(this transcript has been lightly edited for readability)
Well, I'm happy to say that since I have said that every Proverb is rooted in the Law of God; I'm happy to say that every Proverb is rooted and reveals the grace of God. You know, if you ask the average believer, the average reader of Scripture, where they would go to learn about the grace of God, I don't think anybody would say, “Go to the Proverbs,” because we just don't think of the Proverbs that way. But the Proverbs teaches us such beautiful things about God's grace.
Let me detail some of those things for you. It’s such a delight for me to be able to do this because it's one of things I love about the Proverbs how you just see this God of beautiful grace behind the Proverbs.
First of all, the Proverbs reveal to us the Father-like love of God. In fact, the format of the early part of Proverbs is a father giving instruction to his son. Literally, that Father is God. Literally, we are the sons. Think of a dad who loves his son, who pulls his son on a couch, pulls him close, and puts his arm around him. And says, “Son, I love you, and I want you to be blessed, and so dad has some things he wants to say to you.” Isn’t that beautiful? That's God; tenderhearted, kind, loving!
And you see just the beautiful generosity of God that He would lavishly give us His wisdom. Think about this. I’m born a rebel, I’m born resistant to my Father, and yet He doesn't respond to me in disgust; He pulls me close and says, “Paul, I want you to know my wisdom because I love you.” That's beautiful grace.
God's grace is revealed in the Proverbs, that like a father to his children, He really wants what's best for us. The Proverbs is not, “Okay, I'm going to wreck your life, I’m going to take away all your fun because I can do it because I'm the authority. That's not Proverbs at all. Proverbs is, God who says, “I want you right here, right now, to know the best that life can be for you because I love you, I want what's best for you.”
The Proverbs teaches us another thing, that the best things that we need, we can't earn; they’re God's gifts to us. You can't earn the wisdom of the Proverbs; you can't deserve the beauty of what you learn in the Proverbs. It's dropped down on us because the God of the Proverbs is a God of awesome mercy.
Further, behind every Proverb is a God who is working to protect, rescue, provide, transform, and deliver us. The Proverbs are reliable because behind them is not a passive God, an active God who's working in us, who is working for us, to rescue, deliver, transform, protect. Proverbs gives us a beautiful portrait of His rescuing mercies. The Proverbs offers us a picture of a God who offers us fresh starts and new beginnings, that foolishness isn't the end of your life because there is forgiveness and redemption, and you can get up, and you can live in wisdom again. When I think of that, I think of Jonah who blew it so greatly, yet in Jonah 3, verse 1, it says, “…the word of (God) …came a second time …to Jonah.” Fresh starts and new beginnings!
And then, it’s a grace of God to reveal our hearts in the Proverbs. The conviction that comes in the Proverbs is God's grace in operation. Listen, conviction isn’t judgment; conviction is God putting His arms around us, drawing us close, and keeping us near. My prayer is that you would see grace, and you would see a God of grace every time you read through the Proverbs, because God's grace is all over this portion of Scripture.