps the single greatest question we must ask ourselves when reading the Old Testament book of the Proverbs is what type of investment are we willing to make in the next generation. The book of Proverbs is in all reality a wonderful and powerful investment of Solomon into the next generation, and into the life of his son, and if we are being honest with ourselves we must admit that one of the greatest needs in this generation is fathers who are willing to invest in their sons, and fathers who are willing to invest in their children. One of the most powerful and beautiful pictures in this earth are fathers who are willing to invest in the lives of their children, and who are willing to teach and train them in the way they should go. There is a great need—not only for fathers, but also mothers who are willing to take the time to invest in the hearts and lives of their children, and who are willing to take the time to instruct them in the ways of the LORD, and teach them the principles, the precepts and the statutes which are found in the divine word of God. We cannot and must not miss and lose sight of this awesome reality, for I continue to believe that the Old Testament book of Proverbs must be understood in direct connection to the words which are found in the one-hundred and nineteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms. The words found in the Old Testament book of Proverbs are such a tremendous deposit into the next generation and unto the son of Solomon that his son might walk in the ways and paths of the LORD. Essentially—through the Old Testament book of Proverbs Solomon was seeking to instruct his son in the ways of the LORD, and sought to impart unto him the same truths and principles which he himself was to live by.
You will recall that the book of the Proverbs of Solomon the son of David and the king of Israel were written that those who read them would know wisdom and instruction, that they might perceive the words of understanding; that they might receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; and that they would give subtilty to the simple, and to the young man knowledge and discretion. What’s more, is from the very outset of the book Solomon invites his son to be a wise man—a reality that is actually quite astounding when you consider the fact that his son would not be given the same invitation Solomon was given at the high place in Gibeon when the LORD appeared to him by dream during the night. Solomon invited his son to be a wise man who would not only hear, but would also increase in learning—and to be a man of understanding that would attain unto wise counsels. The proverbs were not only an invitation to learn and discern the ways of the LORD, but they were also an invitation to know the heart and mind of the father who wrote the words of the Proverbs that he might teach and instruct his son. Oh please don’t miss and lose sight of this truly astonishing and remarkable reality, for to do so would be to miss out on the words which are found and contained therein. It is absolutely necessary when reading the words found in the Old Testament book of Proverbs that we understand them as a powerful invitation of the father to the son to not only learn from him, but also to walk in the ways and paths of the LORD, and to allow himself to be completely and utterly governed by the word of God within his life, as well as the wisdom of God. Truthfully, I am convinced that one of the greatest needs within our hearts and lives is to be those who are governed by both the word and wisdom of God that our lives might be brought under the rule and reign of the government of the LORD. If there is one thing we learn and recognize when reading the words found in this Old Testament book it’s that wisdom and our submission to wisdom is the means whereby we submit and surrender ourselves to the government of the LORD within our lives—and not only to the the government of the LORD, but also to His guidance and guarding within our lives. It is through the word of God, and through the wisdom of God that our lives are governed by heaven, and by the statutes, the precepts, the decrees, and the commands of the LORD.
One of the most profound truths found within this Old Testament book is that the words and language we find in chapters ten onward is such that demonstrates and reveals the fruit of wisdom in our every day lives, and just what wisdom looks like. If wisdom was able to look into the mirror and see its reflection—much of what it would see would be manifested within these latter chapters of this poetic book. The words which are found within this Old Testament book—specifically in chapters ten onward—are words which bring us face to face with just how much wisdom directly and completely impacts our lives. We cannot and must not miss and lose sight of this awesome and beautiful reality, for the words and language we find in these chapters show us what wisdom looks like in the real world, and in the world in which we live. The words which are found in these chapters show us just what wisdom looks like when it is put into practice in our every day lives, for if we are truly those who are pursuing wisdom, and if we are truly those who are seeking after wisdom and are wise, we cannot pick and choose what areas within our lives wisdom is allowed to touch. It is truly something worth thinking about and considering when reading the Old Testament book of Proverbs, for if we are truly wise and are truly those who are pursuing wisdom within our lives, we must allow wisdom to touch absolutely every area of our lives. Wisdom much touch our relationships and how we interact with and engage ourselves in fellowship and community with others. Wisdom must be permitted to govern our attitudes and our emotions, and must bring us to the place where we are able to rule over and control our spirit which is within us. Wisdom must be allowed and permitted to touch the words which proceed forth from our mouth, for Solomon had a great deal to say about the mouth, the lips, and the tongue, and how all are completely and utterly connected. Solomon spent a considerable amount of time speaking about the words which proceed forth out of our mouth, and sought to reveal just how wisdom is permitted to touch and transform that area within our life—an area which Jesus spoke about when He connected the heart with the mouth and the words which proceed forth from it, as well as the words which James the half brother of Jesus wrote in his epistle. Wisdom must be permitted to touch our reactions and our responses, and must completely altar and transform how we react in certain situations, and how we react to certain individuals. Wisdom must completely and utterly change and transform the way we think, and must produce within us entirely new thought patterns and thought processes. Wisdom is more than simply intellectual knowledge and understanding within our hearts and lives, for wisdom is essentially a new method and new form of government within us.
