This sponsored post was provided by New Growth Press.
Proverbs can be a fun book to explore with your children. The short sentences, funny images, and blunt statements resonate with kids and quickly impart real-life wisdom. But there’s a vast difference between moralism and saving wisdom. Jesus noted this difference when he announced to the Pharisees that though the Queen of Sheba traveled to hear Solomon’s great wisdom, “now something greater than Solomon is here” (Matthew 12:42).
My newest family devotional, Wise Up: Ten-Minute Family Devotions in Proverbs, explores gospel themes in Proverbs through Bible readings, discussion questions, fun activities, and songs. But the truth is that you can help your children discover Jesus in Proverbs without my help. You don’t even need to buy my book (though I hope you will).
One (Added) Word to the Wise
Read the following proverb with me:
“Trust in the Lord Jesus with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5–6, the word “Jesus” added).
The New Testament makes it clear to us that Jesus is Lord. When we add the name “Jesus” to this proverb, we apply our New Testament understanding of what “trusting the Lord” means and connect the words of Solomon to the gospel. Once we do that, a whole new level of wisdom is open to us. Trusting means more than a general trust in God; trusting means believing that Jesus died to take away our sins and anyone who believes in his saving work will be forgiven. Add Jesus to Proverbs 3:5-6 and you bring in gospel wisdom.
Do you feel nervous about adding the name “Jesus” to an Old Testament passage? The Apostle Paul explains that God gave Jesus the name that is above every name and that “every tongue will one day confess that Jesus is Lord” (Philippians 2:9). Paul was actually quoting from Isaiah 45 to make the point that the Lord of the Old Testament and Jesus are one and the same.
Think about it. When believers read through the book of Proverbs and it says, “Trust in the Lord,” don’t we naturally think of Jesus? After all, Jesus is the one we are called to trust and in whom we place our faith (John 6:40). Consider how that changes the way we understand a proverb like, “The name of the Lord (Jesus) is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10).
Try This at Home
Quiz your kids and you will be surprised at how quickly they make the connection themselves. If after reading Proverbs 3:5-6 you ask them, “Who is the Lord that we are called to trust? What is his name? They will tell you, “Jesus.” Then you can remind them of his saving work on the cross so the next time they read an admonition to “trust in the Lord,” they will make the connection themselves.
If you’d like more help teaching Proverbs to your family, please pick up a copy of Wise Up today.