Some time ago I began a study of Proverbs. My intention was to study the book and then teach it to my children. I didn’t get as far I would have liked, but as I read over my notes the other day, I thought I’d share with you my thoughts on Proverbs 1:2. “To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding.”
Teaching my 5 year old daughter: Verse two of Proverbs gives us the first purpose of the book of Proverbs or why God put this book in the Bible. It is for us to know wisdom and instruction. He wants us to know (not just what it says, but in a way that changes our behavior) For example as I teach you the letters of the alphabet you are learning the letters and their sounds. Is that the whole reason we learn the alphabet? Just to say the names of the letters and sounds? No. It is so that you will be able to know the letters and sounds to be able to read words. When you can read words and then understand stories written in books, that’s when you “know” your letters the way God wants you to “know” wisdom, so that you can put it to use.)
God’s wisdom (how to live a godly life and make Godly choices). When you know God’s wisdom it‘s not just knowing what the Bible says, but you understand what it means and why that means you should live differently because of it. The Bible says “Honor your father and mother.” You can memorize those words, but if you don’t know what they mean you don’t have wisdom or if you know what they mean, but you don’t do what it says you don’t have wisdom. Wisdom is knowing the words, understanding them with the realization that they are true and then changing your behavior accordingly.
The second part of the verse says “to perceive the words of understanding.” We have the book of Proverbs so that we can understand the words that will bring understanding. Think again about those alphabet letters we were talking about. You need to understand the basics of the letters so that you can learn to read and understand words, sentences and stories. At that point you’ll know the letters so well it will be second nature to use them correctly. You will no longer have to think about what“A” says. Then you’ll understand your letters the way God intends for you to understand his Word.