Proverbs are not Guarantees image

Proverbs are not Guarantees

One of the most challenging things about reading the book of Proverbs is getting your head round exactly what sorts of statements proverbs actually are. Are they guarantees? If so, why do some children, trained in the way that they should go, depart from it (22:6)? Or are they absolute imperatives? If so, why are we told to answer a fool according to his folly, immediately after being told not to (26:4-5)?

Doug Wilson, as usual, has a more amusing take on it than most:

The book of Proverbs does not give us head-for-head commitments and promises. They are proverbs. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and sometimes you wind up in Congress banning light bulbs for the rest of us. But as a general rule, hard work leads to wealth, and laziness to poverty, only not in every instance.

I couldn’t put it better myself.
Andrew Wilson’s new book, If God Then What? Wondering Aloud about Truth, Origins and Redemption, will be released on 16 March, published by IVP, and is now available to preorder - with a generous discount for readers of this blog.

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