Isaac Newton’s third law states
To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction: or the forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in opposite directions
My physics 101 brain likes to interpret that as, if you do something to something there will be a reaction. In turn I like to think that this is also my summary of the book of Proverbs.
During my journey through the bible in a (almost) year, I have been reading some Old Testament and New Testament each day. The reading plan has also thrown in a little something extra each day too. Proverbs is one of the books that has been thrown in and I’ve now come to the end of it.
The book is basically a collection, from multiple authors, of common sense sayings. They can pretty much all be summarised as ‘if’ ‘then’ statements, for they almost always fall into this parallel pattern. There is a definite cause and effect style, which would fit very well into a National Curriculum for young Jewish children at the time of Solomon.
Live long and prosper
One of the main characters in Proverbs is the fool. He is ridiculed and compared unfavourably with the wise person. And that really is what the book is all about. It instructs the reader to live life to the fullest. It is an instruction manual, a sort of 3,000 habits of highly successful people. As I read I couldn’t help comparing the black and white of Proverbs with the grey of Ecclesiastes. Just like Newton’s laws have been developed by later physicists, the cause and effect of Proverbs isn’t the whole story for a wise life.