Day 153 – Thru the Bible
Today we begin Proverbs and continue in Psalms. Here’s the video for Proverbs.
Video – Read Scripture: Proverbs
How did the video help you understand how to read Proverbs?
Proverbs 1 – The word “proverbs” alerts us to the style of this book. A biblical proverb is a briefly stated, time-tested insight into real life. The mention of Solomon, David’s son, locates this book within the biblical story leading to Jesus, the ultimate Son of David, and history’s greatest expert on foolish sinners who need help from beyond themselves.
Verses 2–6 explain how this book helps us. Wisdom, the primary goal, is skill for living daily life well. Starting with beginners—the simple, the youth—and including the mature—the wise, the one who understands—everyone is invited to grow in wisdom together. All anyone needs is an open mind.
Verse 7 defines that openness: the fear of the Lord. We begin our journey into wisdom by revering the Lord with holy awe, and we never grow beyond it, because all true wisdom is His alone. We do not master it by our giftedness; He gives it by His grace. The fear of the Lord makes us repentant (3:7), decisive against sin (8:13), stable (14:26), refreshed (14:27), humble (15:33), and satisfied (19:23). We struggle with the Hebrew word “fear,” because there is not a close English equivalent. So it is important to recall that Jesus also came in, and delighted in, “the fear of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:2–3). This description of the loving and respectful relationship that the eternal Son had for His Father reminds us that holy “fear” is not terror or dread of harm, but proper and worshipful regard for all that God is in His wisdom, power, holiness, mercy, and love.
We grow not in isolation but in community. But wisdom refuses sinful community (1 Corinthians 15:33). “Greedy for unjust gain” marks those who are out for themselves, willing to step on people to get their way. They recruit others: “Come with us.” By contrast, God calls us to purity and safety, ultimately expressed in Jesus’ call for us to come to Himself (Matthew 11:28). He did not lie in wait for our blood; He gave His own, leaving us a beautiful example (1 Peter 2:21).
In verses 20–33 is the first of two appeals from Wisdom personified as an elegant lady, obviously worthy of our admiration. Right where we live our daily lives, Wisdom shouts above the noise and offers us her spirit and words. But if we trifle with the message, judgment will come like a storm, like a whirlwind. God hides His wisdom from the proud (Matthew 11:25; 13:12). But listening to Him we will dwell secure—as Jesus, God’s ultimate wisdom, promises (Matthew 7:24–27).
How does the above definition of “fear of the Lord” help you understand this relationship between you and God?
Proverbs 2 – These verses describe a growing Believer. In contrast to “the complacency of fools”, the fear of the Lord creates an openness and even an eagerness to change. The word “if” (vv. 1, 3, and 4) does not mean we have to deserve God’s blessing, but it does mean we have to pursue His blessing of wisdom (Philippians 3:12–14). No one drifts into wisdom.
After the “if” statements in verses 1–4, verses 5–11 are marked by the word “then” (vv. 5, 9). Growing believers can expect two things. First, according to verses 5–8, we “will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” True wisdom is not an abstract principle. It is our walk with the living God. Second, according to verses 9–11, wisdom will come into our hearts. We will not need external pressure to turn toward what is right, for we ourselves will change from within (Ezekiel 36:26–27). Our hearts will have a taste for the wise choice.
With a heart newly awakened to God’s wisdom, a growing Believer is fortified against two dangers. First, in verses 12–15, “men of perverted speech.” Such people twist words around, to sneak things in that honesty would be ashamed of—in politics or in advertising, for example. But a heart made wise will not be fooled. Second, in verses 16–19, “the adulteress with her smooth words.” However she might flatter, there is no “safe sex,” except in marriage. “Her house sinks down to death.” By contrast, our risen Lord is “a life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45), and our spirits have been eternally joined to Him as our loving “husband” (1 Corinthians 6:17).
