The book of Proverbs has 31 chapters and so one spiritual discipline when you are not sure where to read in the Bible is to pick the chapter that corresponds to the day of the month. Tomorrow is February 1 so we will do a chapter a day for a month and see where we end up. Proverbs is famous for being wisdom literature and a collection of sayings, proverbs and words of advice from Solomon, whom many consider one of the world’s wisest men, to his son. It starts with a prologue in chapter one so I looked up prologue on the Internet.
https://www.masterclass.com/articles/writing-101-what-is-a-prologue#what-is-a-prologue credits Euripides, a famous Greek playwright with the start of prologues. The author continues to say:
“A good prologue performs one of many functions in a story:
- Foreshadowing events to come
- Providing background information or backstory on the central conflict
- Establishing a point of view (either the main character’s, or that of another character who is privy to the tale)
- Setting the tone for the rest of the novel or play.”
Solomon introduces himself as son of David, king of Israel. He lived 990 BC to 931 BC but the sayings gathered and recorded come from older times. He writes the proverbs for “gaining wisdom and instruction, for understanding words of insight and for receiving instruction in prudent behavior doing what is right and just and fair.” It is possible to read and reread a chapter in Proverbs daily and have a different verse “jump out” and speak to a situation you are facing. We all need wisdom and understanding. The prologue closes with the foreshadowing that the wise will gain understanding in fearing the Lord while the simple, the gullible, those without moral direction and inclined to evil will reject the wisdom. Ouch! We will see that dichotomy grow and certainly deciding who are the good guys and who are the misinformed is a topic of discussion in our country today.
My daughter in first grade in Kenya would entertain us as we drove with “Kitenda Wili” sayings, riddles, and proverbs. For example she would ask what house has no windows and no doors. The answer is an egg. We learned many as a child also, what has ears but no legs? Corn!
Proverbs prologue offers sayings that will help us be wise, points out the difference between wise and foolish, is shared by King Solomon and does set a teaching tone. What proverb has impacted your life and helped form you? I can remember my mother saying, “A stitch in time saves nine!” Deal with my problems and don’t procrastinate because the problem will only grow. What proverb would you share with someone if you could? Lord may our ears be attuned to hear proverbs in our culture that are forming us today.