Proverbs: Applying God's Wisdom

The book of Proverbs is a collection of wise sayings.

Although there are many proverbs within the book that stand alone, the book does have an overall theme or message so  it’s important that they are read in context.

It deals with important issues and has advice worth paying attention to. It covers many issues from friendship, love and forgiveness through to warnings against laziness, anger or lust, plus many other important issues, all of which are still relevant to us today.

 

Authorship: The majority of proverbs were written by Solomon

 

Type of Literature: Poetry

 

Purpose of Book:

Proverbs is full of instruction on how to live a moral life and conduct ourselves in a way that is pleasing to God.

For those kings following Solomon, it was clear to them that the fear of the Lord was the beginning of great wisdom, whether they chose to live by that or not, and this is still the case today.

It showed the clear contrast between wisdom and living a life of foolishness.

 

Structure:

 

7 sections

 

1: The importance of wisdom

2. Proverbs of Solomon.

3. Words of the wise (1)

4. Words of the wise (2)

5. Additional sayings of Solomon

6. Words of Agur

7. Sayings of Lemuel


 

Main Themes:

  • The Fear of The Lord. The book makes it clear to us that this is important if we want to please God. This is where wisdom begins.

  • Handling Emotions. There are many proverbs warning us against acting on our anger, lust, jealousy or fear and instead learning patience.

  • Finances. This is an area that can easily cause us to stumble and there are many words of advice and warning on this subject within the book.

  • The Tongue. Our words get us into trouble continuously, Proverbs has many words of wisdom and warnings regarding controlling our tongue.

  • Honesty & Integrity. If we go back to fearing the Lord, then honesty and integrity will be something that we value and understand the importance of. Proverbs is clear in this.

 

1 & 2 KINGS – The History of the KINGS of Israel

Application – 

 

2 Kings 17:18-19

18 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight; none was left but the tribe of Judah alone.

19 Judah also did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God but walked in the customs that Israel had introduced.

 

Gods people were given all the instruction necessary to live an obedient, blessed and fruitful life.  But they chose to ignore Gods commands and guidance, break the covenant and go their own way, following the surrounding nations into sin and idolatry. They therefore had to face the consequences.

 

We also have been given the bible to instruct and guide us on how to live Gods way and we have a choice to walk that out and not do what the world around us does. If we choose to disobey there are consequences for our actions and although there is grace and forgiveness we often have to live with the consequences of our sin.

 

 

 

The King had a lot to answer for, he set the tone for the whole nation. When he was walking in Gods ways, that obedience and reverence filtered down to the people and they were blessed.

 

We all have someone who looks to us and we are all a role model to someone, we have an influence on others because we have Jesus in our hearts and therefore have a responsibility to chose obedience and lead others. This becomes all the more important when you are a leader, your influence is greater and people look up to you. Wherever you have a responsibility of leadership make sure you take it seriously and let the Lord use you as a shining example to follow.

Psalms: Gods Inspired Songbook

In Psalms we see different authors with different styles, from different circumstances penning songs to God. Even though there are various authors one thing is consistent throughout.

Gods sovereignty!

We know that the historical books of the Bible are to be taken literally, whereas in Psalms we read a lot that is figuratively written. Ie ‘let the rivers clap their hands’.

Wherever we turn in Psalms one thing is sure though, the book points to an amazing God and is consistently descriptive about how amazing He is.

 

As we come to the end of Psalms and start another section of the Bible, let’s not forget that they were written by people in all sorts of circumstances. So, whatever situations we find ourselves in let’s ensure we always make time to remind ourselves of God’s greatness, His forgiveness, His grace and His mercy.

Whatever happens God remains sovereign over all.

1 & 2 KINGS – The History of the KINGS of Israel

2 Kings 17:18-19

18 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight; none was left but the tribe of Judah alone.

19 Judah also did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God but walked in the customs that Israel had introduced.

 

Writer(s) : unknown but possibly one or more of the prophets edited these books together from various historical records kept

 

Literature : Mainly Historical narrative, with occasional prophecy and poetry

 

Main Purpose & Historical Background:

 

Gods people, were in exile when these books were collated, they were questioning why they were no longer in their promised land?

Why has this happened to them?

Why did God let it happen to His chosen people?

 

Kings gives an account of their history, and clearly shows, that when the King is following the commandments under the Deuteronomic Covenant and leading his people in Gods ways, Israel is blessed.

And when the King does evil in the sight of the Lord and disobeys the Covenant Israel is judged.

Thus giving  a clear answer to the questions Gods people were having.

 

Structure

 

CHAPTERS  1 KINGS 1-11

The United Kingdom under Solomon

 

CHAPTERS  1 KINGS 12- 2 KINGS 17

The Divided Kingdom 

The Northern Kingdom is now referred to as Israel

The southern Kingdom is now referred to as Judah

(this section ends when Israel is taken into exile by Assyria)

 

CHAPTERS  2 KINGS 18-24

The Downward spiral of Judah

(this section ends when Judah is taken into exile by Babylon)

 

MAIN THEMES

Covenant Faithfulness brings blessing

God is Sovereign over all worldly authority

Psalms: God's inspired songbook

Psalms is a book made up of different songs written to God.

After the temple in Jerusalem was rebuilt this was a collection of Psalms used by God's people to worship Him.

Within this book there are many references to the coming of Jesus, accurate in detail about the crucifixion, also in the New Testament we see Jesus referring to Psalms. eg (Luke 24:44)

Authorship: Various, including David, and Asaph, one of David’s chief musicians.

Type of Literature: Poetry

Purpose of book:

This is a book of a collection of songs that was then used by God’s people, it reminded them (and us) of His greatness. There are Psalms which point to a God who is interested in every part of our life and cares whatever circumstances we are in.

The book also shows the beauty of music, the importance of worship and the diversity of God's people in the many instruments mentioned.

This is a book of sadness, of joy, of lament, of celebration, but all glorifying to God.

Structure:

150 INDIVIDUAL PSALMS TO GOD

Main Themes:

  • PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING. Many of the Psalms are penned after God has done something incredible and are written out of a heart of appreciation to Him.
  • REPENTANCE. Often these Psalms had been written immediately after the writer (especially David) had sinned, reflecting our fallibility and God’s grace and forgiveness.
  • DESPAIR. Some psalms were written from a place of personal disaster or turmoil, but still the writer finishes by giving glory to God.

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