Wisdom in Proverbs

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WisdomAfter finishing the 150 song list of the Psalms, we enter into the Wisdom Books.  First out of the gate is the book of Proverbs.  Probably written and compiled by Solomon (David’s son) around 1000 B.C. – it contains practical moral and spiritual truth in proverbial form for the people of God.  It is fitting for Solomon to have spoken/written a majority of these because (if you remember) it was Solomon who pleased God by asking for great wisdom above treasure (1 Kings 3).  Being as there are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs – many Christians choose to study 1 chapter a day for a month to help them learn godly wisdom.

There are six Hebrew words which are translated as “wisdom” throughout Proverbs.  Each holds distinct characteristics and highlights a separate form of being wise:

1.  CHOKMAH – This word is used roughly 40 different times in proverbs and refers to “having good sense”.  This refers to having your wits about yourself… being a good administrator.

“For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom (CHOKMAH); from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Prov 2:6

2.  BIYNAH – This word means “discernment or discrimination” and is also translated  as “wisdom, understanding, and knowledge”.   This refers to making good decisions in all situations.

“The wise also will hear and increase in learning, and the person of understanding (BIYNAH) will acquire skill and attain to sound counsel [so that he may be able to steer his course rightly]”Prov 1:5 

3.  LEB – This refers to the heart – which is viewed as the center of a man and where wisdom is manifested in Hebraic philosophy (unlike the head/mind to the Greeks).  It is used 4 times in Proverbs.

“Folly is pleasure to him who is without heart (LEB) and sense, but a man of understanding walks uprightly [making straight his course].”Prov 15:21 

4.  ARMAH – This refers to “shrewdness or one who is prudent”.  It is used 3 times in Proverbs as “wisdom”, “subtlety”, and “prudence”.

“O you simple and thoughtless ones, understand prudence (ARMAH); you [self-confident] fools, be of an understanding heart.” Prov 8:5

5.  SAKAL – Another word for “prudence of good sense”.  It is only used one time in Proverbs:

“Receive instruction in wise (SAKAL) dealing and the discipline of wise thoughtfulness, righteousness, justice, and integrity,”Prov 1:3

6.  SEKEL – This final word for wisdom refers to “insight and discretion”.   It is used 3 times in Proverbs and points to one who can foresee into a situation with clarity before he makes a huge mistake.

“Good sense makes a man restrain his anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression or an offense.” Prov 19:11

As we read through this very valuable book – think about these 6 different words for wisdom and how they apply to your life.  May the LORD grant you an abundance of wisdom in every situation you face as you study His Word!

Be Fruitful & Multiply,



Psalm 139 – The Colors of Life

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Psalm 139 ColorsToday’s Chapter is the 139th Psalm.  While reading through the Psalms – it can be easy to forget that these were actual songs of praise – each written during a specific event in the life of the author.   Many times that are formed out of the depths of emotion that the author experienced while enduring some tragedy or difficult situation.  They can serve us in this same capacity!

Psalm 139 is a beautiful tune by David – which can encourage us in our individual circumstances.  In it David pours out his love for God – and confirms God’s love back to him.  As we read, it is obvious that David had developed quite a relationship with God.  With just a casual reading of this Psalm – we can once again hear that loving relationship being sung by this warrior-king.

Hidden within the lyrics of the love song – we find a beautiful description of the beginnings of life and how God sees all of us.

“For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! 

Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well. 

My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret

[and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors]

 in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery].

Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were

written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them.” – Psalm 139:13-16 AMP

I love the way the Amplified Bible puts this – using words such as “formed” and “knit” and “wonder” to describe how God not only made each of us – but knows us in a loving way.   According to David – God lovingly crafted us – “embroidered us with various colors”.  With that much attention placed into us – how can we help but have any other desire beyond pleasing Him and living up to the great potential He has placed within us all?

You are valuable!

You are cherished!

You are not a by-product or a mistake!

You are His treasure!

David wrote these words out of an overflowing relationship – one not formed just by reading a book, but by actually living out this beautiful life that he had been given.  David saw himself through the eyes of His Creator – in all of his vast colors… and it changed his life forever.

I encourage you to get this same vision of who you are!

Be Fruitful & Multiply,