Psa. 119:48 And I will lift up my hand to Your commandments, which I love…
2 Tim. 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.
John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life;…the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
To lift up our hand unto the word of God is to indicate that we receive it warmly and gladly and that we say Amen to it (Neh. 8:5-6). (Psa. 119:48, footnote 1)
If you are a person who is a law-keeper, surely you will appreciate all the proverbs in this book as words of wise men, thinking that they could help you to be a good or even better law-keeper. If so, you just make all the proverbs many, many laws and fall into the snare of keeping the law as many Jews do, who do not know God’s purpose in the dispensation of His law, that is, to expose fallen man’s weakness.
If you are a person who loves the Lord and pursues Christ, not self-perfection, and who loves the Lord’s word in the entire Bible and reads it with a praying spirit, not for the seeking of the doctrine of letters but for seeking the Spirit and word of life, not to get any help for self-cultivation but for the nourishment of your spirit that you may live a Christian life which is perfect not in human virtues but in the divine virtues which are the expressions of the divine attributes, then this book will render you nuggets and gems to strengthen your life of pursuing Christ for the fulfillment of God’s economy in producing and building up the Body of Christ. (Life-study of Proverbs, p. 5)
God does not want us just to seek the knowledge, doctrine, truth, theology, and so-called revelation in letters. God wants us to seek after Him that we may gain Him and that He may fill us up with Himself for His expression. He is the Spirit, and we worship Him and contact Him in our spirit. The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. The word spoken to us by the Lord should become the Spirit and the life to us (John 6:63). If we study the Bible by the way of letters, not by the way of the Spirit and of life, we make the Bible, regardless of what part, a book of letters. Most Christians today have made the New Testament of the Spirit and of life the Old Testament of letters. To Paul the apostle even the Old Testament was like the New Testament, of the Spirit and of life. Too many Christians have made the New Testament proverbs, precepts, exhortations, and instructions of letters. Our life-studies have made all of the Old Testament, as the Word of God, books of the Spirit and of life. By this we have to realize that what the book of Proverbs would be to us depends upon what kind of persons we are and by what way we take it.
As New Testament believers, we should believe that Proverbs is a part of the holy word in God’s Holy Scriptures.
We should realize that Proverbs is the breath of God for us to breathe in that we may receive the life supply from God (2 Tim. 3:16).
Next, we should read Proverbs by being filled with the fullness of God in our spirit (Eph. 5:18-19), in the New Testament Spirit of life (Rom. 8:2), with our regenerated spirit, and by pray-reading to mingle it with spirit and life (cf. John 6:63).
I can testify that after just a few minutes of fellowship with the Lord, I am fed, nourished, and stirred up. Then when I come to the Bible, every word becomes a gem. We all need to read the book of Proverbs in this way. Then every word of Proverbs will become spirit and life to us. Every word will be living and become a gem to strengthen our life of pursuing Christ for the fulfillment of God’s economy in producing and building up the Body of Christ. (Life-study of Proverbs, pp. 5-6, 18)
Further Reading: Life-study of Proverbs, msg. 3