Some of the main subjects of the book of Proverbs are comparisons between man's and God's way of living, sin, gaining wisdom, fear of God, self-control, proper use of riches, training children, honesty, helpfulness, diligence, laziness, health and alcohol use, plus several others.
The main divisions
The book can be divided up into at least seven main sections. The number seven is considered the number of complete perfection. Section 1 discusses fearing God as the beginning of understanding (Prov. 1:7 to 9:18). Section 2 contains the Proverbs of Solomon (Prov. 10:1 to 22:16). Section 3 has words of the wise (Prov. 22:17 to 24:22). The fourth section has more statements from those considered wise (Prov. 24:23 to verse 34). The fifth section houses Solomon's wisdom copied by the men of Judah's King Hezekiah (Prov. 25:1 to 29:27). The sixth section showcases wisdom from Agur son of Jakeh (Prov. 30). The seventh and final section highlights wise words from King Lemuel (Proverbs 31).
Is there anything a person needs to do, other than reading this section of the Bible created by Solomon, in order to gain true wisdom? The second chapter gives us our answer.
1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, 3 and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. (Prov. 2:1 - 5, NIV)
Benefits of reading
You will come to comprehend what it means to reverence God and find knowledge (Proverbs 2:5). Jesus said, " 'Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.'" (Matthew 7:7 - 8)
God promises victory to the righteous. He also promises to be a shield to anyone whose walk is blameless before him (Proverbs 2:7).
God will protect those who are faithful (verse 8)
We will come to understand what is right and good (verse 9)
Other important Biblical verses concerning pursuing wisdom include Isaiah 51:7, 25:8, Daniel 2:20 - 22 and Psalms 1:1 - 6. In the New Testament James tells us that the wisdom that comes from God is first pure, then loves peace, is considerate, submissive and full of mercy and good fruit (James 3:13 - 17).
Many times someone without wisdom follows the ways of those who are evil. 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). They enjoy evil and behaving sinfully (2Timothy 3:1 - 7, Hebrews 11:25). They follow paths that are crooked (Matthew 7:13 - 14). They are deceptive and just plain lie (Mark 7:22, Romans 3:13). They ignore agreements made with others - especially marriage covenants (Romans 1:22 - 32). Some may even delve into demonism (Romans 1:22 - 32). This is what happens when the admonitions of the book of Proverbs are not heeded!