Proverbs Wisdom 101

Rebecca Van Noord

We are not natural students of wisdom. We don’t easily accept correction, and it might take a catastrophe before we venture to seek guidance. We would prefer to live on our own terms and drift through life uninterrupted.


The sages of Proverbs know that complacency and autonomy have dangerous consequences (1:32). They stand ready to provide guidance for life’s journey to the simple, the young and even the wise (1:4–5). For them, wisdom is knowledge of God and His ways (2:5); it is understanding and obedience (2:9). It can be obtained from Him, the source and keeper of wisdom, if we seek it (1:7; 2:6–7).

In Proverbs, intentional living never looked so black and white. The poems and pithy sayings present a strict dichotomy for decision-making, with wisdom leading to paths of righteousness and dull ears spelling utter disaster (1:33). Jesus says Himself that “the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction” and “the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life” (Matt 7:13–14).

Ultimately, God has provided a path of righteousness by sending His Son. As redeemed people, we find refuge in Him. But faith does not stop there; the good news should permeate all areas of our lives—our relationships, our work and our daily decision-making. Proverbs gives practical advice that helps us do that.

God has given us His Spirit for discernment, and we should actively seek out His guidance. Today, we encourage you to consider “the words of the wise and their riddles” (Prov 1:6). We hope you gain knowledge and obtain understanding.

Article courtesy of Bible Study Magazine published by Faithlife Corporation. Originally published in print, Vol. 4 No. 4