Understanding the Old Testament - Lesson 24


The book of Proverbs, authored primarily by Solomon, is a pinnacle of wisdom literature, embodying the divine gift of wisdom bestowed upon him by God. Solomon was unparalleled in his wisdom, evident in his collection of over 3,000 proverbs and his surpassing understanding. The book is structured with an introductory section followed by seven thematic sections, emphasizing the importance of wisdom in various aspects of life, culminating in the depiction of an excellent wife in the final chapter. The proverbs offer concise insights into righteous living, emphasizing the fear of the Lord as the foundation of wisdom. These sayings, often contrasting wisdom with folly, righteousness with wickedness, guide readers in navigating life's complexities with prudence and discernment. 

Miles Van Pelt
Understanding the Old Testament
Lesson 24
Watching Now

I. Introduction to the Book of Proverbs

A. Background and Authorship

B. Purpose and Context

C. Structure and Composition

II. The Wisdom of Solomon

A. Solomon's Gift of Wisdom

B. Compilation of Proverbs

C. Significance of Solomon's Wisdom

III. Literary Features and Themes

A. Structure of the Book

B. "My Son" Poems

C. Proverbial Sayings and Metaphors

D. Contextual Application of Proverbs

E. Understanding Proverbs as Not Promises

IV. Connection to the Gospel

A. Jesus as the Fulfillment of Wisdom

B. Wisdom Personified in Proverbs and Colossians

C. Practical Application of Proverbs in Life

D. The Paradox of Solomon's Wisdom and Folly

E. Wisdom and Obedience

F. Hope in God's Grace

  • Engage with the Old Testament to grasp its Gospel-centered nature. From Genesis to Ecclesiastes and Psalms, discover foundational truths, wisdom, and insights on suffering. Strengthen your faith and find enduring hope in God's Word.
  • Gain insight into the Old Testament's theological core, centering on Jesus Christ. Explore its diverse genres, languages, and authors, unified by Jesus as its focal point. Understand how biblical evidence supports Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, shaping interpretation.
  • In this lesson, Dr. Miles Van Pelt provides the thematic framework for the Old Testament. The Old Testament's thematic core is the Kingdom of God. Through this lesson, you'll understand its covenantal nature, from pre-temporal arrangements to various administrations like redemption, works, and grace, unveiling God's salvation plan in Christ.
  • Discover the intricate covenantal structure of the Bible, revealing its theological depth and unity, from the division of the Hebrew Bible to its mirroring in the New Testament, all centered around Jesus Christ.
  • Gain insight into the Pentateuch's covenantal structure, Moses' authorship debate, and evidence supporting it. Understand its significance as the foundation of Israel's relationship with God and its relevance for biblical theology.
  • Through this lesson, you will understand the theological, structural, and thematic intricacies of the book of Genesis. You'll grasp its role as a foundational text in both the Old and New Testaments, exploring themes of covenant, creation, fall, redemption, and the fulfillment of promises. You'll gain insights into the genealogical structure of Genesis, its portrayal of key biblical figures like Adam, Noah, and Abraham, and its connection to the overarching narrative of the gospel.
  • Exodus reveals Yahweh's promise—"I will be with you"—unfolding divine presence and covenant. It anticipates Jesus as fulfillment—a better Moses and Tabernacle—ushering in God's eternal presence among humanity.
  • Studying Leviticus unveils the intricate system of laws and rituals at Mount Sinai. It explains sacrificial atonement, priestly consecration, purity laws, and the theme of holiness, prefiguring Jesus as the ultimate priest, sacrifice, and source of holiness.
  • Discover the Book of Numbers' insights on Israel's journey, God's faithfulness, consequences of disobedience, and parallels to Christ, cautioning against questioning God's holiness and emphasizing His desire to dwell among His people through the Holy Spirit.
  • Gain insight into Deuteronomy's covenant renewal for Israel entering Canaan, emphasizing obedience, typology, and its relevance for Christian living.
  • Gain deep insight into the former prophets, exploring themes of Yahweh's faithfulness, Israel's unfaithfulness, and the typological significance of the Mosaic covenant. Understand its relation to the Abrahamic covenant and its fulfillment in the New Covenant under Jesus, revealing God's plan for restoration.
  • Joshua unveils Joshua's leadership, divine promise fulfillment in Canaan, obedience's significance, and Jesus as the ultimate fulfiller of God's promises.
  • Discover the Book of Judges, detailing Israel's history and faith journey. Learn about judges as deliverers from oppression and idolatry, portraying parallels with Christ's ministry. Uncover a pattern of uncreation due to idolatry, emphasizing the need for an eternal judge—Jesus Christ—to save from corruption.
