Of all things to be known, the most important is that God is to be reverenced and served, and those know little who do not know this.
All true knowledge takes rise from reverence of God and tends to it as its perfection and center.
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;
2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;
4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
7 ¶ The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
9 For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.
10 ¶ My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:
12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:
13 We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:
14 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:
15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:
16 For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
17 Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.
18 And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.
19 So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.
20 ¶ Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,
22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
24 ¶ Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
Proverbs 1:1 – J. Vernon McGee
Proverbs 1:2-4 – J. Vernon McGee
Proverbs 1:3 – J. Vernon McGee
Proverbs 1:4 – J. Vernon McGee
Proverbs 1:5-6 – J. Vernon McGee
Proverbs 1:7-9 – J. Vernon McGee
Proverbs 1:10-14 – J. Vernon McGee
Proverbs 1:15-33 – J. Vernon McGee
Proverbs 1:1-19 – “The Beginning of Knowledge”
Notice the perfect balance of each clause, and the duplication of the one thought in the two clauses of each verse.
Wisdom as used in this book is more than intellectual learning or cleverness. It represents a moral quality, the result of a pure and a true life. We are conscious that many simple-minded people, who have little enough book-learning, are remarkable for sagacious advice, insight into character, the wise reading of events, an intuitive knowledge—all based on the fear of God. The headlines of Scotch copy-books used to be taken from this book. Certain it is that the young who ponder and practice these maxims can hardly fail of a successful career. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Proverbs 1:20-33 – The Call of Wisdom
The word Wisdom and the description of her standing in the chief place of concourse—see Proverbs 1:21—remind us of our Lord, who, as the Word of God, stood and cried, John 7:37. It is a remarkable picture of the world as it is today. The streets filled with traffickers, with the bawling of wares, with the crowds of idle sightseers, and amid it all the ringing appeal of Christ to the heart of man! But the scorners deride and mock, while fools hate the speaker and threaten his life. Yet there is no crowded thoroughfare in the world from which the Spirit of God is absent. See Matthew 22:1-10.
The two results that divide the hearers are set forth in words that are always receiving verification. The day of calamity, when banks suspend payment, and the boldest speculators lose heart, breaks suddenly on the worldling. He has no hiding-place, no second line of defense, no spiritual treasure; and is like a drowning sailor in a tempestuous sea. But “Wisdom is justified of all her children,” for they dwell safely. See Proverbs 1:33 and Luke 7:35. —Through the Bible Day by Day
So universal has the authority and influence of Jesus Christ become that it is no longer possible to dispute his sway by resort to argument. In the court of final appeal men are forced to confess that he is the most matchless character, the most loving and forgiving and patient man of history. The majority of us are compelled to admit that such rare traits would be impossible in a life that was less than divine. But there are men who see no Iovliness in him and if they can not attack by argument they must attack him by abuse. They resort to ridicule, blasphemy and falsehood, and though the spectacle thus presented is one that shocks the finer sense in almost every human heart, nevertheless there are those who will pay a liberal admission to see this performance enacted.
Proverbs 1:32 – Prosperity is like salt water: the more you drink of it the thirstier you are. (Talmage)
Proverbs 1:33—Quiet from fear of evil.
“Whoso.” This promise is to us all. To the man in the street, as much as for those of us who have been nurtured in Christian homes.
The evil is taken out of things for those whose hearts are full of God. Nothing which God allows to come to us is really evil, except sin. Put away sin from your heart, and let it be filled with Love and Faith, and behold all things will become new. They will lose their evil semblance, because you will look at them with new eyes. Men talk against the March wind; but when they understand that it is cleansing fetid dens of fever-germs, they regard it as a blessing. Men dread change, anything unwonted or unaccustomed; but when they find that, like the transplanted fruit-tree, they will often attain a greater maturity than when left to one spot of soil, they welcome it. If you look at things apart from God, especially if you anticipate the future without Him, you have good cause for fear; but if you hearken to and obey Him, if you know and love Him, if you abide in God and God in you, you will see that the evil is not in the things or events, but in yourself. Give yourself as alms to God, and lo, all things will become clean to you.
Death shall lose its terrors, and become the Father’s servant, ushering you into his presence. Pain and suffering shall but cast into relief the stars of Divine promise. Poverty will have no pangs, and storm no alarms. You shall become so habituated to find the rarest blessings associated with what men often dread most, that you will be quiet from all fear of evil, and able to look out, with serene and untroubled heart, on a sea of troubles. In fact, it is very doubtful if anything is really evil for those who love God. —Our Daily Homily