But wisdom is more than avoiding trouble. It is also a path into life, and the only path into life. Rather than going to the place of death, the upright “will inhabit the land”, the place of blessing—in New Testament terms, Jesus Himself, who said, “Abide in me” (John 15:4).
How do you seek wisdom from God each day?
Proverbs 3 – God our Father urges us toward a rewarding life. He gives us counsel in the odd-numbered verses of this section and offers us incentives in the even-numbered verses. His counsel is not bare ethical principles but a call to Himself: “Trust in the Lord”, “fear the Lord”, “honor the Lord”. Even the pain of His discipline and reproof opens our hearts more deeply to His love (Hebrews 12:5–11; Revelation 3:19). The commands and the discipline are ultimately seen as coming from the same father-like love that provides the Jesus we need for our disobedience and lack of discipline.
Verses 13–26 strengthens the Father’s appeals in verse 1–12. His wisdom matters for three reasons. First, according to verses 13–18, “blessed is the one who finds wisdom.” The word “blessed” describes a person to be admired. As “a tree of life”, God’s wisdom, ultimately revealed in Jesus, restores the ideal we lost in Eden. Second, according to Proverbs 3:19, “the Lord by wisdom founded the earth.” His wisdom is embedded in how the creation works. Ignoring Him cannot succeed. Trusting Him cannot fail. Third, according to verses 21–26, “you will walk on your way securely”, because the Lord will “keep your foot from being caught” (2 Timothy 4:18). “Do not lose sight of . . . sound wisdom and discretion” calls for diligent attention to our lives, moment by moment, confident in the Lord’s protection.
Now, in verses 27-35, the Father explains the point of Proverbs chapter 3—how we treat one another. God’s wisdom creates relationships of responsible generosity, trusting safety, and careful discernment. The Lord is active among His people, with both blessing and discipline. James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5 draw upon verse 34 as a practical application of the gospel. Humility started in heaven and came down to us in Jesus (Philippians 2:5–8). The humble find favor with the Lord, not because they demand it by their merits but because He gives it to those who are open.
How do you see the Gospel in this chapter?
Psalm 148 – The psalmist decrees that praise for Yahweh, the God of His people Israel, should be expressed by three groupings of God’s creation: the heavens, the earth, and all people on the earth. First, all inhabitants of the heavens are called to praise the Lord. The angels, the hosts of the heavens, sun and moon, starry hosts, highest heaven, and the waters above the heavens—all are to praise the Lord, because “He commanded and they were created”, He established them and decreed that they not pass away. Second, all on earth are to praise the Lord. The creatures of the sea, fire, hail, snow, mist, storms, mountains, trees, beasts, livestock, birds—all are to praise the Lord. Aspects of the earth’s weather, in particular, give praise to God because they fulfill His will. Third, kings, princes, rulers, old men, children, indeed all peoples (plural) are to praise the Lord.
The Psalm ends with the ultimate basis for why the Lord should be praised: “for His name alone is exalted; His majesty is above earth and heaven. He has raised up a horn for His people, praise for all His saints, for the people of Israel who are near to Him.” The “horn” language is unfamiliar to us but it refers to the dignity of a person or nation established by some innate strength. In this case, it is important to note that God raises up the dignity of His people. Their glory is not from themselves but from the Creator God whose redeeming love provides for their honor.
God as Creator, and God as Redeemer, then, are both bases for praise to God. The people of God in particular should see how right and good it is to praise Him, for He not only made them but He has, in His mercy and kindness, raised up a horn (of salvation) for them. Psalm 18:2 identifies the horn of salvation as God Himself. As the provider of their honor, God declares Himself to be His people’s Redeemer. He not only made all things, but He has condescended to rescue His needy people and give them the honor that He alone deserves.
This is accomplished finally and most truly in the sending of His own Son. In Jesus the people of God are redeemed from sin and death, and given the glorious and eternal righteousness of God—truly, God has “raised up a horn for His people”!
How do you enjoy worshiping your Creator each day?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s video and reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
Videos produced by www.TheGospelProject.com.
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