  • In this lesson, Dr. Miles Van Pelt provides insights into the book of Samuel, exploring its characters, themes, and the transition from judgeship to kingship in Israel. Learn of the significance of the Davidic covenant, culminating in Jesus as the ultimate King of Kings.
  • Gain insights into the Book of Kings, revealing its historical and theological significance. Discover the fulfillment of Davidic covenant, reasons for Israel's exile, and anticipation of the new covenant. Recognize Jesus as the ultimate fulfillment of its promises.
  • This lesson reviews latter prophets' insights into Israel's exile for breaking the Mosaic Covenant, the prophetic office's nature, diverse prophecy genres, and the execution of covenant lawsuits, all pointing to God's judgment and hope for restoration.
  • Explore Isaiah's profound prophetic themes, from redemption to impending judgment. Unravel his life and ministry's context, review the debate around authorship, and learn essential tools for study.
  • Enjoy this lesson on Jeremiah, a second Moses figure, and his prophetic message of repentance, redemption, and a new covenant. Explore the book's chiastic structure, historical context, and theological significance, offering hope amidst Judah's fall.
  • Studying Ezekiel reveals its focus on the glory of the Lord and the temple. You learn of Ezekiel's exile, his visions, and themes like covenant theology, creation, and apocalyptic elements, offering profound insights into hope amidst crisis.
  • Discover insights into the minor prophets' diverse genres and themes, from covenant infidelity to divine restoration. Witness Jonah's repentance narrative and prophetic visions culminating in Christ's fulfillment. Embrace Yahweh's justice and compassion, urging Israel's return, leading to Jesus as the ultimate authority.
  • Understand the structure and themes of the Hebrew Bible's writings section. Explore diverse literary forms, intentional divisions mirroring prophets, and the overarching theme of exile and return, illuminating Israel's covenant journey.
  • Discover the depth of the Book of Psalms: 150 songs divided into 5 books, expressing diverse emotions and worship forms. Explore themes, structure, and practical applications for personal devotion and prayer.
  • Gain insights into human suffering and theodicy through Job's trials. Explore themes of faith, resilience, and God's sovereignty amidst adversity. Discover hope in God's incomprehensible sovereignty amid life's trials.
  • Proverbs is a book of timeless wisdom from Solomon, who was gifted by God. By studying this book, you can learn to navigate life with righteousness and discernment, rooted in the fear of the Lord.
  • Journey through Ruth, where redemption, loyalty, and divine providence intertwine. Ruth, a symbol of strength, aligns with Boaz, embodying ancient customs. Their union shapes history, reflecting the enduring legacy of faith amidst life's complexities.
  • Explore the Song of Songs for insights into marriage and intimacy. It navigates the tension between true love and temptation, advocating for unwavering commitment and passionate intimacy, reflecting God's desired relationship. Discover timeless wisdom for modern-day love and marriage.
  • Ecclesiastes reveals life's futility without God, emphasizing the necessity of fearing Him. Through Solomon's wisdom, it prompts reflection on divine purpose amid existential questions.
  • In Lamentations, mourn the fall of Jerusalem and exile, finding hope in God's sovereignty.
  • The book of Esthers contains themes of providence, hiddenness of God, and faithfulness in exile. You will uncover the intricacies of Esther and Mordecai's roles in the deliverance of the Jewish people, as well as the establishment of the festival of Purim. This study will equip you with insights into how God's providence operates amidst human events, even when His presence may seem concealed, and how faithfulness in exile can lead to unexpected outcomes of deliverance and restoration.
  • Through this lesson on the book of Daniel, you'll gain insights into its structure, themes of faithfulness in exile, comparisons with Joseph, and its significance for understanding apocalyptic literature, providing a comprehensive understanding of God's sovereignty and care for His people.
  • Explore Ezra and Nehemiah for insights into post-exilic restoration, intertwining faith, governance, and cultural renewal. These books point towards a deeper longing for true and lasting restoration and echo themes found in apocalyptic literature such as the book of Revelation.
  • The Book of Chronicles traces Israel's history, emphasizing kingship, priesthood, and divine selection. It anticipates restoration, pointing to Jesus as the ultimate priest-king who fulfills God's promises.

