The purpose of the book of Proverbs is spelled out in its first few verses. Those who read it and heed it will gain wisdom, understanding, insight and the knowledge of what is right, just and fair. These words are helpful for all people — old and especially the young, sages and simpletons, the experienced and the naive. This is a collection of really good advice.
When reading the proverbs, it’s important to recognize that they describe how God designed life to work. They don’t necessarily represent the spiritual equivalent of the law of gravity: hard-and-fast commands and promises that apply to all situations. For example, Proverbs 3:1 – 2 and 4:10 trumpet the power of wise instruction to produce prosperity and long life for those who follow the advice. We know from other portions of Scripture, however, that disaster and death can strike a godly person. So while such statements generally are true, the individual proverbs are not to be interpreted as prophetic guarantees of cause and effect.