Daily Devotional: Proverbs -Promises or Probabilities

by Ken Barnes  



These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel. Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. 
(Proverbs 1:1-2 NLT)

What is the purpose of the proverbs of Solomon, King of Israel?  Are they promises or probabilities?

Proverbs is a book of wisdom or insights that if you apply, you will usually receive the desire results, but not always.  When I hear a Proverb taught as a promise, I shudder. Someone is going to be disappointed.

Proverb 22:4 NLT, True humility, and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life.  Does that mean if we walk in humility and fear of the Lord, we will always be wealthy?  It means that if exhibit these characteristics you will be faithful in what you do and God will generally bless you, but not always? 

What about the Church in Macedonia which was praised by Paul in I Corinthians 8 for their generosity when they were experiencing deep poverty?  Did they not get the memo that they were supposed to be prosperous?  There was no memo because the result of humility and the fear of the Lord varies according to the circumstance or the people involved.  It is a probability, not a promise.

What about a long life?  Of course, if you look at your body as the temple of the Holy Spirit, you are not going to abuse it and you will probably live longer, but even with righteous living longevity is not a given.  Most of the Disciples' lives were shortened by martyrdom.

Interpret the Proverbs as instructions in wisdom not or you will end up disappointed and in contradiction to the whole counsel of God.



I worked for seventeen years as a missionary with Youth With A Mission. My missionary work has taken me to Mexico, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Spain, and Ukraine. I hold a Masters of Education in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Commonwealth University. kenbarnes737@gmail.com








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