Proverbs: Purpose and Theme

Published January 7, 2013

Proverbs 1:2-7

New Living Translation (NLT)

Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,
to help them understand the insights of the wise.
Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,
to help them do what is right, just, and fair.
These proverbs will give insight to the simple,
knowledge and discernment to the young.

Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser.
Let those with understanding receive guidance
by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables,
the words of the wise and their riddles.

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

The purpose and theme of the book of Proverbs is simply and distinctly laid out. An introduction on how to achieve a better life is given. It is broken down into subjects and in the following chapters of Proverbs we are provided with teaching and instructions on these subjects.

Chapter one: verses 1- 4 are directed to the student (the world)

Purpose: to teach people wisdom and discipline.

Purpose: to help people understand the insights of the wise.

Purpose: To teach people to live disciplined and successful lives.

Purpose: To help people do what is right, just, and fair.

Purpose: to give insight to the simple.

Purpose: to give insight and knowledge to the young.

Verses 5 – 6 are directed to the teacher (those who profess knowledge for preparing the young for life in the world).

Purpose: a directive and a reminder that even those deemed wise can become wiser if they continue to explore and seek further guidance.

Verse seven gives us the foundation of true knowledge, a fear of the Lord…a loving reverence for God that includes submission to his lordship and to the commands of his word (NIV study note.)

The title ‘fools’ is given to those who despise such wisdom and discipline. One NIV Bible study note defines “Fools” as those who “hate knowledge” and correction of any kind, who are quick to quarrel”, and “give full vent to their anger”, who are complacent, and trust in themselves rather than God.

Do you see any of these characteristics in your life?

Would you rather have the title of wise one or foolish one?

Any searching for a source of self-help in improving one’s life can end right here. These are God-given teachings, principles and guidelines. If implemented and practiced (applied) every day then your life will be improved.

Ecclesiastes 12:13

New International Version (NIV)

13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind

Will this become your duty?

Next, some exhortations, warnings, and benefits from Proverbs.

Be encouraged in Him, the perfection of all wisdom and discipline,


Rev. David Larsen (Chaplain Compassion Nevada)

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