The premise of this book is that if you will read a chapter of Proverbs a day and apply it your life will become more successful happy and lucrative. The subtitle of this book bugged me ‘King Solomon’s Secrets to Success Wealth and Happiness.
‘ I just got back from a village in Northern Haiti and this is the book I took to read on the plane. What a contrast. The truth is if you’re born in Pierre-Brizard Haiti you can memorize Proverbs and still die broke and young from dysentery.
But then Garry Smalley wrote the forward and Gary Chapman and Ruth Graham are on the back cover recommending the book. I was unfamiliar with the author Steven Scott but these are people I trust. I figured the titles must be there more as a marketing gimmick (read and get rick) than a statement of the author’s theology.
SoÖ I read it. The Good: There is great stuff in this book. How could there not be when it is full of Proverbs from Solomon? Steven gives good advice great stories and fun examples mixed in with the parables.
He also does a pretty good job of bunching parables on one topic together in his chapters on that topic. It would be a nice addition for teaching through Proverbs both in helping to categorize the parables and in giving examples of each truth.
His emphasis on application is motivational which is the greatest asset in reading the book. The Bad: The premise of the book is that by studying Proverbs the author’s life changed. His relationships were mended he was able to keep a job he made more money etc.
However it felt to me at times like Steven’s ideas for success were shoehorned into Proverbs rather than drawn out of Proverbs. The most glaring example of cramming an idea into the text is Chapter 3 ‘The Activity that Creates Extraordinary Success.
‘ Steven bases his entire chapter on the first half of one verse. Proverbs 29:18 ‘Where there is no vision the people perish. ‘ KJV. He then defines vision as ‘a precise clearly defined goal with a detailed plan and timetable for achieving that goal.
‘ (p. 33. He leaves out the last half of the verse ‘But he that keepeth the law happy is he. ‘) We could put his definition in the verse then to read: ‘Where there is no precise clearly defined goal with a detailed plan and timetable for achieving that goal the people perish.
‘ It’s the typical create a vision make a plan work the plan and try not to mess up and you will have a better life speech. But that is NOT what this verse is teaching. The complete verse in the New King James reads ‘Where there is no revelation the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.
‘ It’s similar in the NASB NIV NLT etc. NO other version uses the word ‘vision ‘ because the word has changed meaning since 1611. When the entire sentence is read it’s obvious this passage is about divine revelation ‘Happy is he who keeps God’s law.
‘ Unrestrained are those who won’t follow God’s law. The French Bible says they are ‘without brakes ‘ the NLT says they ‘run wild. ‘ There is nothing in this passage to suggest that we need to ‘make a precise clearly defined goal with a detailed plan and timetable for achieving that goal’ or we will perish.
As a result it leads me to believe the author wanted to get vision-casting into Proverbs and this was the only way to do it. But messing with Scripture is bad. The Ugly: For me the ugliest part of the book was the cover and first paragraph.
After that it got better. The book starts withÖ Imagine going from a below-average wage to a personal income of more than $600 000 per month! Imagine losing nine jobs in your first six years after college and then on your tenth job building more than a dozen multimillion-dollar businesses from scratch achieving sales of billions of dollars.
Imagine doing all of this by following specific steps taught by Solomon in the Old Testament Book of Proverbs. In a nutshell that is my personal story. ” (Page 1) It’s how the book was marketed how they tried to get it to sell that bugged me most.
Most of the book is really really good. And only one book is perfect – which brings me to my conclusion. The best thing about this book is its emphasis its overwhelming motivational encouragement to read a proverb a day.
To study Proverbs. The Richest Man Who Ever Lived is worth reading. If you are teaching through Proverbs it will give some great illustrations and examples. But a better book is Proverbs. “.