30 Wise Sayings

Read: Proverbs 22:17 – 24:22

In many Bibles there is a section in Proverbs 22-24 that has the title “Thirty Sayings of the Wise.” All Bibles are not sectioned off the same way and in searching through several I realized that some do not have this particular heading at the beginning of Proverbs 22:17. It is a reminder that through the ages the words of scripture have not changed but they have been translated, organized and numbered to make them easier to read and easier to turn to specific passages. Most of the chapters and verses of the Bible were added in the 1400’s and 1500’s.

The book of Proverbs is one of those books of the Bible that can be divided up in many different ways. The short concise nuggets of wisdom and direction are not written in a certain flowing manner. For some this makes it harder to read, but others find it refreshing. In some ways Proverbs is the Bible’s version of twitter, most of the sayings actually are 140 characters or less.

In verse 17 of Proverbs 22 these 30 sayings begin with…. “Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips.” In this world of constant media and information it is important for us to weed out the wise council from the unwise council. Not everything that is stated on Facebook and Twitter is true. Some of them are opinions, some are facts, some are rumors, and others are just folly.

As followers of Jesus we need to be careful to discern the wise direction from the folly. The way that we do that is by testing it with God’s Word. Our culture will not always lead us down the path that God has for us, in fact our culture will often tempt us to try alternate paths. That is not new of course, it is why Solomon wrote these wise sayings in the first place. He wanted others to learn from his mistakes.

Saying 12 in Proverbs 23:12 says, “Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.” That is great council in a world that is filled with so many opinions and worldviews. It is also a wonderful reminder of why we need to be engaged in God’s Word each and every day. God has helpful instruction for us and wonderful words of knowledge that keep us headed down the straight and narrow path.

Make it personal: As you watch the news on T.V., listen to talk radio, and read various books and magazines, test everything you see and hear with the words of Jesus and the Word of God. Don’t be led astray by opinions that are in direct conflict with God and his plan and purpose for us as his followers.

Have a great week, Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church