Studying Proverbs

Practical Projects for Family Growth

by Dr. Waylon B. Moore

Exposing our children to the riches of the Wisdom of Proverbs is a strong step forward to growing a wise child. Through the “microscopic people-viewer” called Proverbs, we can see into the people around us. We watch the dramatic changes in their lives when people apply or break these simple, short exhortations to wisdom.

Proverbs can be divided into three main kinds: CONTRASTING proverbs, where the word “but” is used, at the beginning of many second lines. DOUBLE-complete proverbs are packed with wisdom; their second line agrees, adds, or even furthers the thought of the first line. The word “and” usually begins the second line. There are also COMPARATIVE proverbs where “than” sometimes begins the second line. Striking word pictures are used to contrast the opposition of ideas expressed. Blended into the varied mixture of poetical Hebrew literature in Proverebs are sonnets, aphorisms, epigrams, and sayings.

Over 50 different catagories of subjects are revealed in Proverbs . . . personal relationships, marriage, business, emotions, and the pearls of God's treasures of knowledge and wisdom. You will find people in Proverbs: the wise, the sluggard, the fool, the strange woman, the proud, the wasteful; all of us are there. It is said that J.C. Penney became a multi-millionaire as he read and applied the business principles taught in Proverbs to his retail selling. There are many different ways to study and enjoy applying the verses.
  1. Read a chapter of Proverbs a day; you'll go through the whole collection of wisdom each month. Select one verse to meditate on through the day.
  2. Choose an interesting fun verse, or a verse from each chapter that summarizes a theme or major idea in the passage. MEMORIZE and review that key verse; be reminded of much of its chapter setting.
  3. Study the book by subjects. Look up the verse collections below. Then CONCENTRATE ON ONE IDEA or truth for a month. Here are 12 important topics with their verse references to help you begin. As part of what you might do as a family in Bible study during the year, you'll find this valuable beyond compare. Assign groups of verses to older children to study and share. Few focus wisely or long on a single truth. Thus general Bible reading may lack the grip to lift us into application.
Ask questions about the verses such as: What does this verse mean in our daily life, now? Where have I seen this idea applied, or misapplied? Is there a warning here for my life? Are we in any way, applying this truth in our business, our home, our relationships?

Passing a church nursery I smiled at the sounds and smells, the yells, cries, and laughter of children as dozens of our future generation, were lovingly cared for, while their parents were taught the Bible. Yet, we had church people who were griping about the nursery facilities, the workers, the kinds of children parents brought to us, the mess of so many people.

Yes, we had some problems and pressures with the flood of families being won to Christ. These difficulties were challenges to be met and solved. Growth carries with it stretching and change, and mess. Later, a worker mentioned to me about their little-used church nursery space that once had been crowded with too many kids and problems. It seems there was no space problem now. New couples with babies were rarely being reached. “Where no oxen are, the crib is clean; but MUCH increase is by strength of the ox.” (Proverbs 12:4) It's much better to have people and productivity mess, than a clean, empty crib.

TOPICS

THE FOOL
17:28; 18:2, 6, 7; 19:1, 10, 13, 29; 20:3; 21:20; 23:9; 24:7; 26:1-12; 27:3, 22; 28:26; 29:9, 11, 20.


THE WISE AND WISDOM
1:7, 20-33; 2:1-12; 3:7, 13-23; 4:3-12; 5:1-2; 7:4-5; 8:1-36; 9:1-6, 8-12; 10:5, 13, 19 23, 31; 11:2, 29-30; 12:18; 13:1, 10, 14; 14:6, 8, 33, 35; 15:12, 24, 31; 16:14, 16, 21, 23; 17:2, 16, 24; 18:1, 4, 15; 19:8, 14; 20:12, 26; 21:11, 22, 30; 22:17-18; 23:9, 23-24; 24:5, 7, 13-14; 25:12; 26:12; 29:3, 8, 15; 30:24-28; 31:26.


THE HEART
2:2; 3:1, 3, 5; 6:16-21; 7:2, 3; 10:20; 11:20, 29; 12:20, 23; 13:12; 14:10, 13, 14, 30, 33; 15:11, 13, 15, 28, 30; 16:1, 2, 5, 21, 23; 17:3, 22; 18:12, 14; 19:3, 21; 20:5, 9; 21:1, 2, 4; 22:11, 15, 23; 23:12, 15-17, 26; 24:17; 25:3, 20; 26:23-25; 27:9, 11, 19.


