Introduction: This week we begin our study of the book of Proverbs.
The book was mostly written by King Solomon, son of King David.
Solomon is called the wisest man that ever lived. (See 1 Kings 4:29-34) We have lots to learn from him. While you know I like to study
the Bible in context as much as possible, the lesson this quarter
looks at concepts in Proverbs rather than studying it verse by verse.
This week the concept we study is wisdom. Would you like a little
more wisdom? If so, let’s jump into our lesson!
- What We Can Learn.
- Read Proverbs 1:1-3. If you take a course in history,
computers or biology, you know what it is you will be
learning. Let’s list what it is that Solomon says we will
be learning from Proverbs. (Wisdom, discipline,
understanding words of insight, prudence, and doing what
is right, just and fair.)
- I’ll bet we would all like to be wiser. Do you want
to be more disciplined? How would that help you? In
what areas of your life?
- Does Solomon promise that we will be more
understanding in general, or is he specific? (He
seems to be talking about understanding solutions
(“words of insight”).
- Why is it especially important to understand
“words of insight?” (Jesus tells us ( Luke 8:9-10) that as Christians we understand secrets and
mysteries that the world does not. I’m going to
be talking about this more in the sermon today.)
- Solomon says (v.3) that we will learn to do what is
right, just and fair. Are those always the same
- Is it difficult to do what is right, just and
- I thought we were studying ideas. Why do you
think Solomon injects the idea of DOING what is
right, just and fair?
- Who Can Learn.
- Read Proverbs 1:4-6. Who needs to learn from the Proverbs?
(This covers everyone.)
- Who and what especially need help according to
Solomon? (The simple and the young.)
- Do the young know they need help?
- Do our schools teach our young people
“discretion” in addition to knowledge?
- If you know you are not too smart, what does
this book hold out as a special promise?
- Can you be too smart or too wise to learn from this
book?(No, verse 5 tells us it is for the “advanced”
- There is all sorts of advice going around. Will
Proverbs help us with sorting out current advice?
(Verse 6 indicates the Proverbs will help us to sort
out the “wisdom” that we hear today to determine if
it truly is wisdom.)
- First Things First.
- Read Proverbs 1:7. What is the foundation upon which all
knowledge is built? (The fear of the Lord.)
- What does it mean to fear God? (Jamieson, Fausset and
Brown say in their commentary fearing God means
reverent trust, love and obedience. The Hebrew word
“yirah” can mean actual fear, but that does not seem
to be the meaning here.)
- Do you know systems of learning that are not built on
the “fear of the Lord?”
- If fearing the Lord is the foundation for all
learning, should we send our children to public
- What does Solomon say (v.7) you are if you don’t want
to learn wisdom and discipline? (Stupid. Vine’s
dictionary says this word can be translated “morally
- Why Wisdom?
- Let’s read on. Read Proverbs 1:8-9. Why does Solomon
mention parental teaching immediately after he says the
“the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge?”
(Parents are partners with God in teaching their
- If you are a parent, how are you as a partner with
- Solomon says that if we listen to our parents it will
be like having a neat hat and wearing jewelry? Is
- What is meant by a “garland to grace your head?”
(This is something worn by royalty, high-ranking
- What is meant by a “chain around your neck?” (A
chain around your neck is a mark of success. See
Genesis 41:42 and Daniel 5:29)
- Together, what is the message of the garland and
the chain? (These are marks of distinction. It
means that children who obey the Godly
instruction of their parents will stand above
the crowd. They will not only have their lives
as an “ornament,” they may actually find success
- Let’s continue this idea by skipping over to Proverbs 4:1-7. Verse 6 tells us that wisdom will protect us and watch
over us. Have you found that to be true? In what ways can
wisdom protect and keep us? (How many bad things happened
in your life because you were foolish? Disobedient to God
and your parents? Getting wisdom allows you to learn from
the mistakes of others – and not your own mistakes.)
- What does verse 7 say is the worth of wisdom?
- How to Get Wisdom
- Read Proverbs 2:1-6. Can we play a tape of the Proverbs
under our pillow at night as we sleep and just absorb
- What is required to get wisdom?
- Is it easy? (We have to dig for it!)
- Are you digging for it? Where does getting
wisdom rank in your daily priorities?
- From whom do we get wisdom? (The Lord.)
- Does God have a monopoly on dispensing wisdom?
- The Right Kind of Wisdom.
- The answer to the question I just asked, “Does God have a
monopoly on dispensing wisdom” may turn on what kind of
wisdom we seek. Read Genesis 3:1-5. Is this an offer of
wisdom outside of God?
- Our lesson says (Thursday) “all so-called sacred
writings outside the Bible basically teach the
necessity of a balance between good and evil as
the foundation of wisdom.” Do you agree? Does
this sound like the Genesis 3 offer we just
read? (Yes. God gives us the wisdom of doing
right. He does not seek to give us a broad
knowledge of good and evil. There are not very
many “new” ideas. Therefore, God is the original
source of all wisdom. The point for us is that
we should not look any where else if we want to
- Read Proverbs 2:7-11. Who is protected in these verses?
(Verses 7 and 8 suggest that God’s wisdom is intended to
lead us to be upright, blameless, just and faithful. If we
follow in that path we will be protected.)
- Does this idea square with what you have observed in
- Verses 9-11 tell us that God wants us to understand
“what is right.” The conclusion is that (v.11)
“discretion will protect you, and understanding will
guard you.” Can you think of a time when you would
have been protected if you had exercised discretion
- If you agree that discretion protects us and
understanding guards us, is that the proper way to
understand vv. 7-8 that say the upright are
- Let’s step back for just a moment. Is the quest for wisdom
also a quest for salvation?
- If you say, “No,” salvation is not a matter of works
or study, then why would you want wisdom? (This
highlights a problem with those who want to divorce
faith from works. We supposedly want salvation so
that we can live with God forever. Yet working to
obtain wisdom not only helps us to draw closer to God
now, but it helps to shield us from evil. Heaven is
getting to know God and being beyond the reach of
evil. Getting wisdom now is a taste of heaven!)
- Friend, do you want to experience part of what heaven has
in store for you right now? Then stay with us this
quarter to learn more of God’s wisdom found in the book of
- Next Week: A Star to Guide the Humble.