"The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;"
What is a Proverb?
A proverb is a short sentence often repeated, expressing a well known truth or common fact, ascertained by experience or observation; a maxim of wisdom. A proverb can be a dark saying of the wise that requires interpretation.
This Book of Proverbs is a collection of Solomon's short sentences ascertained by his own experience or observation. 1 Kings 4 tells us that God gave Solomon excessive wisdom and understanding. His wisdom excelled the wisdom of all other men. He was credited with 3,000 proverbs and an additional 1,005 songs. His proverbs were well known for their connection to Nature and to the Animal Kingdom. People from all over the world came to hear his proverbs. If each verse in the Book of Proverbs was truly his proverb and constituted one proverb, then the Book contains only 915 of his 3,000 proverbs - less than a third!
Of his 3,000 proverbs, these attained Divine Inspiration level. To be included in the Biblical Canon, these proverbs were Divine and therefore, were pure truth. These proverbs contain wisdom from Above; wisdom that if applied to lives, will extend lives, enhance lives and enrich lives.
We all say many things over the course of a day and over the course of a lifetime. If our sayings were put in a book, what would the book be called? Would it be called, "The Sayings of Kevin" or "The Proverbs of Kevin?" If a book of our recorded opinions was published, would it be of any use to any reader?
Would our sayings EXTEND lives or IMPERIL lives?
Would our sayings ENHANCE lives or IMPAIR lives?
Would our sayings ENRICH lives or IMPOVERISH lives?
Not all opinions are proverbs because not all opinions are truthful. Not all opinions are proverbs because not all opinions are wise. Many opinions, if followed, will lead to great personal harm as well as great public harm because they are greatly flawed opinions. A foolish opinion that is received as counsel will result in foolish living. A wise opinion however that is received as counsel will result in wise living. Such is the beauty and benefit of a proverb.
Are you responsible for any proverbs? Are you responsible for any short sentences expressing truth ascertained by personal experience or observation?
If you are responsible for any proverbs, how many would you be credited with - a few, a handful or many? A couple, a couple dozen, a couple hundred or a couple thousand? How much wisdom have you gleaned by experience or by observation? How much wisdom have you shared? How many lives will benefit from the wisdom you have personally gleaned and publicly shared?
Millions of souls have benefited from the Proverbs of Solomon.
Moses, the man of God, wrote the 90th psalm and in it referred to both the brevity and fragility of life. In his psalm, he uttered the following prayer, "Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." It would be wise for each of us to utter the same words to our Heavenly Father. In everything we experience and in everything we observe, may we seek lessons of truth and wisdom. When we find such wisdom, let us first apply it to our own lives and then let us share such proverbs with others.