Christ’s Wisdom in Proverbs (Part 1)

Bob RoaneCounseling, Jesus Christ, Wise living

Now then, my children, listen to me. Blessed are those who keep my ways. Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it. Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord. But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death….May the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. (Proverbs 8:32-36; Psalm 68:3)

I am currently teaching on the Bible’s Book of Proverbs at Christ Presbyterian Church in Houston. Here are some excerpts that I’ve used in counseling and prison ministry.

The Old Testament All Points to Jesus

Christ taught that all the Old Testament (“OT”) Scriptures point to Him and that the Spirit of Christ moved the OT writers to write all that they did.1 God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) made King Solomon very wise, but Jesus said that He was greater than Solomon in every way.2 In Proverbs, Jesus helps us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Christ gave us the Proverbs and He lived by them Himself. Now after His sinless life (as our Mediator), His atoning death, and His powerful resurrection, Jesus helps His believers to follow Him in paths of righteousness. Christ is our Wonderful Counselor who came to save us and make us Christ-like. Jesus came to make us the people God always intended us to be, holy and happy as we walk with the Lord.

Jesus came to fulfill everything that was written about Him in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Writings (the 3-fold division of the OT)….The disciples’ hearts were burning with joy within them while the Resurrected Christ talked with them on the road and opened the Scriptures to them.3

Alistair Begg says:
In the Old Testament, Jesus is predicted.
In the Gospels, He is revealed.
In Acts, He is preached.
In the Epistles, He is explained.
And in Revelation, He is expected.4

The Bible is God’s book with the answers in the back. The New Testament is concealed in the Old Testament;  The Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament. Jesus saw Himself as the key to Scripture and Scripture as the key to understanding Him.5

Newness of Life

Being a Christian is being the Lord’s new creation, a new person re-made by God from inside out. We are indwelt and guided by God the Holy Spirit, walking in faith and freedom. The Spirit works new Christ-like habits and traits in us, helping us to live a fuller life in preparation for our new future, eternity with God in Heaven. The Proverbs give us many concrete details of how to follow Jesus in everyday situations in our home, work, and community. We are foolish if we neglect God’s Proverbs.

The Apostle John puts it this way: See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. All who have this hope in Jesus purify themselves, just as He is pure.6

Proverbs Contains A Prophecy of Christ

In Proverbs, Agur says: Surely I am only a brute, not a man. I do not have human understanding. I have not learned wisdom, nor have I attained to the knowledge of the Holy One. Who has gone up to Heaven and come down? Whose hands have gathered up the wind? Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is the name of His Son? Surely you know!7

Agur admits that his wisdom is puny compared to the Lord’s perfect and infinite wisdom. Agur uses rhetorical questions to remind us that unless God stoops down to reveal Himself, we can’t know anything about our Creator or His world. We can’t go up to interview Him and then come back down. In OT times, Israel was sometimes called God’s son. But now Christians read this passage knowing the name of God’s Son—Jesus of Nazareth. He is the God-man who came down from Heaven as wisdom for us.8 The Son of God has access to all of God’s understanding, and in His kindness, Christ came to earth to make humanity wise and take away our foolishness.

Agur reminds us of the pre-existence of the Son of God and His involvement in creation.9 Jesus is the One who reveals God to us. Christ is 100% God and 100% human in one person, uniquely qualified to be our Savior, Lord, and Guide for life.

The Apostle John says: No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made Him known.10 Jesus did this by both His words and deeds. Aren’t you glad He came?

Christ our Expert Guide

Steve Winger from Lubbock, Texas, wrote about his last college test, a final in a logic class known for its difficult exams: To help us on the test, the professor said we could bring as much information to the exam as we could fit on a piece of notebook paper. Most students crammed as many facts as possible on their 8-1/2 x 11 inch sheet of paper. But one student walked into class, put a notebook page on the floor, and had an advanced logic student stand on the paper. The advanced student told Steve everything he needed to know and he received the only “A.”

Beloved, the ultimate final exam will come when we all stand before God and He asks, “What have you done with your life?”11 On our own we will fall far short and fail. But Christians have the Lord Jesus on our side and always with us. Christ is not only the righteous One who obeys God in our place and takes away the punishment we deserve. He is also the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace who shows and tells us all we need to know about living a holy life and pleasing our Heavenly Father. So let’s not be proud and think that we already know enough or are good enough on our own. We must trust, obey, and follow Christ our Savior and Lord. Jesus is the power of God and the wisdom of God. He is both God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one.12

Again the Apostle John explains it so well: The Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true. And we are in God who is true by being in His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus is the true God and eternal life.13

Prayer: Make us wise for trusting and obeying You. Help us to know You more clearly, love You more dearly, and follow You more nearly, day by day. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.

To be continued.

Notes (various Bible translations used): 1 2 Tim 3:15-17; 1 Pet 1:10; 2 Peter 1:20.     2 Matt 12:42.     3 Luke 24:32,44.     4 Alistair Begg, Preaching for God’s Glory, p. 36.     5 Adapted from Alistair Begg, Augustine of Hippo, and J. I. Packer.     6 1 John 3:1-3.     7 Prov 30:2-4.     8 Deut 30:12; John 3:12-13,31, 6:38.     9 John 1:1-3; Col 1:15-17; Heb 1:1-3.     10 John 1:18.     11 Matt 12:36-37; Rom 14:10-12; 1 Cor 9:27; 2 Cor 5:10; Heb 13:17; 1 Peter 4:5; Rev 20:12; Ecc 12:13-14.     12 1 Cor 1:24.     13 1 John 5:20.