A Firm Foundation
It is becoming fashionable these days to hire a life coach. One company whose business is to train such coaches advertises their services like this: “With more and more individuals and business owners experiencing the benefits of being a professional life coach, the word is out. Life coaching really works when you learn the necessary skills that are covered in our life coaching academy.”
King Solomon advertises his life coaching service in the first seven verses of the Book of Proverbs. His proverbs will impart wisdom and instruction that is necessary for understanding words of insight and receiving instruction in prudent behavior. They will lead to doing what is right and just and fair. They will teach the young, but the wise should also listen and add to their learning. Fundamental to all of this is the fear of the Lord as the beginning of knowledge.
Solomon ends his introductory paragraph by telling us the fear of the Lord is to be the underlying principle of our worldview. If we do not have that, we will have a false view of the world. Someone may attend an auto mechanics course and learn to replace an alternator or a fuel injector, but if they do not know the basic principles of the internal combustion engine, could they ever be a good mechanic? We need to know the basic principles of life, fundamentally, the knowledge that God is God and we are not. That is the principle and the foundation of all wisdom. Without that understanding and that acknowledgment, we can never be truly wise.
In Prov. 1:3, Solomon tells us the proverbs are to give us “instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity” (ESV). This is the opposite of impulsiveness. It is wisdom for living the life God intends us to live.
The goal of the Book of Proverbs, then, is to teach us to live wisely and rightly with a correct understanding of God and our relationship to Him. We are to fear the Lord. With that foundation, we can build a sound life if we follow the instructions Solomon gives in his life coaching book.
Prayer: Lord, please give me the wisdom to think and act in a godly way when I come to the decision points of life. Help me to fear You properly and trust you wholly. Help me not to lean on my own understanding but to trust the wisdom You give us in the book of Proverbs because You are God and I am not.