THE NEW GOVERNMENT OF WISDOM! The more I think about and the more I consider the words which are found within the Old Testament book of Proverbs the more I can’t help but think about the awesome and incredible reality that wisdom essentially establishes an entirely and altogether new government within our hearts, within our souls and within our minds. Wisdom brings us into the place where we allow ourselves to be brought into alignment with the principles and commands which are outlined for us in the divine word of God. I can’t help but be reminded of the words which are found in the one-hundred and nineteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Psalms, and although the entire chapter is worth examining and taking a look at when considering the book of Proverbs, I will begin with the opening several verses of this particular chapter. Consider if you will the words which are found in this chapter beginning to read with and from the first verse of the chapter:
“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways . Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O LORD: Teach me thy statutes. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statues: I will not forget thy word. Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word. Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. I am a strange in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me. My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times. Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments. Remove from reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies. Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes. Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellers” (Psalm 119:1-24).
The words which you find in the one-hundred and nineteenth psalm are especially powerful when you take the time to think about and consider them in light of what Solomon sought to do when writing the book of Proverbs. It’s actually quite interesting to begin reading with and from the first verse of the twenty-fifth chapter of this poetic book, for when you read the words found in this book you will find it written and recorded how the proverbs which are found in chapters twenty-five onward were the proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out. Oh, I can’t help but wonder what it was like when these men of Hezekiah found the proverbs of Solomon, and why these particular psalms were designated as those which they copied out. In all reality, the Old Testament book of Proverbs can be broken up and divided into three different sections, as the first nine chapters could essentially be the introduction for the book, while chapters ten through twenty-four could be the second section of the book, and chapters twenty-five onward could be described as the latter and final portion of the book. When the twenty-fifth chapter of this poetic book opens it does so with the statement that these are the proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah the king of Judah copied out—undoubtedly to preserve them among the people of God, as well as for future generations. There is not a doubt in my mind that the men of Hezekiah copied out the words and language that were found within these Proverbs in order that they might be preserved for the generations that were to come. It is unclear from Scripture that when they copied these proverbs out they were aware of the fact that they would essentially be part of a much larger book that would come to be known as “The Proverbs of Solomon,” however, we do know that these particular proverbs were those which the men of Hezekiah sought and desired to copy during the years of his reign. I can’t help but wonder if Hezekiah himself read the words found and contained within these proverbs and sought to put them into practice within his own life and within his own reign. We know from Scripture that Hezekiah was one of the righteous kings who sat upon the throne of David and ruled over the nation and kingdom of Israel, and I can’t help but wonder if he read the words found within these Proverbs and daily sought to put them into practice within his life. Is it possible that Hezekiah viewed himself as a figurative son whom Solomon was writing to, and was even aware of the instruction that was given unto Solomon—first by David his father, and secondly by the LORD Himself. If you consider the narrative of Solomon’s life you will find that not only was he instructed to walk in the ways of the LORD by David his father, but he was also instructed to walk in the ways of the LORD by the LORD Himself. Both the LORD God of his father David, as well as David his father sought to instill the word, the ways and the wisdom of God into the heart and soul of Solomon that he might walk in faithfulness and obedience before Him.
