Today we start reading “the proverbs of Solomon” (Proverbs 1:1) and a key verse is “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (verse 7). An awe of God is the beginning and foundation of wise thinking. The plea of Solomon is, “Hear my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching” (verse 8). Absorbing into our minds such teaching and instruction is like wearing “a graceful garland”, yet how many parents teach true wisdom to their children? If they are able and willing their children are surrounded by counter influences to worldly wisdom. The need for “wisdom and instruction” has never been greater.

The message contains a warning about the opposite of true wisdom, the attitude of those who have no time for God, so the blunt warning is made, “if sinners entice you do not consent” (verse 10). No one likes to think of themselves as being a sinner but we should face this. There is no middle course in the Bible and the book of Proverbs makes this plain. If you are not on God’s side seeking His will and guidance on your pathway in life, you are lost.

Wisdom is personified and “cries aloud”. At the same time “scoffers delight in their scoffing” (verses 20,22). But wisdom says, “If you turn at my reproof, behold I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you” (verse 23) and we can see that God’s Spirit has led to the Bible being written and preserved and our daily feeding on God’s word will guide our lives.

The chapter concludes fittingly; “the complacency of fools destroys them, but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster”. May we help each other to have ears ready to listen.