Understanding the Old Testament 
Dr. Miles Van Pelt
Lesson Transcript

We're continuing our lectures through the writings, the third section of the Hebrew Bible, and now we come to the book of Proverbs. The book of Proverbs is the third book in the writings and it's a collection of wisdom literature compiled and composed primarily by Solomon, the third and final king of the United Monarchy, the son of David. Solomon was famous for his wisdom and to be understood as a gift from God. That is, Solomon's wisdom was not something that he intellectually achieved, it was something that God gave to him. 

In terms of context then, let's consider 1 Kings 3 verses 9, and following that talks about Solomon's gift of wisdom because that's going to paint a picture for us of how we understand the collection of Proverbs. This is when the Lord appears to Solomon in the first dream and Solomon asks for wisdom and God says, "You can have anything you want. Here's how Solomon responds, give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people that I may discern between good and evil for who can govern this great people of yours? It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this and God said to him, because you have asked this and have not asked for a long life or riches or the life of your enemies but have asked for understanding to discern what is right, behold I now do to you according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you." This means that God made Solomon wiser than all who had gone before him and yet wiser than all who would come after him. That's a pretty remarkable statement. Therefore, the works of Solomon are to be understood and conceived of as the height of wisdom literature, both past and present and future.

We know that in the context of his wisdom and wise dealings, he excelled in the collection and production of wisdom literature. So he didn't just compose it, he imported it and used it. We find this in 1 Kings 4:29 and following where it says, "God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure and breadth of mind like the sand of the seashore so that Solomon's wisdom surpassed all the wisdom of the people of the east and all of the wisdom of Egypt." So think about the east, Babylon, Assyria, and Edom, and then down to the southwest Egypt. "For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezraite and Heman and Calchol and Darda the sons of Mahol and his fame was in all of the surrounding nations. He also spoke 3,000 proverbs and his songs were 1,005. He spoke of trees from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts and of birds and of reptiles and of fish and people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon and from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom. Chapter 10 of 1 Kings, thus Solomon excelled all of the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom and the whole earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom which God had imparted to him."

So here we have the collection of the proverbs collected by the wisest man in the world and he wrote over 3,000 of them and there are not that many in the book of proverbs. So we have the best of the best of the best both in terms of what Solomon wrote and in terms of what Solomon collected. So Proverbs falls in the category of wisdom literature and we talked about the definition of wisdom literature in our study of Job but it bears repeating because it will apply to this book, it will apply to Ecclesiastes, and it will apply to the Song of Songs, so I'm just going to give it to you one more time. Biblical wisdom literature as you'll see on your screen teaches God's people how to live in God's world according to God's truth revealed to us both in creation and Scripture. In other words, it is designed to help us understand how to live and think in light of the covenant of grace in the context of common grace that sustains this fallen world in which we now live.It is helpful for us to think of the Book of Proverbs as a collection of wisdom sayings in light of this definition. 

It follows an opening introduction and then there are seven sections that climax with instruction on an excellent wife. We can see in this outline on your screen that there is an introduction to Proverbs 1:1 to 7 and then seven sections and then the super conclusion with excellent wife. So we have in number 1, 15 "my son" wisdom poems in chapters 1:8 to the end of chapter 9. That is there are 15 poems where a father and a mother address the student as a my son kind of thing and are trying to impart instruction to their son. So it's portrayed in the context of a family environment. 

Then in the second section, we get from Proverbs 10 to 22 all of those little proverbial sayings that Solomon would have written or collected over his lifetime. They're usually just one verse long. Oftentimes they're related to the proverbs around them but they don't always have to be. This is followed by a section called Words of the Wise, something perhaps that Solomon collected followed by more Words of the Wise the superscript before it in chapter 24.

All right so we have Solomon's sayings and the things he collected. This is followed by the proverbs of Solomon that Hezekiah and the men of his court recollected and added to this corpus. It appears that they had more of Solomon's work and thought it to be worthy of inclusion in the book of Proverbs.

