Pulpit-Press is pleased to announce the release of our latest book: Wise Up! A 12-week study of the Proverbs.
Here is an excerpt:
We begin the process of obtaining wisdom simply by acknowledging the fact
that we don’t have it—and that we won’t get it if we don’t work for it. We
begin by realizing that wisdom won’t just “ooze” into our lives and that we
must go hard after it. Getting wise starts with the desire to get wise. As
one commentator put it, “The first step in gaining wisdom is to determine
that we will pursue it.”
Getting wisdom was Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs, and it is our
purpose for writing this book. Proverbs has always been our favorite book in
the Old Testament. The proverbs are short, memorable, and apply to the
everyday situations of life. Proverbs has 31 chapters, which makes it easy
to read one each day. We have done this many times—memorizing certain
proverbs that God has brought to our attention—and we find that our lives
have been much richer for it.
People often view the commands in the Bible as “religious obligations.”
They see God’s instructions as things He wants us to do but not things that
will make our lives better. This is not a biblical perspective. As the book
of Proverbs shows, God wants us to follow His instructions and gain wisdom
so that we will have a blessed life. Again, He wants us to have wisdom so
that life will go better for us.
Thomas Chalmers, a minister in the Church of Scotland, offered this keen
insight: “We start changing only when we see . . . that in Christ we are not
losing anything but our damnation and gaining everything we desire in our
own deepest intentions. The gospel shows us Jesus pouring out his lifeblood
so that we can live. The gospel says, ‘Look at him. Come to him. Follow him.
You will stop dying, you will start living, and it will never end.’”
Understanding allows us to see what we have been given in Christ. This is
why Solomon says with such intensity, “In all your getting, get
understanding” (Proverbs 4:7). As other versions state it, “Though it cost
all you have, get understanding” (niv 84) and, “Whatever else you get, get
Understanding is the practical application of wisdom. It is wisdom with
shoe leather. Wisdom and understanding go together.
Max Anders, Holman Old Testament Commentary (Proverbs) (Nashville, TN:
Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2005).
R.C. Ortlund, Jr., Preaching the Word: Proverbs—Wisdom that Works, “The
Expulsive Power of a New Affection” (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), p. 82.