The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;
To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;
To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
~~ Proverbs 1:1-7 (KJV)
The purpose of the proverbs is education — for attaining wisdom and discipline, for understanding words of insight. My grandmother used to say “experience is a dear school, but a fool will learn in no other.”
Proverbs are short truths drawn from long experience. When we learn from other people’s experience, we take ourselves out of the category of “fool” and put ourselves into the category of disciple.
Fool here doesn’t mean just silly or someone to laugh at. Fool in this context means perverse as well. Perverse: stubborn, hardheaded.
At one point, the Lord calls the children of Israel “a stiffnecked people.” Stiffnecked: proud, stubborn, perverse. It wasn’t a compliment.
A teachable, humble spirit is the mark of a true follower of Christ. While we know what we know, we are always ready to learn more of the Lord.
Our eagerness to learn comes from the awareness of our limitations. No matter how much we learn of God, there is always more to learn. Our finite minds are incapable of encompassing the whole of our infinite God.
But that truth should never stand in the way of our wanting more of Him.
Keep us from pride and stubbornness. Help us to be hungry to know more of You. Grant us a teachable spirit.
In Jesus’ most precious name.