Introduction: In recent years our society has taken a new view of
medicine. Instead of simply fixing what is “broken,” we now try to
prevent “breakdowns” by having regular check-ups and addressing
potential problems before they become real problems. Is this idea
applicable to our spiritual and physical health? Can we engage in
“preventive medicine?” Let’s see what we can learn from the inspired
words of King Solomon this week!
- Wisdom, Attitude and Health
- Read Proverbs 2:6-10. What will reading the Bible, the
Word of God, do for you?
- What does verse 10 mean when it tells us that
“knowledge will be pleasant to your soul?” (I think
it means we will feel good about life.)
- Is there a connection between our mental attitude and our
physical health? (Read Proverbs 3:7-8)
- How do you think fearing God and shunning evil (3:8)
brings health to our bodies?
- Do you notice that you more easily become ill when
you feel under great stress?
- What prescription would you issue for stress?
( Matthew 6:33-34 tells us to seek a relationship with
God and do not worry about tomorrow.)
- Read Proverbs 15:30. Can the way you look influence the
way you feel? What do you think is a “cheerful look?”
- If you started looking more cheerful on Monday, would
your life be better? If you say, “yes,” tell me why?
- Have you ever experienced the healthy effect of “good
- Let’s go back and continue with Proverbs 2:11. Is this
“preventive medicine” for our life?
- Have you had a time in your life that allows you to
affirm that discretion or understanding protected you
- Read Proverbs 17:19-22. What kind of person is described
in verse 19? What is a “high gate” in verse 19? (This is
an illusion to a walled city. Someone who says I’m
stronger, smarter, better looking, superior to you so that
I can better you in any situation is a “high gate”
- Why do you think such people invite destruction?
- Do verses 19 and 20 describe sinful attitudes? Does a
sinful attitude create trouble in our life according
to King Solomon?
- What does verse 21 say can also create trouble for
- What relationship do you see between verse 22 and
verses 19-21? Are verses 19-21 a guide to a cheerful
heart? Or, is verse 22 “stand alone” advice? (Sin has
an impact on our attitude which has an impact on our
health. However, I think verse 22 goes beyond that
and tells us that a cheerful attitude has a positive
impact on health.)
- What is a “crushed spirit?”
- Can we crush the spirit of our:
- Can your attitude make your family members sick?
- Can you help them, through your attitude, to be
- What is the route to true health reform: diet and exercise
or a right relationship to God?
- Are these mutually exclusive ideas?
- Which route is most strongly urged by the Bible?
- The Temple
- Let’s read a New Testament text about sin and health that
is generally misunderstood because it is taken out of
context. Read 1 Corinthians 6:16-20.
- What does it mean (v.17) to unite ourselves with the
Lord? (God often speaks of Himself as the “husband”
of His people. Two helpful texts on this are Hosea
2:19-20 and Ephesians 5:29-32.)
- Why does 1 Corinthians 6:16-20 say that sexual
immorality is wrong? (We “unite,” we have this
closest of relationships, with an inappropriate
- Is sexual immorality worse than other sins?
- What is the “cure” for sexual immorality? (Verse
- How would you recommend we flee?
- Do you flee in your life? Or do you like
to come close?
- When verse 19 refers to us protecting our “temple,”
is it talking about sexual purity or proper diet? (It
is not talking about diet, the context clearly shows
it is talking about sexual immorality.)
- Even if the context of verse 19 is sexual immorality,
would it still be proper to cite it for proper diet?
- Let’s read some more context for verse 19. Read
1 Corinthians 6:12-14. What does this say about
eating the wrong things?
- Do you think the quotations in verses 12 and 13
reflect Paul’s views? (They might. See Romans
14:14. However, Paul is saying “Let’s be careful
here and (v.12) not be mastered by anything. Not
everything is “beneficial” to eat.)
- Does Paul teach that concerns about the stomach
are concerns about what will be destroyed? (Yes.
Our bodies will ultimately be destroyed – in
contrast to inappropriate sex – which involves
our special relationship with God which will
- Why do you think that Paul decided in these verses to
discuss food and sexual immorality together? How does
this make any sense? (Much of the controversy over
food dealt with whether you should eat food
sacrificed to idols. In Corinth, the temple of
Aphrodite involved prostitution as part of the temple
service. Do you see now the contrast Paul is making?
When it comes to the question of eating meat offered
to idols, Paul says we have liberty–but don’t be
mastered. When it comes to temple prostitution, Paul
says this is a terrible sin for we join in the most
intimate of relationships with a prostitute to the
exclusion of becoming one in spirit with God. Looking
at the context shows this text is not about diet, it
is about sex and our relationship with God.)
- Let’s read Proverbs 23:18-21. What does King Solomon say
is the problem with excess when it comes to eating and
drinking? (You become poor.)
- Does this mean fat people are poor? When I was young,
my father’s friends would look at his generous belly
and say, “You must be doing well!” In fact, if you
look at Proverbs 11:25 and 28:25 in the KJV it tells
us that being good makes us fat! (Now I know why the
KJV is so popular among older Americans!)
- How do you explain King Solomon’s point in
Proverbs 23? (We have all felt drowsy after a
big meal. If the focus of your life is on eating
and drinking, you will lack an alertness to
other important things in life.)
- Proverbs 5 has counsel that compliments 1 Corinthians 6.
Let’s read Proverbs 5:1-5. What does Solomon mean when he
says an adulteress starts out as sweet as honey, but ends
up as bitter as gall?
- Let’s skip down to Proverbs 5:15-18. The imagery here is
striking. Water often represents life in the Bible. Does
it have that meaning here?
- Does Solomon teach that sexual purity enhances our
health? If yes, how?
- I love using the term “the wife of my youth,” but my
wife is not too wild about it!
- Friends and Health
- Read Proverbs 22:24-25. How can a “hot-tempered man”
ensnare us? (It is enlightening to consider all the ways
in which our friends influence us. This text says that if
we have friends who are quick to get angry, it will
influence us to be like that.)
- How can a quick temper adversely affect our health? (Read
Proverbs 16:29. Someone with a temper can arose an
intemperate reaction from you with results that are “not
good.” It is dangerous to react with a quick temper to
those who lack self-control with their temper.)
- Read Proverbs 14:7-9. What is the difference between a
foolish and a stupid person? Does this text tell us not
to be friends with those of low intelligence? (I like the
way the Living Bible paraphrases this: “If you are looking
for advice, stay away from fools.” Lacking average
intelligence is not the same as being foolish. There are
some very smart fools. Proverbs 1:4 tells us that the
Bible studying simple can be wise. We need to be careful
about our sources of advice.)
- Can accepting bad advice about how to live hurt our
health? Have you seen or experienced any examples of that?
- Read Proverbs 4:20-22. Does King Solomon teach there
is a relationship between the influence of our
friends and our health?
- Friend, the Bible tells us that our relationship to God
has an impact on our health. If you want to be well, you
need to cultivate your walk with God and a kind attitude
towards those around you.
- Next Week: Your Choices Determine Your Destiny