We are told in the first chapter of Proverbs that its sayings were written down so that others could gain from them wisdom, discipline, words of insight, prudence, discretion and knowledge. Those who are already wise will be able to add to their wisdom and those in need of guidance will receive it if they read its words.
Some of the main topics of the book of Proverbs are comparisons between man's and God's way of living, sin, gaining wisdom, fear of the Eternal, self-control, proper use of riches, training children, honesty, helpfulness, diligence, laziness, health and alcohol use, plus several others.
The verses found in Proverbs can be divided up into at least seven main sections or topical areas.
The first section, running from Proverbs 1:7 to 9:18, discusses fearing God as the beginning of understanding. Section 2, which runs from 10:1 to 22:16, focuses on the wise sayings of Solomon. Section 3, composed of verses from 22:17 to 24:22, has words of the wise.
Section 4, from Proverbs 24:23 to verse 34, has more statements from those considered wise. Section 5, from 25:1 to 29:27, contains Solomon's wise words copied down by those who served King Hezekiah. Section 6, which contains the entire thirtieth chapter, showcases the wisdom of Agur. The final section, composed of the last chapter of this book, highlights the wise words from King Lemuel.
Why read it?
There are several excellent reasons why a person should read and study this fascinating book. Proverbs was written to lead a person to comprehend what it means to reverence God and find knowledge (Proverbs 2:5). It will also strengthen a person's faith in him and give them hope, for he promises ultimate victory to the righteous (verse 7). Lastly, reading these words of wisdom will impart a deeper understanding of what is right and good (verse 9).
Those who reject the Godily wisdom of Proverbs are left to rely on their own understanding which is quite flawed. What they say can be perverse (Romans 3:11 - 14). They are lovers of darkness rather than light (1John 1:5 - 6, John 1:19) and they enjoy behaving sinfully (2Timothy 3:1 - 7, Hebrews 11:25). They can be deceptive and live a lie (Mark 7:22, Romans 3:13). Some, sadly, even indulge in full fledged demonism (Romans 1:22 - 32). This is what happens when the admonitions of Proverbs are not heeded!