The Book of Proverbs concludes with the words of Agur and the words of King Lemuel who was not an Israelite king and the words his mother taught him. And we see here that the book concludes with the account of the wife of a noble character or the excellent wife. It's called the wife of strength, the Eshet Chayil in Hebrew.

Proverbs 31 begins, "A wife of strength who can find," and then it details that particular accounting. One of the things I like about the placement of this last acrostic poem the wife of noble character is that it accords with the nature of the creation order. In Genesis chapter 2 God creates the man first and it says it's not good that he's alone right then he creates all the animals and there was no helper found suitable for him right and then he creates the woman and he says, ah boy this is the one bone of my bone flesh of my flesh. What's interesting about this is then that the one thing that brings the creation of day six from not good to very good in the accounting of the literature is the creation of the woman. Man in the garden with all the animals in the presence of Yahweh is not good until the woman comes. We know that wisdom literature is rooted in creation and therefore the climax of wisdom is to get a good wife just like the climax of creation is the creation of a good wife. So we can see that connection there. 

Interestingly some of the best poems in the book of Proverbs are these 15 "my son" poems and they're detailed here for you in this particular text and you can see their versification and how they they go. The basic gist is this there are two ways the way of wisdom and the way of folly and oftentimes in these there's a woman who is wisdom and a woman who is folly and they are both enticing. The father and the mother are trying to encourage the son and to teach the son that the way of wisdom or lady wisdom is better than lady folly. So it's contained in that in that particular order right there. Let's go over the introduction a little bit before we talk about some of these 15 "my son" poems. 

The first seven verses in the book of Proverbs constitute the introduction of the book as a whole.

 It's like a little mini prologue. In verse one of chapter one we read this, "The Proverbs of Solomon the son of David the king of Israel." So he's the third king of the monarchy and the last king of the united monarchy.In verses two through six we get the purpose of the collection of the book of Psalms. It is to "receive instruction in wise dealings in righteousness justice and equity to give prudence to the simple knowledge and discretion to the youth let the wise ear hear and increase in learning and the one who understands obtain guidance to understand a proverb and a saying the words of the wise and their riddles." So the purpose of the collection of Proverbs is to grant wisdom to the younger people who seek it. This is followed in verse seven by the first principle of wisdom the motto here is the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Fools despise wisdom and instruction the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Fools despise wisdom and instruction. 

The fear of the Lord appears in Ecclesiastes as that governing principle throughout the book. At least 21 times in Proverbs wisdom and knowledge are characterized as the fear of the Lord. That is true wisdom true knowledge always begins with the fear of the Lord. This puts wisdom and conversely folly in a theological context. To be wise one must fear God. The idea of fear is not to be understood as terror on the one hand or mere respect on the other. Rather to fear God means to acknowledge your subordinate and dependent place in the universe. The creator-creature contrasts its reverence and awe and worship and submission to the one who made us in the context of the world he made for us. 

As we said earlier there are 15 "my son" poems that constitute chapters one through five which a father as a teacher with a mother instructs his son on the value and importance of the way of wisdom as opposed to folly. These poems include three basic parts listen. Number one is an introductory exhortation including a call to hear or pay attention followed by a reason to pay attention to this instruction so pay attention because it's going to benefit you in this way. 

The second part is the lesson or the object of teaching and the third part offers a conclusion describing the consequences for the sun hearing the lesson. 

Proverbs 3:1 to 10 is a good example of this so we're going to see the exhortation and the reason for the lesson and the conclusion. So I'll begin with Proverbs 3 verse 1 which begins like this "My son my son do not forget my teaching but keep my commands in your heart for they will prolong your life many years and bring peace and bring peace and prosperity." Notice there's the call to hear and the reason the call to hear. "Do not forget my teaching but keep my commands in your heart why for they will prolong your life for many years and bring you peace and prosperity." So, what's the lesson? "Let love and faithfulness never leave you bind them around your neck write them on the tablet of your heart then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him and he will make your path straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring wealth to your body and nourishment to your soul. Honor the lord with your whole wealth with the first fruits of all your crops then the benefit your barns will be filled to overflowing and your vats will brim over. 

All right there's the benefit of it. Nourishment of the body and economic prosperity, so you'll be healthy, wealthy, and wise that kind of thing. That's how that works. 

