Interpreting God's Word With Wisdom
Proverbs 9:10-11 (ESV) – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life.
Many people have been taught to read the Bible incorrectly. They read the text and ask, “What does this mean to me?” This is the wrong question. The real question is, “what is the author saying?” Only after we understand what the author was saying do we know how it properly applies to our lives. The other thing with reading the Bible is that we must understand what genre we are reading and how to properly understand it.
Our text today is a great example of this. We read in Proverbs 9:10-11, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life.”
This is a proverb. Proverbs are a collection of wisdom sayings. These sayings are wisdom for living. The reason they bring prospering is because God has made the world to operate a certain way. Living in the wake of that wisdom in God’s world brings more prospering than not heeding the proverbs. And that’s the key. It doesn’t mean that 100% of the time the proverb is always true. But those departures are the exception, not the rule.
Our text says fearing God is the beginning of wisdom and leads to long life and multiplied years. This doesn’t mean that the person who fears God is guaranteed to live a long life. They could die of cancer or a car accident. What it does mean is this: more times than not, the one who fears the LORD and gains wisdom will have prolonged years than the one who is a fool and lives like one.
The proverbs are a part of God’s inspired Word. But they are not the same kind of literature as a letter from Paul. When Paul says, “There is no condemnation for those in Christ,” that is 100% true all the time. If you are in Christ, there is no condemnation for your sins. This is a guaranteed promise forever. The proverbs and Paul’s letters are both a part of God’s inspired Word, but they are different types of genres and must be read differently.
You can trust God’s Word and should live your life in light of it. But it is vital that we read it correctly as it is intended, not just how we want. Learning to read and understand God’s Word brings wisdom, and that means we must read as God intended.
Learning to read and understand God’s Word brings wisdom, and that means we must read as God intended.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why do many Christians have no idea how to properly interpret the Bible?
- What do we learn from today’s passage? How are we to understand it?
- How can you grow in your ability to properly read and interpret the Bible?
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