A few months ago, I wrote about what the Olympics taught me about Bible study. The Olympics deliver drama spectacularly, but they fail at imparting instruction.
Who, by watching Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt run, would get any practical help with his own stride? Perhaps exposure to the Asian badminton teams could influence aspiring champions not to cheat. But how many gymnasts will improve their own dismounts from Team USA’s example? Or who, upon seeing footage of Michael Phelps’ races and interviews, would gain concrete ideas for faster flip-turns? Perhaps a few prodigies will learn well by merely watching and imitating the world’s greatest athletes, but most of us need more personal coaching, step-by-step instruction, and encouragement in the basics.
That’s why, in Proverbs 2, Solomon gets down on our level and shows us practical steps we can take to become wise. He’s already given the big picture in chapter 1; now he gives details on the process. Here we’ll find, not just what we need to know, but what we need to do.
Proverbs 2 has a tight logic:
If you listen – 1-4
Then you’ll get started on the path of wisdom – 5
Why? Because God wants to make you wise – 6-8
Then you’ll continue to grow in wisdom – 9
Why? Because wisdom will change you – 10
Result: you’ll make different choices that protect you – 11
From violent men – 12-15
From adulterous women – 16-19
For endurance on the right path – 20-22
Over the next few Proverbs posts, I’ll boil the argument down into three chief sections: If you listen (Prov 2:1-4), then you’ll become wise (Prov 2:5-10), resulting in different choices (Prov 2:11-22).