Introduction: “Outcome determinative.”If you are over 40 years old
you can see that certain of the choices you made as a young person
determined the course of your life. I call those choices “outcome
determinative.” King Solomon tells us that when it comes to God’s
law, our choices are outcome determinative. Let’s jump into our study
and find out more about Solomon’s inspired counsel!
- The Right Steps
- Read Proverbs 13:1. Where does a good life start?
- Does this continue in life? Do we still have
“fathers” even though our earthly father is dead?
(Our Heavenly Father gives us advice in the Bible. We
have spiritual “fathers” and we have people at work
who are “fathers.” Proverbs 12:15 says, “the way of a
fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to
advice.” The key is looking to the right source for
advice and then listening.)
- Read Proverbs 13:2-3. After taking good advice, what is
the next step to a good life? (To watch how we speak.)
- Why do you think the way we speak is so important?
- Towards the end of our lesson we will discuss how
much we should speak.
- Read Proverbs 13:4-6. After taking good advice and then
watching how we speak, what comes next? (Doing right.)
- Have you heard it said that God provides our needs,
but not our desires. After looking at verse 4 is
- Does verse 4 tell us that we (the diligent)
provide our own desires – and not God? (Who told
us to be diligent? Solomon is not talking about
salvation, as such, he is talking about how we
should live. We are co-laborers with God to do
what He says – including being diligent.)
- The Right Stuff
- Read Proverbs 13:7-8. When we were discussing obtaining
what we desire were we talking about money? Do you desire
more money? What is the message of verses 7 and 8?
- Let’s break it down. What do you think it means to
“pretend to be rich?” How do you “pretend to be
- What does it mean in verse 8 to say, “A man’s riches
may ransom his life?”
- My brand is not Nike or Dior, it is “second” or
“reject.” I do not like to buy anything unless
it is on sale. Much of the “stuff” I have
purchased over the years is expensive looking,
but has some flaw in it which I either fix or
live with. I drive an old Mercedes which I keep
very shiny. Am I what King Solomon is talking
about? (If verse 7 stood alone, I would say,
“yes.” But verse 8 puts verse 7 in an entirely
new light. Solomon is saying that real money is
not wealth. Your wealth holds you “ransom.”)
- Have you experienced the “ransom” of wealth?
- When you buy a new car, what is your worst
fear (other than how to pay for it)?
(Someone will run into you or open their
door into your side and dent it.)
- Does this fear ransom you?
- If you buy a boat, motorcycle, second
home, motorhome, etc. do you have to spend
more time working on these things? Does
that ransom you?
- Read Proverbs 13:11-13. Why does money gathered “little by
little” grow as opposed to that won through the lottery?
(I’m not saying legal lottery winnings are “dishonest” –
we can leave the resolution of that issue to another day.
But someone who earns and saves money little by little had
a higher appreciation for it.)
- Does God fulfill the longings of our heart?
- On what does this depend? (I think that verses
12 and 13 are related. Our actions have
consequences — either for good or ill.)
- Understanding Right
- As you consider the idea that the path you choose in life
largely determines your destiny, tell me how you think God
fits into this? Is He more like an umpire calling out the
nature of your actions or is He more like a coach telling
you how to play correctly?
- Are God’s laws arbitrary? If not, on what are they based?
- Let’s read Psalms 19:1-3. How do the heavens speak about
God? (I must ask this question about these verses six
times a year in my lessons! They show God’s great power
and order. The stars and planets don’t (generally) bump
into each other. Man has discovered the universe is slowly
expanding – at just the perfect rate so that it does not
(through the weakening forces of gravity) explode or
(through the strengthening forces of gravity) implode!)
- Let’s read Psalms 19:7-9. Why does Solomon jump from the
heavens to the law of God? (The “point” is that God’s laws
for us are as natural and ordered as are the laws of the
universe. These are not arbitrary commands, they are
counsel on the way the world works and we ignore them at
our peril. We are right, for example, to fight against
the tide of the culture trying to teach our children that
homosexuality is normal and acceptable. However, this is
not a “fight” that we have to win. Homosexuality, like
every other sin and deviance from the law of God, is going
to come crashing down because it is contrary to the
natural order that God has created. These matters are not
in our hands, but God’s hands. Our assignment is to
understand God’s natural laws and comply.)
- A Fool’s Choice
- Our lesson (Tuesday) mentions that 9% of the book of
Proverbs is devoted to a discussion of fools and
foolishness! Let’s see what comes of dealing with fools.
- Read Proverbs 23:9 and 26:4-5. Should we talk to fools or
- Does this mean that we should not share the gospel
- Don’t Proverbs 26:4&5 directly contradict each other?
(The SDA Bible Commentary on these verses says these
verses only seem to contradict each other. Verse 4
tells us we should not answer a fool on his own
terms. We should not accept his assumptions in our
answer. On the other hand, verse 5 tells us to answer
a fool so that his foolishness is revealed.)
- Can you put all three verses together and come up
with a summary of what they teach? ( Proverbs 23:9
tells us that we should not waste our time in
fruitless arguments with fools. Proverbs 26:4 tells
us we should not answer a fool using his foolish
assumptions. But Proverbs 26:5 tells us that at the
same time, wisdom should tell us how we can give
Godly answers which will reveal fools to be fools.)
- The Final End
- Read Proverbs 10:8-9. Why does this text mention that the
fool is talking? (The wise man is listening to commands so
that he can accept them, the fool is talking and not
- Not paying attention leads to what? (Ruin)
- Why is the man of integrity secure, and the “crooked
path” fellow not? (You don’t have to worry if you are
a “straight arrow.”)
- Let’s continue with Proverbs 10 by slipping down to verse
19. Read verse 19. This is no good for the class! I like
it when you talk – as opposed to sitting there silently!
Why do many words equate with sin? Why is it wise to hold
your tongue? (I think the idea is pride. If we just like
to hear ourselves talk, then we are guilty of pride.)
- Why is it a virtue to hold your tongue? (Read
Proverbs 10:20-21. This helps to clarify the matter.
The righteous man should speak because it is a
blessing to others. However, when you are a fool, or
have nothing to add, you are wise to hold your
- Read Proverbs 17:27-28 which continues this concept.
We have a fellow in my office who is constantly upset
by matters and is screaming about others. Do you know
someone like that? Is such a person wise?
- Read Proverbs 10:24-25. Why does the righteous person
stand? Is it because God intervenes and destroys the fool?
Or is it because the fool destroys himself? (Someone who
understands God’s will and makes right decisions can
weather the “storms” of life. This idea of weathering
storms is part of the “steps” that we discussed earlier,
beginning with taking godly advice, watching how we speak,
and finally doing what is right.)
- Read Proverbs 24:19-20. Does this say that evil people
will not prosper?
- What is the hope of the righteous? (Friend, God
promises His children a future with Him! That is the
long term benefit of trusting and obeying God.)
- Next Week: Live Within Your Means.