This is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I am focusing in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each week I will post a summary page with some thoughts about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection. Click here to sign up if you want to join us at any point along the journey! Click here to see where we’ve been so far!
The Big Picture of Proverbs:
Proverbs is one of three books we consider part of the “wisdom literature” in the Bible, along with Job and Ecclesiastes. Solomon who we met earlier in Scripture is the author of most of them. Having been known as the wisest man on earth, it seems he might have some wise ideas for how we as humans can best live in this world. Throughout the book we often see a contrast given between a wise life and a fool’s life. The first nine chapters give somewhat of an introduction to the book and the rest are filled with short phrases or poems that help us understand and live life well.
Themes in Proverbs:
One study Bible I own has does a great job of laying out some main themes throughout the book of Proverbs in a way that I found helpful. It uses 5 main themes and then gives examples of sub-themes within them. Here are a few examples for each that might be helpful.
- The Commands of God (4:1-4, 6:20-23, 29:18, 30:5)
- How God sees man (5:21, 16:2,7, 20:24)
- What God loves (11:1, 15:9, 16:11, 14:31)
- Adversity (3:25-26, 17:17, 18:14, 24:16)
- Happiness (3:13, 15:23, 24:17, 29:18)
- Humility vs Pride (11:2, 15:33, 22:4, 27:1-2)
- Spiritual and Physical Health (4:20-22, 14:30, 18:14, 25:25)
- Friendship (17:9, 18:24, 19:6, 27:6)
- Parents and Children (14:26, 19:18, 22:6, 15)
- Quarrels (3:30-31, 10:12, 17:14, 25:8-9)
- Envy (6:34, 14:30, 21:25-26, 28:16)
- Generosity and Greed (3:9, 3:27-28, 19:17, 21:26)
- Security (1:33, 3:9-10, 4:13, 13:6)
- Wealth vs Poverty (6:10-11, 11:4, 20:21, 22:1-2, 4)
- Faithfulness (11:13, 20:6, 25:13,19, 28:20)
- Hope and Mercy (13:23, 18:13,17, 21:15, 22:28)
- Justice (12:17-22, 13:5, 16:6, 20:17)
- Good vs Evil (1:10-19, 11:3-5, 14:14, 25:21-22)
A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:
Some of us are planning to read through the whole book each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse. Since Psalms is so long we’re dividing it up over three weeks. This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verse, pick any section of the book you want! These are just some ideas.
- “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:33)
REFLECTION: What do you need to put in God’s hands today?
- “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” (Proverbs 16:24)
REFLECTION: Where have you been using less-than-gracious words lately and maybe need to ask for forgiveness? How can you speak life into those around you this week?
- “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.“ (Proverbs 9:9)
REFLECTION: What is one way you can continue to grow and learn this week even in something you’re already pretty good at?
- “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline. (Proverbs 1:7)
REFLECTION: How can you go throughout this week in awe and reverence of our God?
Some Other Resources:
- The Bible Project summary video of Proverbs
- A Second Bible Project video of Proverbs
- A Pinterest board with resources and pictures for Proverbs
- The 66 in 52 Schedule and Tracking Sheet
So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse and settle in this week, or read through the whole book. If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!