Friday, September 26, 2014

Book Review: Proverbs, Wisdom that Works

Proverbs, Wisdom that Works, Preaching the Word
by Raymond C. Ortlund Jr.

This is a very good commentary to read on Proverbs. When I first bought this book, I didn't think to check how the author would manage a preaching commentary on a book with proverbs scattered across the book.

Ortlund did a marvelous job by handling it by topics, only that he was not able to cover them all.

The topics are:
1   Why the Book of Proverbs Matters
2   Let’s Begin (1:1–7)
3   Violence !(1:8–19)
4   A Storm Is Coming (1:20–33)
5   How We Can Grow (2:1–22)
6   The Wisdom That Helps Us (3:1–8)
7   Wisdom at the Extremes of Life (3:9–12)
8   Why Wisdom Matters, What Wisdom Creates (3:13–35)
9   The Only Path into Life (4:1–27)
10   Bitter Honey and Sweet Water (5:1–23)
11   Responsibility, Opportunity, Unity (6:1–19)
12   Why Our Sexuality Matters to God (6:20—7:27)
13   The Worldview of Wisdom (8:1–36)
14   It’s Decision Time (9:1–18)
15   The Tongue (18:21)
16   Humility (22:4)
17   Family (22:6)
18   Emotions (15:30)
19   Friendship (18:24)
20   Money (10:22)
21   Life and Death (12:28)

One of the most important thing about this book is how he centers the message on the Gospel of Christ. Ortlund says, "It leads us to Christ. If you look for him here, you will find him."

For now, Chapter 19 on friendship is extremely relevant and timely for me. This is one I will revisit very soon.

And here are some great quotes from the book:
Life is a journey, and the end of it all is not just a place but also a condition.

Through the book of Proverbs, God coaches us in the wisdom we need throughout the long and complicated path of our everyday lives.

We need wisdom to fill in the blanks moment by moment, and God gives us his wisdom in the book of Proverbs.

However we are suffering, our real business is with Christ. He is saying to us here in his Word, “Come to me. Deal with me. I am able to restore you out of your past failings and defend you for the future. Hurl yourself at me in all your need. I will give myself to you in all my grace. My wisdom will enter your heart in ways you’ve never known before.”

Wherever you turn in the Bible, remind yourself, “God has a blessing for me here.” Never dismiss a single verse. Even if you don’t understand it, you can still say, “I don’t understand this yet, but I will not despise it. I will not dismiss it as irrelevant or archaic. This book is Jesus speaking to me, every word of it.


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