If you consider the Old Testament book of Proverbs you will find that more often than not it is one of two books in the Scripture which more often than not is used in the devotional lives of countless men and women of God. The Old Testament book of Proverbs has thirty-one chapters in it, and while most months do not have a full thirty-one days in it—one can essentially read a Proverb a day for an entire month. Stop and consider this, for it suggests that within any given year a student of the Scripture can read the book of Proverbs twelve times through within that year. What’s more, is that the Old Testament book of Psalms is also considered to be, and has been used as a devotional book within the lives of countless saints throughout the years. While the Old Testament book of Proverbs has within it thirty-one chapters, the Old Testament book of the Psalms has a total of one-hundred and fifty chapters. This speaks to and reveals the fact that if you read a single psalm a day every month, you would read through the book of Psalms at least two times within a given year. Essentially, if you incorporated both the Old Testament book of the Proverbs, as well as the Old Testament book of Psalms you will find yourself reading the Proverbs through twelve times in a given year, while you would read the book of the Psalms just over two times. As I read the words found in the first verse of the twenty-fifth chapter of the book of Proverbs I can’t help but think and wonder if Hezekiah the king of Judah wasn’t directly impacted by the words and language found within the book of Proverbs and did not incorporate them into his routine of worshipping and serving the LORD. Is it possible that Hezekiah daily and continually read the words which were found in the Old Testament book of the Proverbs, and essentially found them to be incredibly challenging and meaningful, as the words contained therein were words written by another son of David who sat upon the throne of his father David? Is it possible that Hezekiah realized and recognized that Solomon was the wisest king who ever sat upon the throne of David in the midst of Jerusalem, and personally felt that the words which Solomon wrote could make a huge impact within and upon his life? I can’t help but get the strong and powerful sense that the words which are found in the Old Testament book of Proverbs were undoubtedly used during the days of Hezekiah king of Judah as a means of instruction and wisdom, and Hezekiah might very well have viewed himself as one of the sons which Solomon was speaking unto.
Stop for a moment and consider the fact that Hezekiah king of Judah could have read the words found within this Old Testament book, and was directly and deeply challenged by the wisdom of Solomon who was not only the wisest king who would ever sit upon the throne of David, but who also was the physical son of David king of Israel, and built the Temple and sanctuary which stood in the city of Jerusalem during those days. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this truly astonishing reality, for there is not a doubt in my mind that Hezekiah—being the righteous king that he was—incorporated the Proverbs of Solomon into his daily routine and daily walk with the LORD in order that he might walk in righteousness, in faithfulness and obedience before the LORD. Scripture is very clear that Hezekiah was indeed a righteous son of David, and was essentially one of the final righteous kings who would sit upon the throne of David. His son Manasseh would do great evil in the sight of the LORD, and would even be removed from the land of Judah and from the city of Jerusalem, yet would humble himself in his captivity. In response to his humbling himself before and in the sight of the LORD in his captivity, the LORD would hear Manasseh’s cry, and would bring him back to Judah and restore him unto the throne in the midst of the land of Judah. Manasseh would then launch a campaign to cleanse and purify the land of the evil which he himself had personally brought in the midst of it to do wickedly in the sight of the LORD. Manasseh might not be considered one of the righteous kings of Israel, but we can conclude that Manasseh was one who found humility in the place of captivity, and in his captivity turned his heart toward the LORD God of his father David. If you continue studying the narrative of the kings of Judah you will find that Josiah was the last and final righteous king to sit upon the throne of David in the midst of Jerusalem, and Josiah would be set on a personal and national path of holiness and cleansing after hearing the words which were written and recorded in the book of the Law of Moses. It is quite intriguing to think about and consider the fact that Hezekiah seems to have been directly impacted by the words found within the proverbs of Solomon, while Josiah was directly impacted by the words which were found within the book of the Law of Moses. It is actually quite astonishing and remarkable to think about the fact that the men of Hezekiah would copy out the proverbs of Solomon, and that these proverbs would have undoubtedly had a direct and personal impact on him within and during the days of his reign as king over the kingdom of Judah. Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded in Scripture concerning Hezekiah king of Judah and the righteousness which he possessed and walked in before the LORD his God, and the God of his father David:
“Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan. He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses. And the LORD was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not. He smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza, and the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city” (2 Kings 18:1-8).
“Hezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zachariah. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done. He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them. And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street, and said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthy ness out of the holy place. For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs. Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place unto the God of Israel. Wherefore the wrath of the LORD was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes. For, lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the LORD God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn from us. My sons, be not now negligent: for the LORD hath chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense” (2 Chronicles 29:1-11).
