Friday, March 1, 2019

Probing Proverbs #1: Overview and How a Proverbs Works

Probing Proverbs #1: Overview and How a Proverbs Works


Introduction (1:1-7)
The Author (1:1)
The Purpose (1:2-6)
The Theme (1:7)

The Precepts of Wisdom (1:8-9:18)
Avoid Bad Company (1:8-19)
Heed Wisdom's Advice (1:20-33)
Avoid the Adulteress (2:1-22)
Trust and Honor God (3:1-12)
Consider the Value of Wisdom (3:13-20)
Be Kind and Generous to Others (3:21-35)
Acquire Wisdom (4:1-9)
Avoid Bad Company (4:10-19)
Watch Yourself (4:20-27)
Forsake Lust (5:1-23)
Avoid Surety (6:1-5)
Shun Laziness (6:6-19)
Avoid Adultery (6:20-35)
Avoid the Adulteress (7:1-27)
Wisdom and Folly Contrasted (8:1-9:18)
The qualities of wisdom (8:1-21)
The origin of wisdom (8:22-31)
The man of wisdom (8:32-36)
The woman of foolishness (9:1-18)

The Proverbs of Solomon (10:1-24:34)
Proverbs Contrasting Righteous and Wicked Lives (10:1-15:33)
Proverbs Encouraging Godly Lives (16:1-22:16)
Proverbs Concerning Various Practices (22:17-23:35)
Proverbs Concerning Various People (24:1-34)

The Proverbs of Solomon Copied by Hezekiah's Men (25:1-29:27)
Proverbs Concerning Relationships with Others (25:1-26:28)
With kings (25:1-7)
With neighbors (25:8-20)
With enemies (25:21-24)
With yourself (25:25-26:2)
With fools (26:3-12)
With sluggards (26:13-16)
With gossips (26:17-28)

Proverbs Concerning Actions (27:1-29:27)
In relation to life (27:1-27)
In relation to law (28:1-10)
In relation to wealth (28:11-28)
In relation to stubbornness (29:1-27)

The Words of Agur (30:1-33)
Personal Words (30:1-14)
Numerical Proverbs (30:15-33)

The Words of Lemuel (31:1-9)
The Capable Wife (31:10-31) - Ryrie Study Bible.

Lesson 1: God's Wisdom

Wisdom’s Discovery                 Proverbs 1:1-7

What is a Proverb?
A proverb is a way of teaching which replaces many words with only a few.
It does this often by making a comparison or a contrast.

In the Book of Proverbs this is often done in couplets
Chapters 10-15 contain mostly contrasting couplets
Prov. 10:1 The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
Prov 13:1, 18

What is the key linking word in contrasting couplets? but

Chapters 16-22 contain mostly comparison couplets.
Prov 16:7 When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him
Prov 25:24,25

What is the linking word in comparison couplets? Are, better, than, like and so.

In addition, there are completive couplets.
Prov. 14:10 10 The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.
Prov. 16:13

What is the linking word in completive proverbs? and

A Proverb’s Purpose
Vs. 2-3 What does Solomon say is a proverb's purpose?
To know wisdom, instruction, understanding, knowledge, discretion, justice and equity
These are all synonyms for a special type of wisdom, God's wisdom.

The word wisdom occurs 39 times in the book of Proverbs.
The Wycliffe Bible Commentary says, "The words... used throughout this passage, do not mean merely human intelligence and skill, but rather they are contrasted with that which is evil.  Wisdom as here used is therefore a moral quality."

In striving after this wisdom, I gain more than just rote learning.  I am training my spirit.  The knowledge gained extends past this life and into eternity.

Chuck Swindoll lists these Five purposes for the book of Proverbs Vs. 2a To give reverence and obedience to the heart
Vs. 2b To provide discernment to the eye
Vs. 3 To develop alertness in the walk.
Vs. 4 To establish discretion and purpose in life.
Vs. 6 To cultivate a keenness of mind.

How does a Proverbs work?
A proverb stirs the intellect causing research, questions and curiosity.
The proverb in the OT works the same way as a parable in the NT.
Read Matthew 13:10-18

What is the difference between a wise person and a fool in dealing with parable or proverbs?
The wise in hearing a parable or a proverb would seek to understand it, to gain from it.
The foolish turn away in disgust at having to search or work for wisdom

Vs. 7 What is the first requirement for wisdom?
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

“Fear of the Lord” is used 14 times in Proverbs.

Psalm 115:11 - Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. 

Job 28:28  And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

What kind of fear is this?
Fear of the Lord is worship, reverence, trust, respect and yes even dread.

It means looking to God for who He is the Creator, sustain and restorer of life as well as our judge.
In other words before we can gain wisdom, we must gain God.  We must establish a trusting, learning and working relationship with Him. 

How can you develop such a relationship and understanding of God?
This is only done through His Son Jesus Christ.

Wisdoms Warning Proverbs 1:10-19
Judging from these verses, what is the first thing wisdom teaches us to do?
The first thing we learn of wisdom is how to say no.

In Matthew 4:1-11 read about the temptation of Jesus.  How is His handling of Satan’s temptations an example of the first lesson wisdom teaches us?
He used scripture to resist Satan and then told him to get away. 

Vs. 16-19 What does wisdom teach us is the ultimate end of those who refuse to learn?
The ultimate end of sinners is destruction

Wisdom Invitation    Proverbs 1:20-33
vs. 20-23  Wisdom is now personified as a woman.  What is she doing?
She is seeking for those who will learn

Where is she looking?

What is she saying?
She is amazed at how long will fools refuse to hear and heed.

Vs. 26-27 What is the result of refusing wisdom’s invitation?
Calamity, fear, destruction, despair, anguish

Vs. 28-29 What will the foolish do when calamity comes?
Call out to wisdom.

What will wisdom do when the foolish call?
Laugh at them, not answer their call, nor be found by them.

Vs. 32  What is wisdom’s conclusion about those who refuse her?
For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

Vs. 33 What is wisdom’s promise to those who respond to her invitation?
They shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

In conclusion, we must listen, accept and then apply wisdom to our life then we will live to see and appreciate God's blessings in those same lives.

Personal Application.
Do I have the right kind of fear towards God?  Do I really reverence and honor Him as Creator, Sustainer and Lord of all?

Have I met the first requirement for wisdom?  Do I have a real, vital and personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ?

Are the five purposes for the book of Proverbs purposes that I have from my own life?

Are there areas in my life in which I am guilty of refusing wisdom’s invitation?

The Bible is a book of wisdom, by far the greatest ever given to mankind. I holds the key not only to a good life today but to an everlasting life in eternity.  Proverbs takes the common sense teachings of Solomon’s time, steeped in the culture and scripture of the nation of Israel as formed by God and His word, and then gives us a book of beautiful, powerful and life changing word of wisdom. If we will but apply them our life today and our hope tomorrow will be all the stronger.


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