Nine chapters or 15 poems have that same threefold structure so you can outline every one of them and that's the way you can study them and teach them. What is the lord calling me to do, why is he calling me to do it, and what are the benefits of it? And if you know that structure then you know how to work with those first nine chapters of the Book of Proverbs. 

After we encounter the 15 "My Son" poems in the first nine chapters of Proverbs, the rest of the book of Proverbs chapters 10 through 31, the bulk, is comprised of short concise sayings that offer observations warnings prohibitions, and encouragements. Typically these proverbial sayings are just two lines but sometimes three lines and even longer. There are longer speeches resembling discourses but these are relatively rare among this group. 

Here are some examples for us. Proverb 16:1, The plans of the heart belong to God (line one) but the answer of the tongue is from the lord (line two). All the ways of man are pure in his eyes (line one) but the lord weighs the spirit (line two). So you get kind of a statement and then a but statement that relates to it. 

Proverbs 16:3, Commit your work to the lord and your plans will be established. So this is the two lines things poetic contrast by antithesis which is very common. In Proverbs, you've got the antithesis of wisdom and folly, righteousness and wickedness, life and death, blessing and curses. These are the two ways that the mother and father in the first nine chapters are talking about. There's the way of wisdom and folly, the way of righteousness and the wicked, the way of life and death, blessing and curse. 

Consider something like Proverbs 10:11, The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked. So notice that poetry like this loves to employ metaphors like the fountain of life. You're going to see a lot of metaphorical language in the book of Proverbs and you'll have to figure out what that's meaning. 

Some proverbs are only contextually true, that is not true all the time. And the wise person knows when to apply them. So for example remember in the book of Job. Job's friends were saying wise and true things but they didn't apply correctly to Job's situation so you've got to know when to apply wisdom to a context. Part of being wise and skillful is knowing when to apply truth to a particular situation in a wise way. So consider this for contextual wisdom. Proverbs 26:4-5. a classic one, Don't answer fools according to their stupidity otherwise you'll become like them yourself. Answer fools according to their stupidity otherwise, they'll become wise in their own eyes. You have to know when to do that. It takes a sage who's able to read people and situations to know which of these two is rightly applied. So truth is truth but the application of truth is a wise skill. That's what Proverbs teaches us. 

It's a joy for a person to answer, how good a word is at the right time. So it's good to speak at the right time Proverbs 15:23. But Proverbs 27:15, those who bless their neighbors with a loud voice in the early morning will it will be considered a curse to them. I'm happy and chipper in the morning, but my wife is tired so I get this verse. Those who speak to their wife in the morning happily becomes a curse to the one to whom it's spoken. So this is wise living. Keep your mouth shut, Miles, before eight o'clock. 

And finally, just by way of introductory observation here, it's very important to understand that proverbs are not promises. A proverb does not give a guarantee in life. Rather it indicates the best reason and the best path to a desired end. An illustration is provided by Proverbs 22:6 a proverb often cited by young parents as a promise, Train up youth in his path then when they age they will not depart from it. Bruce Waltke states it is wrong to treat proverbs as guaranteeing health wealth and prosperity for wise behavior and failure and ultimately death for foolish behavior. Why? Because we live in a fallen world, the best plans of a man can meet the corruption of the world around them in ways we do not know. We know that parents labor correctly to train children in the way they should go and they often depart from it. You can have a family of four children and two of them can wisely follow the Lord and two of them can take the path of folly and you parent all four in the same way. But this is a general principle to train up a child in the way they should go and they will not depart from it. Don't despise discipline. 

So the book of Proverbs offers a lot. It's perhaps one of the more practical books in the Old Testament. That's one of the reasons I think things like Proverbs and Psalms and stuff like that are very common because they give us the praise of God who's transcendent, but they also tell us how to live in this world wisely. So it's very practical.

How do we understand the book of Proverbs as the gospel promised beforehand? As we close out this lecture we know this, that as wise as Solomon was and as great as he was there's someone greater than Solomon. Matthew 12:42, Jesus said the queen of the south will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom and now one greater than Solomon is here. Jesus is the true and better wisdom teacher. Jesus is the true and better wisdom himself. Many see this connection when comparing Proverbs 8:22 to 31 with Colossians 1:22 to 31. Let's get to that in a minute. 

