Welcome to our first week of study!!! We will meet here each Monday (Feb. 15, 22, March 1, 8) with a new lesson and new homework questions. I am so excited to study the book of Proverbs with you. Before we begin, let’s pray together:
Father God, we praise You as Wisdom and Truth. You are the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. You are the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. You tell us in Your Word that if we lack wisdom, we need only ask, Father, and You will give to us generously without finding fault. So today, as we begin our study for the week, we ask in faith, fully believing You at Your Word that You will reveal Truth and Wisdom to us. We invite You into every step of this journey. Fill us with knowledge of Your will; guide us into all Wisdom and Truth as we seek to know You more. Apply our hearts to understanding what we read through the power of Your Holy Spirit. Thank You, Father, that this is Your promise to us and that not only will You do what we ask, but also You will do abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine! We ask this all in the name of Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord, AMEN!!
Have you ever said: “I can’t understand the Bible.” “I read the Bible, but I just don’t get anything out of it” I remember repeating those phrases many times early in my journey with God…especially when I joined my first Bible study. What I discovered over the years is that the reason I did not “get” the Bible is because I never really read it the way God intended for it to be read. I picked it up every now and again when it was convenient or I needed something from God.
I had no idea that God sent His Word so that He could speak into my life. As we begin today, friends, we will stand on two powerful Scriptural truths:
My Word that goes out from My mouth; it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purposes for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Solomon, the author of Proverbs, was King David’s son. Scripture tells us Solomon began his reign as king with his heart wholly devoted to God. God was so pleased with Solomon that in 1 Kings 3:5-14, He came to him in a dream and offered him one thing, anything he wanted, to reward him for his devotion. Look at Solomon’s words to God:
Now, O Lord my God, You have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. And here I am in the midst of Your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted Give me a wise and understanding heart so that I can govern Your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours. 1 Kings 3:7-9.
Scripture tells us the Lord was pleased with Solomon’s request. He desired wisdom not for selfish gain but to govern God’s people. In response, God gave Solomon a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have. 1 Kings 3:12.
Solomon penned these God-given words of wisdom into a beautiful book and gave them as a gift to his children. That is the book we are reading today.
Several writers define wisdom as having the knowledge and the ability to make right choices at opportune times. But the key here is, where do we find that knowledge and ability? Where do we begin? Do we look to Oprah, Dr. Laura, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, child psychologists, marriage therapists, self-help books, parenting books, Nanny 911????
As Christians, it is clear that our search for knowledge begins with God. Why is that? Because Proverbs 1:7 tells us:
Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Beginning as used here derives from the Hebrew word “resit” which means “the start.” You cannot gain knowledge of spiritual things if you begin at the wrong starting point. Just as you cannot unlock your car without the key or the code, you cannot unlock the wisdom of God without acknowledging and revering God as the source of all Truth.
Reading God’s Word gives us His perspective on what is going on in our lives. We read how He worked in the past to understand what we need to choose today. Romans 15:4a says,
Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says,
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.
I want to celebrate you today, sweet friend. You have many places you could be today, but you have chosen to be here, to be in God’s Word with us. As we delve into our study time together let us first…
1. Open our ears and our hearts to receive God’s Word. Pray for God to speak into your heart personally; ask Him to make your heart tender and humble to hear His voice. Pray this simple prayer, “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, to help me see and understand the wonderful things in Your law.”
2. Commit to apply what we learn. Pray for God to show you where you need to live out the truths He reveals and pray for Him to enable you to do it. Pray for opportunities for Him to work in your life through what you have learned.
3. Seek after more. In your homework, don’t just “do” the questions. Ponder His Word. Soak in His Truth. Search for more. When you sense the Lord speaking to you in a certain passage, dig deeper, use the study notes and commentaries.
Friends, Solomon invites us to search for truths and promises in God’s Word as we would search for hidden treasure. Let’s commit together to desire God’s Truth above all else. Let’s wait expectantly to see God at work in our midst. Let’s open our eyes, ears, and hearts fully and completely for God to enter in and do a mighty, mighty work in each of us.
Homework: Read Proverbs Chapters One and Two and answer the following questions. You can do as few or as little as you have time. May God take whatever time you have and use it to speak a fresh Word into your heart.
1. Rank in order of importance the following sources of wisdom in your life.
a. parents b. spiritual mentors c. friends d. spouses e. The Bible
f. self-help/parenting/marriage books g. talk shows
2. Read Proverbs 1:1-7.
List Solomon’s purposes in writing Proverbs.
Refer back to Question Number 1, do your primary sources of wisdom accomplish these purpose in your life?
3. List the action verbs Solomon uses in Proverbs 1:1-7.
4. Read 2 Timothy 3:16.
Share the stated purposes of Scripture.
How do these purposes relate to those stated in Proverbs 1:1-7?
5. Read Proverbs 1:7a.
What is the very first step you need to take to gain wisdom? What does this mean to you?
6. One author defines fear of the Lord as “acknowledging God’s power and sovereignty then offering our obedience in light of that power and sovereignty.” Why is it necessary to acknowledge God as our authority before we can gain wisdom?
7. What areas of your life will benefit the most from studying Proverbs (personal relationships, personal journey, role as wife, role as mother, speech, finances, other)? In which area would you like to see God work most?
8. What wisdom did your parents pass down to you? Did that wisdom involve conversations and/or prayer centered on God’s Word and godly wisdom?
9. To whom has God given the primary responsibility of instructing children regarding wisdom and truth (hint: read Proverbs 1:8-9 and Ephesians 6:1-4)?
10. Read Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
How can you live this out in your own home?
11. Read Proverbs 1:10-19.
Who or what entices you away from the things of God? How do they entice you? How do you respond?
What is Solomon’s advice in these verses?
12. In the Greek, “yoked together” in 2 Corinthians 6:14 means to couple two things together. The example often given is two oxen yoked together plowing a field. There is one yoke connecting the pair to prevent them from going in opposite directions. They are bound together and must travel together.
Why does God warn against being “yoked together” with unbelievers?
How does that apply to what you are reading in Proverbs?
How can you obey the wisdom given in these verses and still live in the world?
13. List the verbs Solomon uses in Proverbs 2:1-5. In your daily life, how can you live out His direction?
14. Read Proverbs 2:20.
The Message reads: “So – join the company of good men and women, keep your feet on the tried and true paths.” According to this verse, what are two ways to keep our steps from sin?
Do you have good men/women in your life? If you do praise the Lord. If you do not, pray and ask the Lord to bring them into your life.
How would you define the “tried and true” path (the path of righteousness)? Do you believe you are on this path? If not, how do you find this path?
Friends, may God richly bless your time with Him in His Word. I will be praying for you. Feel free to invite new friends to join us.
Throughout the week, please share your thoughts by clicking on “comments” at the end of the post. You can comment anonymously if you do not have a blog. Also, if you cannot figure out how to leave a comment, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing how God works in each of your hearts!
Blessings to you,