As I state in a previous post on the book of Proverbs, Three Keys to Understanding Proverbs, on the surface, the book of Proverbs seems to be just a collection of wise, pithy sayings on, admittedly significant topics, but that could be viewed as good advice that could be found or offered anywhere--or least, a lot of different places.
But of course, even that surface reading (or, more, likely, a surface pulling out of just random proverbs) would paint a false picture, for the book of Proverbs is God saturated and based upon a God-centered worldview. This is true in particular for the first nine chapters of Proverbs, which is essential for understanding how to use and view chapters 10 through the end of the book.
The book of Proverbs also is seemingly devoid of any kind of references to Christ and any direct prophecies of him. This charge is probably true. However, Jesus himself (Luke 24:27f) and the New Testament writers in the way that they used the Old Testament clearly saw that Jesus was the hermeneutical lens through which Scripture was to be viewed. And when we look at the book of Proverbs through our understanding of Christ and the fuller redemptive story, we can see that there are typological and theological links to Jesus ALL throughout Proverbs.
Walking through some of the book of Proverbs, here are some of the Christ and redemption themes that can be applied to this book to give us a richer, fuller understanding of the godly wisdom.
(Note: I am indebted to Old Testament professor Dr. Glenn Pemberton for helping me understand and appreciate the Wisdom literature (including Proverbs) and of the "First Testament" in its own right, to historical theology professor Dr. John Mark Hicks for some theological insights on Proverbs, numerous articles, and to especially to Johnathan Akins excellent book on "Preaching Christ from Proverbs.")
Search this site for a topic or message illustration or click on the categories below!
Dr. James Nored (Doctor of Ministry, Fuller Theological Seminary) is a preacher, evangelist, church consultant, writer, and missional leader located in Fairfax, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C.
Could Good Preaching/Storytelling Bring Happiness?
The Power of Threes in Rhetoric
If Your Sermon Does Not Contain These Two Things, It Will Fall Flat
Why No One Watches Your Sermon Online--and 3 Ways How to Change This