First Corinthians 1:24 says Jesus is the power of God and the very wisdom of God. Amazingly, Proverbs 8:22 to 23 and 30 says this, "The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work the first of his acts of old ages ago I was set up at the first before the beginning of the earth. Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day rejoicing in his presence always." So here wisdom is presented as the skillful and joyful instrument of the father's creation of the universe. Well, think of what it says then in Colossians 1:15 and 16, "that he (that is Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation for by him all things were created in heaven and on earth visible and is invisible whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things were created through him and by him." 1 Corinthians 1:24,"Jesus is the power of God and the wisdom of God." Van Gemmeren writes, "God's wisdom is made visible in humans when they reflect the light and life of Jesus Christ on earth." I'll conclude with James 3:17 to 18, "But the wisdom that is from heaven is first pure then peaceable gentle open to reason full of mercy and good fruit impartial and sincere and a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." This is a very apt description of the earthly life of Jesus. 

The book of Proverbs is about how we live well in this world that God has given us according to his word and according to his world and we would do well to heed the instructions of this book. 

If Solomon was the wisest person who's ever lived why did his life end up in such shambles? That’s a really good question. The question is if Solomon was so wise, how in the end do you live like such a fool? One way to answer that is in Ecclesiastes 2, where Solomon tests himself with all manners of pleasure and folly to see their value under the sun. So here's what it says and this is Ecclesiastes chapter 2, "I said to myself that (this is King Solomon), come now I’ll test you with pleasure to find out what is good but that also to prove that also proved to be meaningless. Laughter, I said is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish? I see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives." So notice that he's engaging in all of this maybe unwise activity but the text says my mind is still guiding me with wisdom. The gift was not taken away amid his folly. It continues, "I undertook great projects. I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also own more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself and a treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers and a harem as well," which means it was the greatest harem of all time. We know that was what brought him to his demise in the end. "I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me but in all this my wisdom stayed with me so the text records in Ecclesiastes."

This kind of strange reality that amid Solomon's corruption he still maintained his wisdom. Now an example of that is this in my interpretation of the Song of Songs, Solomon is the villain. There's a woman taken into Solomon's harem and she's offered all the delights of harem life, luxury ease, and prestige. Solomon is the richest the wisest the most famous man in the world and she can be a part of that. She can be a part of that system in a world where death, hunger, and famine are ravaging the world at times. Does that make sense? And so she was enticed. She was offered two ways, the way of life the way of wisdom, and the way of folly the way of death. Solomon in this represents folly and the woman represents wisdom. Solomon experienced that this woman had true love, and even though he didn't experience it he was able by his wisdom because he has the greatest wisdom of all to write about it to explain that he had seen something amazing. I think that's what's going on there. 

So I guess we could say it this way, that wisdom does not always include obedience. Does that make sense? Wisdom does not always or at least provoke obedience. As an example, I had a friend in high school who was wise beyond his years. I was always impressed by this teenage kid who was just so wise and so kind of level-headed and that kind of business, but in the end, he walked away from the Lord later in his life. I thought, how can someone so wise walk away from the lord and he's still wise today? I mean everything he puts his hand to prospers, and it just drives me crazy. I sometimes wonder, why do the wicked prosper? 

It brings me to the conclusion, that wisdom does not equal obedience but wisdom can train obedience. Does that make sense? I think that's the answer. As someone who's trying to be obedient, you can learn from wisdom what to do and what not to do. It’s like what we do with the law of God. We’re no longer under the law for justification but if we're wise we can look at the law and say wow this is a holy God and it'll be helpful for me to live in this way. So that kind of thing is one of the the toughest questions in the world to answer, especially with someone like Solomon. Because you know when Solomon was born to David and Bathsheba, and Solomon’s name means reconciliation, it's from the word shalom, the Lord loved him so much that he immediately renamed Solomon Jedediah, beloved of Yahweh. But he's never called that ever again he's the only person in the Bible to be renamed by the Lord and to never go by that name, which says something about it that there's some implicit reality to that. I guess we're asking the question when we see Solomon in heaven. I’m hoping so because truly you know the corruption of Solomon is no greater than my corruption at the end of the day. I’m saved by grace in the same particular way.