The Value of Proverbs

Clint Morgan

Biblical proverbs are a unique method for transmitting godly wisdom. A proverb is a short, pithy saying, stating a general truth or piece of advice revealing God’s perspective.

In Scripture, the terms “wisdom” and “wise” are often used to reference men and women who mirror God’s perspective in their thoughts and behavior.

During our 30 years as missionaries in Côte d’Ivoire, Africa, my wife and I learned many things from our dear brothers and sisters there.

In my reflections on life in Africa, I am often reminded of the proverbs and fables integral to their culture. Time and time again, I saw the biblical parallels to many of the African proverbs. I never saw the African proverbs as replacing biblical teaching, but rather reinforcing it.

Over the next couple of weeks, I want to share a couple of African proverbs and show how they parallel with biblical truths.

I’ll start with this one: If you tell a child the lamp is hot, he will not listen…if the lamp tells him, he will not forget.

The thought of getting burned by a hot lamp is not very comforting. Neither is being burned by rash decisions. Therefore, it is highly advisable to listen to the warnings given by spiritually mature people. They do not simply give their opinion, but rather they provide sound counsel based on God’s Word and the leadership of His Spirit. They will help us avoid some awkward and, perhaps, painful lessons.

So, whatever you do, avoid “hot lamps” by listening to those who have had the unpleasant experience of having the lamp “tell” them it is hot.

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