The proverbs of Solomon contain many lessons for us to meditate on, vital principles for daily living. Consider them individually and reflect carefully on how many apply to daily living in the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Chapter 13:13 says, “Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded”.

How true that is, but today the word of God is ignored, viewed as being of no account. In others the ‘knowing’ of God’s word is left to a select few – ‘elders’ they might be called. There is a danger that these elders apply them selectively according to their own interpretation; this is evident in those who opposed our Lord. There is danger when believers become followers of individuals instead of adequately reverencing God’s word and making that word part of their thinking. Paul lamented to the Corinthians, “each one of you says, ‘I follow Paul’ or ‘I follow Cephas’, or ‘I follow Apollos’ … Is Christ divided?” (1 Corinthians 1:12).

Solomon writes, “In everything the prudent act with knowledge” (verse 16) and God’s word is the source of that knowledge. “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (verse 20).

Our world is out of balance, so few are now wise in the principles God’s word sets before us. Solomon writes, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (22:6). In Ephesians 6 we read, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (verse 4). When this is done there will be no need for any rod – but spiritual joy in having our children as fellow believers and followers of the Lord.

Returning to Proverbs, if we can develop both a love and an awe of God we will see ever more clearly that His word is a “tree of life” (verse 12) and the time will come when Christ will say “to the one who conquers … eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7). But “whoever despises the word …”