Today, we will look at verses five through seven of this first chapter of Proverbs.
5 Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance-- 6 for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. 7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
In the first few verses, it spoke of young, immature people, while verse 5 speaks toward those that are farther along in their walk with the Lord. It says to let the wise listen and ADD to their learning. We should never feel as if we “have arrived,” for God always has more for us to learn as long as we are here on earth.
Even the elderly have things to learn as they struggle with changing bodies and lives that are so different now, than when they were young. All of us change and grow, and change is often one of the most difficult things for us to face. I know it is for me, and always has been… I absolutely hate it when someone is moved out of my life, for one reason or another, by God. It has been one of the hardest things in my life to learn to put my children in HIS hands as they have gotten older and moved away because of jobs, etc.
Mark Twain said, "When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years. " - I think that is sort of what verse 5 and 6 are talking about. As we grow older, and if we are “discerning” (perceptive, having keen insight, being quick to understand) then we will seek guidance from others, and weigh it as we strive to gain understanding of the things listed in verse 6.
The American Heritage® Dictionary Online, defines a “proverb” as “a short pithy saying that expresses a basic truth or practical precept,” while a parable is “a short story that illustrates a moral or religious lesson.” We see many of these two ways of teaching being offered to us in the books of the Bible. There are also “sayings and riddles of the wise,” presented for us to think over and learn from. Jesus spoke in these ways specifically, and spoke of the Holy Spirit helping those that were actively seeking understanding of His ways.
Verse 7 says that, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” This is a scripture that is quoted quite often… and we see this one illustrated way too often in our world today… at least the part about “fools.”
The Hebrew words that are translated as “fool” in Proverbs, and often elsewhere in the Old Testament, denote one who is “morally deficient,” which is the ultimate end of those who turn away from seeking to become wise and/or those who reject discipline in their lives.
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