Ethics and Sanctions in the Proverbs
King Solomon of Israel was the son of King David. When he became king, God told him that whatever he asked for, God would give it to him. Instead of asking for power, riches, fame, or whatever, Solomon asked God for wisdom. This pleased God and He granted Solomon’s petition and also gave him power, riches, fame, etc.
Solomon was sufficiently meek and humble to realize that he did not know anything and needed wisdom. Now, something extremely important to note is that Solomon understood that only God could give him wisdom, not books, education, human beings, etc. Therefore, Solomon sought wisdom in God. This is why Solomon is considered to be the wisest or one of the wisest men that has ever existed, because he had the wisdom of God. Through this wisdom, which does not rely on reason (See Ancient Greece’s Contribution), Solomon understood many great mysteries of God.
First, he probably understood that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. As he says in Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom. The knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Solomon comprehended the fear of the Lord and he perhaps knew that this fear would take him to greater holiness (2 Corinthians 7:1). Hence, in order to understand more profoundly what the fear of God is, we must too understand holiness.
Holiness is the unity of our spirit with the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 6:17). As Jesus prayed for those who believed in Him in John 17, “That they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me.” (See also 1 Corinthians 6:19) So if the Holy Spirit is in us and we are in him and this is holiness, then the fear of the Lord comes when we do not want the Holy Spirit to leave us because of unrighteousness (iniquity and sin). As David writes in Psalm 51:11 after committing adultery, a theme we find in the proverbs quite often, “Don’t throw me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.”
The Holy Spirit in us delivers us from death and gives us life, spiritual life. It is the Holy Spirit of God, or Ruach of God that gave Adam life and made him to God’s image (Leviticus 19:2 and 1 Peter 1:16). Adam lost the Ruach of God the moment he ate from the knowledge of good and evil and allowed death to enter him. (See The Light, The Life, and Eternity) Solomon knew this and that is why I believe that when Solomon speaks of acquiring knowledge, he speaks of acquiring the knowledge of the Life or of the Light, who is God. Salomon understood that wisdom came through the fear of the Lord and the fear of the Lord took you to holiness, thus it is the Holy Spirit of God in the first place that provides true wisdom.
Solomon loved wisdom, he did not want to lose it, he did not want to be a fool, he did not want to be like evil doers, and he knew that if he lost fear in the Lord, he would lose the Holy Spirit, and end up losing wisdom. What I say here is a bit strong, but I believe that the ethics Solomon speaks of are the ones of the holiness of the Spirit of God and those who do not have the Spirit of God are evil doers, because they live by the knowledge of good and evil.
The greatest negative sanction for Salomon involves losing wisdom, the Holy Spirit, and the fear of God. He comprehended that a life with the fear of God took you to live an ethically correct or righteous life, primarily before God and then, before men. Solomon was a king and understood government, God’s way of government.
Important Note: The things here written do not necessarily refelct the opinions, teachings, philosophies, and/ or views of the Ron Paul Curriculum and its faculty.