Unpacking Proverbs in 21 straightforward sermons, pastor Ray Ortlund provides a biblical view of money, sex, and power, showing the wisdom God offers to those who fear him. Part of the Preaching the Word series.
How exactly does one become wise? Pastor and teacher Ray Ortlund points out that the wisdom of God does not stand aloof, as if it were unattainable. Instead, he shows that wisdom graciously moves toward us, into our real world where we live and struggle day by day. Wisdom offers us her very best, if only we will listen. After all, “Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice,” and, if wisdom troubles herself to yell, there must be a reason to listen and a means to hear.
Ortlund unpacks the book of Proverbs in twenty-one straightforward sermons, providing a biblical worldview that opens up the higher meaning of money, sex, and power, as well as that of the daily routines of an average life. Drawing relevant parallels from ancient culture to present day, he helps the reader understand how the book of Proverbs is practical help for normal people going through everyday life. Most importantly, Ortlund shows how the Proverbs point to Jesus and his counsel for the perplexed, his strength for the defeated, his warning to the proud, his mercy for the broken. With careful treatment of the Scriptures and uncomplicated language, Proverbs: Wisdom that Works fills the vacuum between the layman’s experience and the exegetical depth of many commentaries.
RAY ORTLUND JR. (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is lead pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee, the President of Renewal Ministries, a Regional Director in the Acts29 Network, and a member of the Council of The Gospel Coalition. He taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School for nearly a decade, and in addition to a number of essays and articles, he has published five books.
“I simply cannot say enough about Ortlund’s treatment of the book of Proverbs. There is depth here—scholarship disguised as pastoral advice. There is breadth here—quoting diverse people from Descartes to Sherlock Holmes. There is heart here—the heart of an evangelist, a pastor, a friend, and one who truly understands the Word. Proverbs: Wisdom that Works shines God’s light on your day in every area of life.”
—Woodrow Kroll, President, Back to the Bible; author, Proverbs: God’s Guide for Life’s Choices
“Ortlund not only speaks wisdom, he models how to speak it. He not only lights the way on how to preach Proverbs, but on how to walk in wisdom—and he makes me want to do both! Almost immediately I had two reactions: ‘Why am I not preaching Proverbs right now?’ and ‘Why am I not wiser by now?’ Turn here not just to hear about wisdom, but also to taste it. You’ll find the savor reverently worshipful, theologically rich, and relentlessly practical.”
—John Kitchen, Senior Pastor, Stow Alliance Fellowship, Stow, Ohio; author, Proverbs: A Mentor Commentary
“The strength of Ray Ortlund’s study of Proverbs is its Christ-centeredness. The wisdom of Proverbs loses none of its practical value, but rather is given its ultimate fulfillment as an expression of the wisdom of Christ.”
—Graeme Goldsworthy, Visiting lecturer in Hermeneutics, Moore Theological College; author, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture
“Proverbs: Wisdom that Works models powerful, profound, relevant expository preaching. The expositions are God-centered, Christ-centered, practical, evangelistic, life-changing, and life-giving. For Proverbs 1–9, each exposition digs deeply into the meaning of the passage in its original context, connects it with the New Testament (especially with Jesus Christ), and demonstrates astutely its contemporary relevance with illustrations and quotations. The last seven chapters bring together various proverbs under seven topics: the tongue, humility, family, emotions, friendship, money, and life and death. The oral style provides easy reading for deep, wise insights. A superb source for preachers preparing a series of Christian sermons on the book of Proverbs and for Bible study groups interested in studying biblical wisdom.”
—Sidney Greidanus, Professor of Preaching Emeritus, Calvin Theological Seminary; author, Preaching Christ from the Old Testament
“For the pastor who desires to preach Proverbs, this book will prove to be an important tool. Ortlund’s scholarly giftedness and his pastoral passions combine to create an accurate, readable, and Christ-centered guide to Solomon’s great book of ‘love and faithfulness.’”
—George W. Robertson, Senior Minister, The First Presbyterian Church, Augusta, Georgia; author, Deuteronomy: More Grace, More Love
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