Verse 2- wisdom and discipline are explained to be two primary virtues that highlight the purpose of Proverbs. They frame the prologue by ending verse 7 in these two words. Gaining wisdom is not what we typically believe it to be – being smart and attaining lots of knowledge. No. Wisdom includes the skill in living, following God’s design, how he wants us to live. This wisdom is more valuable than silver or Gold (3:13-14).
Verse 3 – Prudence means good judgment or good sense. This verse follows on from verse 2 by clearly telling us how God wants us to live. It is only through attaining wisdom that we can live a disciplined and prudent life doing what is right and just and fair. This is what Proverbs is trying to teach us, and help us learn. This is its purpose.
Verse 4 – Proverbs is also designed to give prudence to the simple. Do you know what is meant by “simple”? Simple refers to those who are easily persuaded and who lack judgment, are immature, inexperienced and naïve. (It is repeated 15 times in Proverbs). Fall into that category? I know I do, most definitely! I have no experience of the world I am stepping into, and Proverbs gives us that knowledge and wisdom. This fits into the other half of this verse – knowledge and discretion to the young.
Verse 5 – Proverbs is designed to help everyone gain wisdom. This verse encourages those with wisdom to build on their knowledge, and not ignore its teachings. Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance. The message of Proverbs should therefore not be held back from anyone, as it is, simply put, the blue print for living a life pleasing to the Lord.
Verse 7 – Fear of the Lord is primarily the theme of the book. But many misinterpret it as being afraid and fearful of the Lord literally. However fearing the Lord means having a loving reverence for Him. This includes submission to his Lordship and to the commands of His word and teachings. Living like this is how we attain knowledge and wisdom as we are placing God in the center of our lives, ensuring that we please him (loving the Lord). The warning at the end of the verse but fools despise wisdom and discipline translates into those seeking their own will, placing themselves as number one and are complacent. They are fools as they turn their backs on eternal life and all the glory and riches in living a life in service to the Lord.