Pastor Mitch McDonald, Sun Lakes Community Church
What is it about wise words that catches our attention? We see examples of them all around the world. One old Chinese proverb says, “One cannot refuse to eat just because there is a chance of being choked.” From Africa we get the proverbial wisdom that, “A loose tooth will not rest until it’s pulled out.” In Australia there is a proverb that says, “A bad worker blames his tools.” These types of proverbs are famous all across the globe. I mean, even the short, little words on a fortune cookie are loved by so many. This may be because proverbs are usually concise phrases that give advice or state a truism that is meaningful to so many.
I’m not really talking about the words from a fortune cookie, though. In the Bible, there is a whole book of Proverbs. These proverbs are focused on wisdom or the ability to live skillfully. Many times I am asked, “Pastor, I want to start reading my Bible. Where do I begin?” My natural, go-to answer for those I’m pastoring and for those of you reading this is “Grab your Bible—20 books into the Bible, you will find Proverbs. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs, as there are 31 days in most months. The simplest way to stay on track is to look at your calendar. If today is the 3rd, read Chapter 3, and at the end of the month, you start over again.” It has been my personal practice most of my adult life to try to read or listen to one chapter of Proverbs a day. And while I’ve done this countless times, daily, I am given a fresh gem from God.
History has taught us that the wisest man who lived during biblical times was King Solomon. According to 1 Kings 4:32, Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs, only about 800 of which are included in the Holy Bible. But those 800 proverbs provide detailed instructions for God’s people to deal successfully with the affairs of everyday life: how to relate to God, how to relate to neighbors, how to relate to your children, and how to relate to your spouse. Solomon included in Proverbs instructions regarding wisdom and folly, the tongue and speech, pridefulness and humility, justice and vengeance, laziness and work, poverty and wealth, friends and neighbors, anger and strife, life, and even death.
Beginning Sept. 13 at our office in Phase 1, every Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m., join us for Dinner and a Proverb. I will be leading a Bible Study series on Proverbs: Practical Wisdom for Everyday Life, and we would love for you to join us. Whether you join us or not, grab a Bible and read a proverb today. Just read one chapter and prepare to be blessed. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).