Whatever the question, the answer is in Proverbs! No book of the Bible gives Christians more practical advice than Proverbs. It covers personal problems like sex, ambition, anxiety, fear, money; family matters such as marriage, parenting, discipline, and education; social questions like neighborliness, friendship, disputes, and litigation; and even politics, both from the ruler's and citizen's viewpoint!
The revolutionary method employed in this commentary combines two different approaches. Firstly, the verse-by-verse approach and secondly, the thematic style. Most modern commentaries on Proverbs don't cover every verse, as this one does. Most other commentaries also don't show the thematic nature of the book of Proverbs.
Eric Lane shows his long investigation into the text by giving a comprehensive thematic index of topics covered. This means that whilst every verse is covered, each chapter is arranged topically, making it more reader-friendly. He succeeds brilliantly in bringing us a study of Proverbs that can be used as a devotional aid, bible study companion, or teaching and sermon preparation. He reveals Proverbs as something more than a disconnected collection of inspired sayings!
“Verse 21 is a shining example of the black-and-white world of PROVERBS in material matters: the sinner is punished and the righteous prospers. This is because PROVERBS is based on the Law, which, as we have often seen, relates prosperity to morality. This verse even personifies evil as misfortune and good as prosperity. The first relentlessly pursues the sinner, the second rewards the righteous. All this is backed up by the teaching of the prophets (Isa. 3:10f) and by specific examples of this poetic justice, beginning with Cain (Gen. 4:10–12) and continuing throughout Old Testament history. It applies both to whole nations (Ezek. 14:13) and individuals (Ezek. 18:4). There are agonizing exceptions to this (Job, Asaph in Psalm 73) but these only prove the rule.” (Page 149)
“Ultimately wisdom is what God is and we can only attain to it through personal knowledge of him. This is what the Old Testament calls fear, meaning trust, love and obedience. This is why the fool has no interest in things like character and relationships.” (Page 19)
“To put it another way, PROVERBS gives us a window on the world. It is truth in street clothes. It provides some keys as to how things work and how people behave. It gives ‘understanding’ and ‘insight’ (1:2).” (Page 8)
“2. It teaches us tact in handling our relationships,” (Page 13)
“We, the crown of creation, made in God’s image, created to rule, have to learn from the ant how to function! But we have already made ourselves like an insect—the slug, from whom this condition gets its name (or is it the other way round?). We are to stop behaving like slugs and start behaving like ants.” (Pages 56–57)
For each section of the Bible, the Focus on the Bible Commentaries summarize the passage of Scripture, including the intentions of the authors, the historical and cultural environment, and the questions and issues raised by a particular passage. But most importantly, the Focus on the Bible Commentaries brings you into the heart of the Bible, by explaining Scripture in an accessible way that makes sense for daily Christian living.
These commentaries are popular level commentaries especially useful for pastors and small group leaders. They are useful for personal devotions and spiritual growth. Many of the authors of the commentaries are leading expositors of God’s Word on their speciality subjects. The series holds to the inerrancy of scripture and the uniqueness of Christ in salvation.
Here is a book which is orthodox, evangelical, and reformed. It is characterized throughout by a profound sense of seriousness—manifestly written from a depth of personal experience and written not simply to inform the mind but to transform life . . . useful material for discussion and for study groups as well as for personal thought and meditation . . . I warmly commend this book.
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