Tying up Proverbs – Looking Forward

So this is the last week in the Proverbs series.  In the words of Dan Patrick, what have we learned.

  • Wisdom is  knowing how to live well and please God in your life.
  • The Fear of the Lord is the starting place to gain Wisdom.
  • Choose carefully who you listen to for advice.
  • Wisdom is calling for you to listen to her and receive her gift of life.
  • There are two paths: Wisdom and Folly.  Choose Wisdom.
  • Wisdom is a Tree of Life –
  • Wisdom connects us to God and to our Neighbors.
  • The kingdom of Ants reminds us to work diligently.
  • The Simpleton listens to bad advice and comes to a bad end.
  • God created the world by Wisdom; Let’s live by Wisdom

Now then, Chapter 9 lays out two banquets – one by Wisdom, this time seen as a Hostess, inviting the unwise to come and feast on her Wisdom.  Folly is calling the unwise to enjoy the pleasures of things stolen and hidden in the darkness.  We note that the appeal is the same (v. 4 and v. 16) but the consequences are far apart – life or death.  So the the idea that all ideas, word views, wisdom, religions, cultural practices and the like are the same, Proverbs says “Poo poo”.  (See Madeline for literary reference.)

Some suggest that verses 7-12 are in insertion.  Well, yes, but by whom.  Much of proverbs is a collection of received wisdom, run through the screen of “the Fear of the Lord”.  We think the verses offer a sampling of Wisdom’s table, with a particular emphasis on teach-ability and reverence.  Folly only gets one verse for her sample (v. 17) because we don’t need to study folly, and because that verse makes it clear that she is appealing to our baser instincts.

So here ends our Proverbs discussion.  Our next topic will be a year entitled “We Believe” where we follow selected texts each month on the topics found in these two sentences:  We believe that God created and Spoke to Us about Jesus our Savior: The Spirit Unites us in Faith, in Hope and in Mission.  That is: Creation, Revelation, Humanity, Jesus, Jesus’ work, The Holy Spirit, the Church, Love of God, Love of Neighbor, The Future and the significance of Choice and of telling the Gospel.

We might throw in observations from Walter Kaiser’s new book, “The Promise-Plan of God” that seeks to unify the themes of OT and NT under the rubric “Promise”.  This is a reworking of his book from 30 years ago, “Towards an OT Theology”.

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