Introduction: Anyone with any smarts wants to be smarter, right?
Would you also like to be wise? What do you see as the difference
between the two? Which would you rather have, intelligence or wisdom?
The problem with intelligence is that it is inherited – thus you had
little to do with whether you have it or not. This is not true about
wisdom. Wisdom you can acquire by study and effort. Our lesson this
week is about wisdom, so let’s wisely jump right into our study!
- Where to Find Wisdom
- Read Psalms 19:7. What does it mean to “revive” your soul?
(This sounds like a “tune-up” a “make-over” for the core
of your being.)
- Are only smart people being made wise? (It is
available to all: “Making wise the simple.”)
- Why is “trustworthy” a part of becoming wise? (Wisdom
is in large part understanding how things operate.
Thus, if you have reliable knowledge (you are
trustworthy) you are well on the road to wisdom.)
- Read Psalms 19:8. We studied happiness last week. How can
the law give us joy?
- What does light do for your eyes? (Helps you to see
things more clearly.)
- What relationship is there between light and beauty?
(When you put a flower under a strong light can you
see more of its beauty! Light helps you to more
correctly perceive things.)
- What does light do for evil? (Exposes it.)
- The term “legalist” is sort of a dirty word among
Christians. This text tells us God’s law revives our
core, makes us wise, helps us to see clearly and gives us
joy! Who would want to turn that down? Why wouldn’t you
want to become the biggest legalist possible?
- Since my picture of a “legalist” includes joy,
wisdom, light and revival, perhaps we are calling the
wrong people legalists!
- Read Psalms 19:10. How is it appropriate to compare God’s
law to gold and honey? (If you asked someone if they would
like some money, or asked them if they would like
something sweet, they would say “yes!” God is telling us
that His law is something that we want. Something we will
- Read Psalms 19:11. How does the law “warn” us? (Normally a
“warning” has to do with something that can be dangerous.
Life can be dangerous and the law gives us warnings about
those things that can harm us. The law also does the
opposite, it shows us what is good for us.)
- What is the best “toolbox” for improving your life? (God’s
- This series of verses makes the most extraordinary claims
for God’s law, statutes, precepts, ordinances, and
commands. If this is true, who is the source of wisdom,
joy and a glorious life? (God.)
- How do we tap into this source of wisdom, joy and
blessings? How do we acquire a knowledge of God’s
law? (We read and study God’s word – the Bible.)
- The reader of this lesson is unlikely to be a very young
person. Therefore, you can test this with your life. Do
your life experiences confirm or deny what the Psalmist
writes in Psalms 19:1-11?
- To competently answer this question, you would not
only need to have experienced life, you would need to
know God’s word well. Are you competent to answer
this question? Do you know your Bible well enough to
know whether following the law made your life better?
- On the web site “Progressive Adventism,” I bumped into a
television clip of Martin Sheen which carried the caption
that Sheen knew his Bible. In the clip Sheen cites a
number of God’s Old Testament laws which he thinks the
audience will find ridiculous. His reason for doing this
is to make the point that God’s law about homosexual
practice is also ridiculous.
- What does this say about the Psalmist’s view of the
law verses Sheen’s view (or the view of his writers)?
(Sheen’s point is that God’s law is unwise and
untrustworthy. This is just the oppose of the
- If we decide to ignore some part of God’s law, are we
then taking on the role of law-maker? (Yes, but this
is not a simple matter. In Acts 15 the early church
wrestled with what parts of the law should be
observed by the Gentiles. In the end, the church
decided that only part of what Moses wrote was
binding on Gentiles ( Acts 15:19-21). I think Psalms 19:8 helps us – that if we study God’s law we will
have “light to the eyes” which will help us to
understand God’s will for us.)
- Emotional Wisdom
- Would you like to get along better with others? (I have
read that most employees who are discharged from their
jobs are not fired for incompetence, but rather because
they could not get along. Incompetence alone does not
always (or maybe often) get you fired.)
- Read Matthew 22:37-40. What emotional wisdom do we find
here? What instruction do we find for getting along with
others and keeping our job?
- We determined in Psalms 19 that the law was this
perfect tool for making our lives better. What
shortcut does Jesus give us if we are uncertain that
we know His law? (Jesus reduces the law to two
foundational principles. You should be able to keep
track of two things!)
- These principles are easy to say. How easy is it
to apply the principle to love others as you
- Read Colossians 3:22-24. One of Sheen’s attacks on God’s
law was His regulation – not elimination – of slavery. If
you were God, would you counsel your slaves to rebel
against the authorities?
- What counsel does God give to slaves?
- Would this advice apply to employees today?
- If you were an employer, what would you do with an
employee who took Colossians 3:23 to heart? (I would
never fire that employee!)
- Citizen Wisdom
- Read Romans 13:1-5. Is this wisdom for dealing with the
- Paul keeps repeating that the governmental
authorities are “God’s servants.” He was talking
about Rome which had some leaders who seemed far from
being “God’s servants.” What does Paul mean by this?
- If you are an American, and you believe God has
blessed our country, how do you square our rebellion
against England with this text?
- Would the United States be where it is today
without the war of independence?
- Would the wisdom of Romans 13 also apply at work?
- Leadership Wisdom
- Read Matthew 20:20-22. Having just the facts in these
verses, would you think that these sons were qualified to
hold the highest positions in Jesus’ kingdom? (Mom makes
the request while they are present! True leaders would
make the request themselves, or have another group of
leaders make it.)
- Other than having your mom negotiate your promotions,
is this otherwise a reasonable plan?
- If you want the “gold,” you have to go for it,
- Read Matthew 20:23. Will Jesus be doing the promoting?
- Read Matthew 20:24-28. To what is Jesus responding? The
request of the mother? The irritation of the other ten
disciples? Or, the nature of leadership? (The implication
is that they all wanted to be the top leaders. Jesus is
saying the job is not what you think – I expect you to be
a servant leader.)
- Is this “wisdom” for church administrative positions?
Or, is it wisdom for all management positions? (Jesus
says this is what He did for us. It seems this is
universal advice for Christians.)
- Friend, God’s word can make you wise. Will you pledge to
study it? Will you agree to take the world’s ultimate
“life improvement” course?
- Next week: Growing Through the Word.