It is quite clear from the words which are written and recorded within these chapters and passages of Scripture that Hezekiah was a righteous and faithful king in Judah, and that he walked in all the ways David his father did. Scripture is very clear that Hezekiah walked in all the ways which were found and written in the book of the Law of Moses, and clave to the LORD with all his heart. It’s actually quite interesting to read the words concerning Hezekiah cleaving to the LORD, for when you read concerning Solomon the son of David and king of Israel you will find that he clave to many foreign and strange women in love. Solomon clave to many foreign women in love, and yet we find it written concerning Hezekiah that he clave to the LORD with his whole heart, and that he went after the LORD faithfully and obediently during the twenty-nine years of his reign as king over the southern kingdom of Judah. This is actually quite intriguing when you take the time to think about it, for there is not a doubt in my mind that Hezekiah would have read the words of Solomon found in the proverbs he wrote, and would have put them into practice within his own life. There is not a doubt in my mind that Hezekiah would have taken the words which were found in the proverbs and wise sayings of Solomon, and undoubtedly used them to guard, guide and govern his life. We know for a fact that Hezekiah walked in all the ways which were found in the book of the law of Moses, and I would also dare suggest that Hezekiah was directly impacted and influenced by the words and wisdom of Solomon who sat upon the same throne he did generations earlier. WHEN KINGS SPEAK UNTO KINGS! There is not a doubt in my mind that Hezekiah was greatly influenced and greatly impacted by the words which Solomon the son of David wrote in the proverbs, and would have put those words to practice within his life own life. What’s more, is that there were a number of proverbs which spoke directly unto the king, and I am absolutely convinced that Hezekiah would have taken those words and applied them within his heart and life in the midst of his generation and reign as king over the nation and kingdom of Judah. What’s more, is that there is a great amount of language that is found written and contained within these chapters which must needs be put into practice within our own hearts and lives. While all the language that is found in the Old Testament book of Proverbs is beneficial to instruct and give one knowledge, wisdom and understanding, there are certain proverbs which are found within this section of Scripture I would like to call and draw your attention to, for they have direct and personal application within our own hearts and lives. Consider if you will the following words which are found within this particular section of the Old Testament book of Proverbs and the direct application it can and will have within and upon our lives as we ourselves seek to walk before the LORD as David the king of Israel walked in pleasing the LORD:
“Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up neither; than that you shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen” (Proverbs 25:6-7).
“If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head” (Proverbs 25:21-22).
“He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls” (Proverbs 25:28).
“Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife” (Proverbs 26:20-21).
“Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1).
“Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:5-6).
“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend” (Proverbs 27:17).
“As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man” (Proverbs 27:19).
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:14).
“He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered” (Proverbs 28:26).
As I bring this writing to a close I feel it absolutely necessary and imperative for us to read the words found within the Old Testament book of Proverbs and understand the tremendous significance that is contained within them. The book of Proverbs is more than simply a collection and compilation of wise sayings and proverbs written by Solomon, but they were means of bringing ourselves under the government of heaven by committing ourselves to the word of God, the ways of God and the wisdom of God. The words written and found within this Old Testament book contain a tremendous amount of truth and life, and must be read and understood beyond simply a collection of wise sayings which were written by Solomon, and as means to provide instruction, knowledge, discretion and insight for those who would walk in the ways and paths of the LORD. There is not a doubt in my mind that Hezekiah king of Judah would have read the words found within these proverbs if his men actually copied and transcribed the words during the days of his reign. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this awesome and incredible reality, for it brings us face to face with the awesome truth that the book of Proverbs—though it is a book that is centered around and centered upon wisdom—is a book designed to bring us face to face with the fear o God, as well as the word of God which is not only a lamp unto our feet, but also a light unto our path. The underlying question we must ask ourselves is whether or not we are willing to be those who would commit ourselves to the wisdom of heaven, the ways of heaven, and the word of heaven which took on the form of human flesh and dwelt among us. Are we as the people of God truly willing to trust in the LORD with all our heart, and to lean not on our own understanding, but to acknowledge the LORD in everything we do, and He will direct our paths? Oh that we would be a people who would recklessly abandon all natural and earthly pursuits and that we would lay up for ourselves treasure in heaven—treasure which is found in the pursuit of wisdom, and which is found in seeking first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, knowing that all these things shall be added unto us by a Father who knows what we have need of before we even ask Him. Oh that we would heed the words of James, and if we lack wisdom that we would ask the LORD of heaven in whom there is no partiality and no shadow of turning, and He will give unto us liberally and generously.