Focus Verse: Prov 4:7 Lesson Verse: Prov 1:7
A. The Book of Proverbs in the Old Testament is God's foundation for thinking - it is the basis of a Christians "philosophy." Any philosophy that does not match this Book is anti-God, and is to be taken with a pinch of salt. It is the solid rock of truth about the human heart, and the issues we face because of it (Prov 4:23).
B. Proverbs is such an important Book that it ought to be read by everyone, one chapter a day through a month, every month for a while until it sinks in deep! Great to read at the end of the day (Psalms should be read at the start of the day).
A. Great Title "The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel." Written by a son, who was instructed by his father, and who was now instructing his own son, Rehoboam.
B. Great Purpose (1:2-4)
1. So that we can KNOW wisdom and understanding - God's way of thinking (Isa 55:8,9; 1Cor 2:13; 1:19,25,27,29)
2. So that we can perceive the words of understanding - to know genuine truth - not the world's counterfeits
3. So that we can receive instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment and equity (right balance of judgment) - not just hear it. We have a hard time "receiving" (allowing in) instruction, especially in the form of chastisement - yet that is INSTRUCTION!
4. So that the simple (uneducated, immature) become smarter than their enemy - subtility (Gen 3:1; Mt 10:16)
5. So that the young, immature man can have both knowledge and discretion (ability to act and think responsibly) - 1 Tim 4:12
C. Some Requirements (1:5,6)
1. A hearing ear (Mt 11:15) - carefully weighing, thinking, considering (Mt 4:24; Lk 8:18)
2. A learning HEART - grasping understanding, struggling - much of the Bible was written this way so that people would be forced to THINK their way through it - requires STUDY (2 Tim 2:15)!!!
3. A reaching goal - Attaining what GOD has laid out for you, instead of settling for second best, or for your own way (Lk 19:24-26)
D. A Great Start (1:7) - Lesson One - Fear God
1. Men who don't quake before God, quake before men (Pilate, Felix)
2. The beginning of all true understanding and knowledge is to know God as He really is, and to fear Him, not just reverence Him
a) Isa 66:2 - trembles at God's word
b) Prov 29:25
c) Ex 20:18-20
d) Necessary for true worship (Ps 5:7; 89:7)
e) Keeps you from sin Ex 20:10
3. Is a New Testament doctrine
a) Mt 10:26-28
b) Acts 2:43; 5:5,11; 9:31
c) Can't get saved without it (Acts 10:22; 13:26)
d) Is what makes us great Christians on the job (Eph 6:5), at home (1Pet 3:2), etc.
4. It is better to be hell-scare than hell-scorched (Jude 23)
5. The process that God uses to correct His children
a) He uses His word first - through preaching, and you reading and studying
b) If that doesn't work, then He tries to get you to worry
c) If that doesn't get you to repent, then trouble hits
d) If trouble is not accepted, and repented of, then God sends torment
e) If torment doesn't correct you, you can only expect death!
6. How to fear God
a) Accept Him as He really is - awesome
b) Realise you are going to face Him - not Mary or Joseph Smith
c) Flood your mind and heart with God's word
d) Realise His chastening hand is the one to worry about!
7. The pay-off: true knowledge (Jer 9:23,24) - you will know more than all scientists, philosophers, journalists, economists (Ps 119:97-103)!
E. Lesson Two - Listen to your parents (1:8,9)
1. We are not a listening generation
2. Our best counsellors (Pr 12:15; Cf Ps 1:1-3)
3. Parents are to be teachers - not pass it off to other people at schools and at church (Dt 4:9). Have laws, and Biblical instruction
4. This is a COMMAND (Eph 6:1,2; Ex 20:12; Cf Prov 30:11,17; 23:22)
5. It is also one of the greatest tests of a person's character - if you are saved, God will test your level of wisdom by seeing how much you are willing at least to even LISTEN to you parents!
6. Pay-off: True beauty and attraction on the inside (as in 1 Pet 3:1-4)
7. This will be repeated over and over throughout Proverbs!
F. Lesson Three - Stay clear of Ungodly Influences (1:10-19)
1. The Efforts of the Ungodly (EX: man robbed on road to Jericho)
a) They entice - allure people into their activities
b) Did you know that it is not always a WHAT (a thing) that tempts us to sin. It more often than not is a WHO (Gal 3:1).
c) They seek to kill, or destroy others in order to obtain their possessions (even today in "character assassination" - see Ahab and Nabaoth in 1Kg 21:1-16) - no regard for human life.
d) They are full of greed (2 Tim 6:10) - trying to "get something for nothing" - that is the basic human desire!
e) They invite believers to "come along" and get hooked on the high of a robbery
2. The End-Results of the Ungodly
a) Be aware that it all is a trap for you
b) All their works will fall back on their own heads
3. The Response to the Ungodly - predetermine to say "NO!" Be aware of what people are trying to do - both in your life and to your children's life. You can't catch a bird if that bird can see you setting the trap. If you notice others setting a trap for you, you shouldn't get caught!
