From Genesis to Revelation

Day 20: The Good Life

Duncan Parlett

Each day of this devotional series, we will consider key moments in God’s glorious plan to redeem us. We will understand both the overarching story of God and the highlights of all He’s done for us in Christ.

“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!”  Proverbs 16:16, New International Version


California Polytechnic State University still has this motto: “Learn by doing.” As students, we felt like the motto should be, “Learn by blowing it!” Sometimes personal failure teaches us more than success. 

It is bitter to learn from our own mistakes. It is better to learn from the mistakes of others. This is the meaning of wisdom.

My Need

Pain drives us toward wisdom. Each hurt in life reinforces that residual urge for guidance. In the midst of my problems, I instinctively seek for help and insight. I crave counsel. I cry out for comfort. I covet control. Without these, I despair and lose hope. I need wisdom.

The Wisdom of Solomon

David, the poet-king, handed the kingdom of Israel to his talented son, Solomon. Where his father was creative, Solomon was cerebral. He took the nation to its brilliant peak. And he was known for his wisdom, penning many of the pithy nuggets of advice in the book of Proverbs. These clever couplets show us how to live well. The alternative to living well is a lot of pain and regret. 

Taking to heart the sayings of Solomon in the Book of Proverbs is worthwhile. At first, these wise and witty maxims seem very random but, as you dig deeper, themes gradually emerge: the importance of wisdom, how to relate to others, what to do with our money and resources, the dangers and blessings of life, respecting the power of our words, and more. Yet as you study them, these themes grow so nuanced, one could spend a lifetime plumbing their depths. 

Source of All Wisdom

The Proverbs give us practical insights as well as deep spiritual truths. The accessible and authoritative power of the proverbs points us to the source of all wisdom. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10, New International Version).

Far more than rules for living, wisdom urges us to seek the One who created us. That’s the good life.

Next: As we journey through the Bible, the prophets (Isaiah-Malachi) follow the poetic books. In our next series of devotionals, we’ll meet these colorful characters and their powerful messages.


  • What is the best advice you ever got?
  • In general, is your instinct to figure things out yourself or to get help? Why do you think that is?
  • Why are fear and knowledge of God the beginning of wisdom? 
  • How does walking with Christ relate to living well?

Going Deeper:

  • Read the Book of Proverbs. Consider reading one chapter a day for a month.

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