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Looking at the Book of Proverbs in View of God’s Economy
By B.S., Manila on 2 February 2012 Share:

The books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes bring us near to the end of the five books of poetry: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. By the Lord’s sovereignty, these books were arranged in such a sequence so that we can see that God is not satisfied with human perfection apart from Himself (Job), that we can seek God through singing and praying (Psalms), that we need wisdom (Proverbs), that all things are vanity of vanities (Ecclesiastes), and that Christ is  the satisfaction of satisfactions (Song of Songs).

Message 1 tells us that we need to look at the book of Proverbs in view of God’s economy. Proverbs 1:1 says, “The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, the king of Israel.” The word “proverbs” originated from the Hebrew word, “mishle”, meaning similitudes, proverbs, parables to represent general truths. The book of Proverbs mainly uses representations of objects, animals, and people to portray and relate many virtues that a person should have to be proper before man. Proverbs is a collection of the words of the wise; most were written and collected by wise men like King Solomon and King Hezekiah. King Solomon wrote about 3000 proverbs in this book. Because of the wisdom it contains, many people treasure the book of Proverbs.

Although King Solomon had a good beginning – he had wisdom far greater than all men and he wrote many proverbs to help us to become proper human beings, he had a bad ending. Therefore, the main burden of this message is that in reading this book, one must do so in view of God’s economy. We must pray, “Lord, these instructions are very good, but I cannot do them. Lord, even Solomon failed. Lord, I need You.” The more we realize that we need God, the more we would want Him, and the more we want Him, the more we would gain Him.

God’s economy is that God became man that man might become God in life and nature, but not in the Godhead to produce the organism of the Triune God, the Body of Christ, which consummates the New Jerusalem. In God’s redemption, the first part is to terminate the fallen old man. The second part is to rescue what was originally for God, the God-created humanity. Although this humanity has become fallen, He will maintain it and bring it back to Himself. With this proper view, the reader of Proverbs should not use this book to build up his old man which is part of the old creation. Rather, the gems and nuggets found in this book must become our constitution to build up the new man which is part of the new creation.

Through reading the book of Proverbs in the view of God’s economy, one will be enlightened and be exposed by the Lord in His character and way of living. The Lord’s divine light will cause us to see and realize that we are not capable of keeping the book of Proverbs, which is a subsidiary of the law, by ourselves. The more we read, the more we should realize that we need the Lord and that we should draw nearer to Him. The more we are drawn to Him, the more wisdom we will receive; in this way the Lord can dispense Himself more and more.

Praise the Lord we are in the New Testament age! We now have the Spirit in us! We do not need to receive this book as a book of mere outward instructions to attain perfection; a good man is not enough to satisfy the Lord. We must be God-men-the expression of God on earth today. With the help of Proverbs, we can build a proper character, strengthen the inner man, and be a proper testimony of God among men.

Young people, we need instructions, words of wisdom and guidance in building a proper character. We all should read Proverbs in view of God’s economy to have a proper character to be a proper testimony, before man and God. Hallelujah! The book of Proverbs is not to cultivate our old man, but for the loving God to come to us!

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