4. Principles of having right friends
a) It is the small things that can ruin a life (1 Cor 5:6)
1) Bad attitudes spread like wildfire - root of bitterness
2) Lust starts off small (James 1:14,15)
b) It is wise to have good friends (Ps 119:63) - surround your life with godly people, and godly influences
c) All the effort a parent goes into training their children can be wiped away with "evil communications" (1Cor 15:33)
1) TV - THE most powerful programmer!
2) Radio - rock music, country and western
3) Wrong parental friends - foul mouths
4) The kind of books they read - explicit love stories
5) Wrong friends in the state - usually they will stay away from you and your kids, but sometimes they take on "the challenge" of getting a clean person to come down to their level!
d) Wisdom, as with ungodliness is "caught" more than "taught" (Prov 13:20). Live it in front of your children.
e) Ungodly friends can overthrow the faith of Christians (2Tim 2:16-18). They are working for your prime enemy (1Pet 5:8)!!!
G. Lesson Four - Wisdom's Delight (1:20-23)
1. The overall lesson continues
a) God has been working on the young man (he has lots of natural problems that need to be addressed and fixed)
b) Starts talking about something called "wisdom" - personifies it - makes it female
c) In order to be wise, the young man is told to get wisdom, like a man seeks a wife (Prov 4:5-8)
d) Previously, God talked about who we shouldn't walk with, and get involved with, but now replaces the negative with a positive - who we SHOULD get all wrapped up in - wisdom!
2. Jesus IS Wisdom (1Cor 1:30; Col 2:3)
3. Where you will find wisdom calling - where ever people are found!
a) Without - outside of the cities - out in the fields
b) At the entrance of the city gates
c) In the streets
d) In the chief places of concourse - big businesses, main streets
e) All over the city
f) This is the work of the Holy Spirit through Christians at work, at home, while walking, at the store, etc!!
4. The kind of people wisdom seeks to help - not the easy ones, but those in greatest need (Mt 9:12).
a) The simple one - careless or indifferent - never investigate anything thoroughly - they love being ignorant of God on purpose
b) The scorners - scoffers, mockers at things that are pure and right - to them, it is entertaining to mock God. They enjoy blaming God for the world's evils.
c) The fools - actively oppose anything of God - they hate any knowledge about God
5. The offer of Wisdom
a) If we would repent - turn at her reproof
b) Then she would give us wisdom - through words, not feelings
c) She will also pour out her "spirit"
1) Shows the purpose of the Spirit in the Old and New Testament.
2) Those who do not have the Spirit of God cannot understand the words of God (1Cor 1:19,25)
d) This shows a great truth
1) There must be repentance before conversion
2) There must be conversion - transformation before the indwelling of the Holy Spirit - doesn't come into an unsaved person - they only get a "counterfeit spirit."
3) The Holy Spirit must indwell the believer before the words of God make full sense
H. The Folly of Rebellion (1:24-33). What happens when people reject wisdom - same with rejecting God.
1. What God does at first with every person
a) He calls (1Tim 2:4) - yet people refuse
b) He stretches out His hands (even on the cross) - yet nobody cared, and instead, rejects and refutes God's counsel
2. What God ends up doing to most people - He acts "in kind"
a) He laughs when we get in trouble - God will get the "last laugh!"
b) He mocks when our fear overwhelms us, and destruction surrounds us
c) He ignores us when we call in earnestness (Cf Dt 28:23). God is not a bell-boy, or Genie! We are supposed to come when HE calls (Isa 55:6,7)! This holds true for the Christian as much as for the unsaved.
3. People reject wisdom all because of a bad attitude - they hated God, and God's ways (Ps 95:10) - said, "No, not today; not interested, etc." Well, they will hear the same words back!
a) Hated knowledge
b) Didn't desire to fear God - they laughed at jokes about God, and Jesus, but it came back on their own heads!
c) Rejected God's counsel (Isa 1:18)
d) Despised reproof - negative criticism
Principle (2Cor 6:2)
4. Final results of rejecting light (1:31-32)
a) You will really go "your own way" - to hell
b) Turning away from the Bible is deadly
c) The world's prosperity will ultimately destroy
5. Final plea - listen and live (1:33). Don't think you are so smart until you have heard God out, and weighed what He says (Acts 17:10-12; Prov 18:13; John 7:51)
Conclusion and Study Questions
for Chapter One
A. What is the very first lesson introduced in the Book or Proverbs? ______ ___________________________________________________________
B. Why did God write the Book of Proverbs? _________________________ ___________________________________________________________
C. Who is the primary author of the Book of Proverbs? _________________
D. One of the greatest tests of the Christian is to listen to WHO? _________ ___________________________________________________________
E. When a person is tempted, it is usually not a WHAT that tempts us - it is a… __________________________
F. Who is Wisdom personifying? __________________________________
G. When Wisdom says "turn you at my reproof," what is she meaning? ____ ___________________________________________________________
H. All the effort a parent goes into training their children can be wiped away with "________ ________________" (1Cor 15:33)
I. What must happen before a person experiences "conversion?" _________ ___________________________________________________________
J. If a person is going to receive the words of wisdom (the words of God), what do they need to receive? ___________________________________
K. Name a reason why God laughs at a sinner when they experience overwhelming troubles: __________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________
L. When God ignores us when we pray, it just may be because of what reason? _______________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________