(this transcript has been lightly edited for readability)
You know, most people look at the Proverbs and see only law and principle. It's just like, here's a whole set of God's rules, and just get out there and obey Him. And so, this next theme is really important; it is that the Proverbs really unpacks for us the operation of God's grace. Proverbs brims with God's grace. I think there's probably few Bible students who, if you asked, “Where would you go to learn about the grace of God,” would say, “Oh, go to Proverbs, that's where.” I've never heard anybody say that.
But there's a way in which that's true. Every warning of the Proverbs is a grace, every morsel of understanding that's imparted is a grace, every practical guidance is a grace, every moral encouragement is a grace. You could argue that the fact that Proverbs is even in our Bible is a glorious grace of God. This is God unpacking things only He would ever know as Creator and Sovereign and Savior that we would not know yet we desperately need. This is God warning us away from danger. So the very existence of the Proverbs in Scripture tells you that your God is a God of sweet, faithful, never-changing grace! And for thousands of years, God's people have been rescued by what's on the pages of Proverbs. How beautiful is that!
But there is more. If you begin to walk through Proverbs, asking yourself the question, “What do I learn as I go through the Proverbs about how God's grace operates?” You'll be amazed. You know, it makes me a bit sad that I think as much as we throw around this word, people don't really understand grace. They think of grace as that moment when God opens our hearts and draws us to Himself in our conversion. When I talk about grace in everyday life, like grace to a parent, they often think it just means being nice, being permissive. Grace never calls wrong right; if wrong were right, there would be no need for grace. And so, grace really does need unpacking, it needs definition.
I think we’re confused by about how grace operates. So, here's the Proverbs, here are the things that you see grace doing in Proverbs. Grace illumines; it sheds light on things that would be darkened to us apart from this grace. Grace rescues; you see, we’re just being rescued all over in the Proverbs. Grace forgives; there's redemption in Proverbs. Grace empowers, grace protects, grace promises, grace delivers, grace warns, grace transforms, grace is generous, grace is patient, grace is angry with sin, grace comforts, grace meets the simple, grace continues to meet the wise and mature. Grace is so full of needed things; none of us will ever outgrow grace!
I’m going to challenge you to do something. I want to challenge you to go to the Proverbs and search for God's grace. See all the ways that grace operates, displayed on the page in Proverbs, and realize here it’s not just a portrait of God's wisdom, it’s a portrait of our Savior and His love for us, His deliverance, His promises, His power, and that He is leading us to a final victory that only grace could accomplish!