THE TONGUE
2:6; 4:24; 5:1-4; 6:12; 8:6, 9; 10:11, 13, 14, 18-21, 31, 32; 11:9, 11-13; 12:6, 13, 14, 18, 25; 13:2, 3; 14:3, 23; 15:1, 2, 4, 7, 23, 26, 28; 16:1, 10, 13, 21, 23, 24, 27, 28; 17:4, 7, 9, 20, 27, 28; 18:4, 6-8; 18:13, 20, 21; 19:1, 28; 20:15, 19; 21:23; 22:11, 12, 17, 18; 23:15, 16; 24:1, 2, 26, 28; 25:8-15, 23; 26:4, 5, 17-28; 27:2; 28:23; 29:5, 20; 30:10; 31:26.


HONESTY AND LYING
11:1; 16:11; 20:6, 7, 10, 17, 23; 25:19; 6:16-19; 10:19; 12:17, 19, 22; 13:5; 14:5, 25; 17:4, 7; 19:5, 9, 22: 20:17; 21:6, 28; 25:14, 18; 26:28; 29:12; 30:5-8.


FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS
3:27-29; 6:1-3,17-29; 11:9, 12; 12:26; 14:20, 21; 16:29; 17:17, 18; 18:17, 24; 19:4, 6; 21:10; 22:11; 24:28, 29; 25:8, 10, 17, 18; 26:18, 19; 27:6, 9, 10, 14, 17; 29:5.


GIVING AND WEALTH
3:27, 28; 11:24, 25; 14:31; 18:16; 19:6, 17; 21:25, 26; 22:9; 28:27; 3:9, 10, 13-16; 8:10, 11, 18-21; 10:2, 4, 15, 16, 22; 11:4, 16, 28; 13:7, 8, 11, 21, 22; 14:4, 20, 23, 24; 15:6, 16, 17, 27; 16:8, 16; 17:8; 18:11; 19:4, 10, 14; 20:14, 21; 21:6, 17, 20; 22:1, 4, 16; 23:4, 5; 24:3, 4; 27:23, 24; 28:8, 19, 20, 22, 25; 30:7-9.


HOME AND PARENTS
3:33; 11:29; 12:7; 14:1, 11; 15:6, 17, 25, 27; 17:1, 2, 17; 18:19; 19:13, 14; 21:9, 12; 24:3, 4; 25:24; 27:8; 29:21; 1:8, 9; 3:1, 2; 4:1-6; 6:20-24; 10:1; 13:1; 15:5, 20; 17:6, 21, 25; 19:13, 14, 26; 20:7, 20; 22:6; 23:22-25; 27:11; 28:7, 24; 29:3, 15; 30:11, 17.


HONOR
3:16, 35; 8:18; 10:7; 11:16; 12:8, 9, 16; 15:33; 18:3, 12; 20:3, 29; 21:21; 22:1, 4; 25:27; 26:1, 8; 27:2, 21; 29:23.


LOVE
3:12; 5:18, 19; 7:18-20; 8:17, 20, 21; 9:8; 10:12; 12:1; 13:24; 14:20; 15:9, 17; 16:7, 13; 17:9, 17, 19; 18:24; 19:8; 21:17; 22:11; 24:17, 18; 25:21, 22; 27:5, 6; 29:3.


ANGER
6:34; 14:17, 29; 15:1, 18; 16:14, 32; 19:11, 19; 21:14; 22:24, 25; 24:17, 18; 27:4; 29:8, 22; 30:33.


POOR AND AFFLICTED
3:34; 10:4, 15; 13:7, 8, 23; 14:20, 21, 31; 15:15; 16:19; 17:5; 18:23; 19:1, 4, 7, 17, 22; 21:13, 17; 22:2, 7, 9, 16, 22, 23; 28:3, 6, 8, 11, 15, 27; 29:7, 13, 14; 30:14; 31:8, 9, 20.


WORK AND LAZINESS
10:4; 12:11, 12; 14:23; 16:26; 18:9; 22:29; 24:27; 27:18; 28:19; 31:13-31; 6:6-11; 10:4, 5, 26; 12:24, 27; 13:4; 15:19; 19:15, 24; 20:4, 13; 21:25, 26; 22:13; 14:30-34; 26:13-16.

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