According to the English proverb a rider can take a horse to water, but cannot make it drink.
According to the Ethiopian proverb a horse can take a soldier to war but cannot make him fight.
Thinking of myself, I sometimes see myself as the horse, sometimes as the rider, sometimes as the soldier. At any rate my purpose is to help us to think.
Proverbs 1: 1-7 (ESV)
The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
To know wisdom and instruction;
To discern the words of understanding;
To receive instruction in wise dealing,
In righteousness and justice and equity;
To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion:
That the wise man may hear, and increase in learning;
And that the man of understanding may attain unto sound counsels:
To understand a proverb, and a figure, the words of the wise and their dark sayings
The words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
The first portion of these verses has a list of words which seem to me to pile one on the other to make a person fully equipped to grasp the true essence and meaning of life!
- Instruction (again).
But note this is to be practical stuff! For wise dealing; righteousness; justice and equity.
It is very possible to seek wisdom to use it for personal advantage – but not so here. Maybe wise dealing can sound like getting personal advantage though definitely not so here.
The next selection seems to me to give a list of four groups of people who will profit if they listen to what Solomon is saying.
- The simple will overcome their simplemindedness.
- The young man will become a true mature person.
- The wise will get wiser
- People will be able to give wise advice.
And Solomon’s method seems to be by proverbs to help people understand figures of speech (proverbs). To help them to listen to those wiser themselves. ‘Dark’ here has nothing to do with the forbidden but rather to things hard to understand!
There are plenty of things in life where deeper understanding and wise counsel is needed.
Prayer: Wherever I stand on the chart of development, please make me wiser, God.