The Book of Proverbs
by READ 365
The book of Proverbs fits into the biblical story by giving practical instruction to the young (and all others listening in) in order to help them follow in the ways of the Lord and have a beneficial, fruitful life on earth.

A few comments about proverbs: First, their form is that of poetry—but Hebrew poetry, which means it can be difficult to translate into English. Hebrew proverbs are pithy (often three or four Hebrew words to a line) and full of alliterations, catchwords, poetic meter, etc.

Their function is to offer practical instruction for the young, with the focus on how to live uprightly and well in a society that understands itself to be under God. These proverbs functioned primarily in the home to reinforce the benefits of living prudently and well in everyday life.

Their method is to express important truths for practical living in ways that are memorable and thus repeatable. This is done by overstatement, by “all or none” kinds of phrases that are not intended to be analyzed for their precision. An English parallel might be “A penny saved is a penny earned,” which while true, its point is thrift, not that one should never spend. What is at stake for you in reading the proverbs is to determine their point by looking carefully at their content and poetic form, but to be careful not to make them “walk on all fours” and not to ignore counter proverbs, which also speak truth.

Today, take time to identify the key teaching in this chapter for you. In what way can you apply it to your life today?

Adapted from How to Read the Bible Book by Book: A Guided Tour, by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, 2002 (www.Zondervan.com)


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Prayer of the Week
God, we love You! We praise You! We seek You for help in continuing to move us forward. We ask You for an internal desire to know You more, that You and Your word on our hearts impact our lives and the lives of those around us. Help create in us a heart like Your heart. Help us to see where we are in our relationship with You, and grow closer to You this year.
Weekly Memory Verse
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
-I John 1:7
Monthly Spiritual Practice
Slowing Down
Although God is constantly present in our lives, he moves subtly and we often miss him. This month, take a few minutes each day to write down where you saw God in your life. Even if you missed him the first time, it may come back to you. You’ll be amazed at all you’ve seen by month’s end.