Several years ago, I challenged myself to read one chapter from the book of Proverbs every day of the month for twelve months.
Yep, a whole year.
Each month, I changed the translation (or version) of the Bible. I read King James, English Standard, New American, the Russian translation (I’m Russian), and even the Passion version of the Bible. I went through twelve different versions for an entire year! With every translation, there were newfound golden nuggets of wisdom that changed my life for the better.
I can confidently say I became wiser since, and simultaneously that I need more wisdom than ever.
Wisdom is something we should constantly get throughout our lives. There’s no destination in wisdom. If there was, we wouldn’t be human and we wouldn’t need God. Proverbs 25:2 says, It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the honor of kings is to search out a matter. Searching matters out and asking questions is part of our human nature, and it is our honor (or glory, as some translations say) to search things out. We get wisdom from doing so.
King Solomon did us a great service in asking God for wisdom (2 Chronicles 1:10) and collecting some of these proverbs in a book that is included in the Bible. However, this doesn’t mean that we bypass our relationship with God. Like Solomon, we can also ask God for wisdom. James 5:1 says, but if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
I’m so grateful for this kind of access to wisdom. Every time I read Proverbs (and the Bible, in general), and no matter how many times I read the same passage, new angles and perspectives appear. I encourage you to try it!
The Bible is one of God’s ways of giving wisdom to us. Although the Bible’s historical and cultural contexts don’t always make sense to us, it’s still important to continue reading and studying it to know God better. Along with the Bible, we have a Truth-Teller with us, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth (John 16:13), helps, teaches, and brings the words of Jesus to our memory (John 14:26). It is important to lean on Him for understanding always.
One more thing before we dive into the challenge. The most interesting thing that happened when I read through Proverbs for an entire year was that, by the seventh or eighth month, I recognized the Gospel in it. This was such a profound experience for me. I still ponder it and continue to study this to wrap my mind and heart around it. (Hopefully, I’ll share it with you soon! But in the meantime, see what you can find.)
The book of Proverbs does exactly what it promises in chapter one. Like any good book, Proverbs starts with a layout of what anyone who reads it can expect. Chapter one, verses 1-7, gives us nine reasons for reading it:
- To know wisdom and instruction,
- To discern the sayings of understanding,
- To receive instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice, and integrity;
- To give prudence to the naive,
- To give the youth knowledge and discretion,
- A wise person will hear and increase in learning,
- A person of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
- To understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.
- The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
I’m excited to share what’s on my heart for each of these points and to expound on them, but for now, I want to draw our attention to the ninth point. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
One of my favorite commentaries has a quote which says, If true wisdom can be simply gained by human effort, energy, and ingenuity (like the rare and precious metals of the earth), then the fear of the LORD is not essential to obtaining wisdom. But if it comes from God’s revelation, then right relationship with Him is the key to wisdom.
Our relationship with God is a step towards wisdom. When we turn to Him for every single thing, He extends His hand and helps. He provides, comforts, loves, and gives us peace beyond all understanding. If you don’t have a relationship with Him, maybe reading through Proverbs can help jumpstart that.
The beauty about reading Proverbs for 31 days is we can start and pause at anytime. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs which can correlate to the days in a month. When we skip or miss a day, we can go on to the next chapter the next day, and come around to the missed chapter next month (or sooner if we want to). I would extend the challenge of reading through multiple translations for a year, but that can get overwhelming. So, start small and try it for 31 days.
You can come back to this post and click on this link to find more posts about Proverbs. I will provide insights, perspectives, and revelations on specific chapters based on the day of the month, starting with Proverbs chapter six on February 6th, 2023.
Take the challenge, you won’t be disappointed!
8 Reading Tips:
- Trust God and don’t lean on your own understanding. The Holy Spirit leads us into truth and sometimes that doesn’t look like what we expect, but what we need.
- Read the chapter in Proverbs that corresponds with the day’s date. Choose a consistent time which you can commit to for the next 31 days (I prefer mornings). If you miss a day, keep going. Meditate on what you read last time and how you can be more diligent next time. Move on to the next chapter the next day.
- While reading the chapter, highlight or mark the verses that stand out to you. Choose a writing utensil to highlight, mark, or write what stands out for you. It could be specific verses, themes, or topics throughout that chapter. Just be sure to take at least one thing to meditate on.
- After reading the chapter, write the verse or verses that stood out to you and rehearse them a few times in your head to get familiar with them. TIP: it’s helpful to share what stands out to you with a friend. Hearing yourself talk about it helps your memory later on. Remember, words have power!
- Take a few moments to meditate on these verses and ask yourself and God why they stood out to you, and if you have time, write about your experience.
- Take this wisdom into your day – throughout the day, think back to these verses and reflect on them.
- Tomorrow, do it all over again…for the next 4 weeks/31 days.
- Share a comment to tell me and others how you choose to take on the challenge. Encourage others by sharing your story and experience reading through Proverbs. And as always, feedback and conversation are welcome.
REMINDER: You can come back to this post and click on this link to find more posts about Proverbs. I will provide insights, perspectives, and revelations on specific chapters based on the day of the month, starting with Proverbs chapter six on February 6th, 2023. You can also subscribe to get these posts in your inbox.
I can’t wait to hear about the wisdom God gives you!