CSBC Sunday School: Proverbs Series
Lesson #6: Proverbs 8:6-21
July 12, 2020
Resources: Phillips; Braddy; MacArthur; McCrary, B. Jennings, Explore the Bible
HOOK: (Why should we listen to this lesson?)
Subject: GOD’S WISDOM!
Central Theme: PURSUE GOD’S WISDOM!
Objective Statement: EVERY BELIEVER SHOULD PURSUE GOD’S WISDOM BY HEEDING THESE THREE WORDS!
Points: #1 – VALUABLE! #2 – POWERFUL! #3 – OBTAINABLE!
- FOCUS ATTENTION: CAN YOU DESCRIBE A TIME WHEN YOU SEARCHED DILIGENTLY FOR SOMETHING THAT WAS HARD TO FIND? MAYBE IT AS A VINTAGE OR COLLECTIBLE ITEM; PERHAPS AN ANTIQUE. HOW MUCH TIME AND ENERGY DID YOU SPEND SEARCHING FOR IT? WHAT WERE THE RESULTS OF YOUR EFFORTS? Allow for possible anecdotes that reflect our willingness to search long and hard to find something we value. When you obtained the item how did it make you feel? Was the effort worth it?
- CONTEXT: Proverbs 8-9 is an appeal to search diligently for godly Wisdom. Solomon continues to use “personification” as he showed his son how to discerningly follow the way of God’s Wisdom and to avoid the path of the Foolish. He continues to personify wisdom as an elegant lady of virtue in Chapter 8. Solomon also presents the contrast between wisdom and foolishness by using the analogy of two houses ( 9). The woman, WISDOM, lived in one house and she invited Solomon’s son to a banquet that she prepared. She invited everyone who saw the need for wisdom to this feast. She explained the value of growing in godly wisdom to all her guests. The wiser people become, the more they want to mature in discretion and discernment. She presents the bedrock truth about how to become wise. It involves fearing the Lord and knowing Him intimately (9:1-12). FOLLY lived in another house. She personified the foolish path that individuals take if they reject the way of God’s wisdom. Those that choose her invitation, drink water and eat bread. But it is stolen water that symbolizes the foolishness of immorality. The guests eat bread in secret, hiding their sinful ways in the shadows (9:13-18). So today we want to understand why our only clear choice is to pursue WISDOM. It is worth our time and energy to search persistently for it!
- Let’s Explore the Bible in Proverbs 8:6-21.
BOOK: (What does the Bible say?)
#1 – VALUABLE! (Prov. 8:6-11)
- In our study today, Solomon continued to use figurative language and portrayed wisdom as a virtuous woman. By using a figurative language called “personification,” he showed his son how to respect the value of God’s wisdom and treat it like a precious treasure. As you read our text today, notice the number of times the pronoun “I” is repeated. Solomon allowed the wisdom of God to speak through the voice of a virtuous woman. In verses 6-9 we listen to her voice regarding instruction and wisdom. The first teaching of our instructor is, “Hear, for I will speak of excellent things” ( 6). We are to listen to these instructions with an intention to inculcate these principles of wisdom into our life. WHAT KINDS OF THINGS DOES SHE CAREFULLY SAY WITH HER LIPS ACCORDING TO VERSES 6-8? She will only speak “right things” (vs. 6). She will “speak truth” with her mouth (vs. 7). She guards her speech knowing “wickedness is an abomination to my lips” (vs. 7). Everything she says “are in righteousness” (vs. 8). This virtuous woman makes sure “there is nothing froward or perverse in them” (vs. 8). In other words, she will not speak wickedly, evil, crafty, or perverse things with her mouth. This is godly wisdom and it should be easy and “plain” for all learners to “understand” (vs. 9). That’s when we “find” for ourselves, that the “knowledge” given to us from the Bible makes complete sense (vs. 9). The TRUTH of God’s Wisdom that has been discussed, gives way to a passionate appeal to embrace it. WHEN WE ASSESS VALUE IN OUR WORLD, WHAT CONSTITUTES THE WORTH OF SOMETHING? It’s important to remember that WE are the ones who determine value and worth. Does Silver weep because it’s not as valuable as Gold? Of course not. They are just commodities for which we have set values. Is a Penny disappointed because it’s not considered more expensive than a Quarter? No, we set worth. What about Antiques? They are just old, but someone says they are valuable. So things like Gold, Silver and Rubies are valuable because we say they are! We always prefer what our hearts treasure. Our virtuous woman informs us what is really valuable! WHAT DOES SHE DECLARE IS BETTER THAN SILVER, GOLD OR RUBIES? Well, she announces, “Receive my instruction” and “knowledge” (vs. 10). Then she continues and says, “For wisdom is better than rubies” (vs. 11). In other words, nothing is more valuable or to be compared to the treasure of WISDOM (vs. 11b)! That is why growing Christians come to value Wisdom above everything else.
#2 – POWERFUL! (vs. 12-16)
- Solomon continues in these verses speaking God’s “wisdom” to his son through the voice of the honorable woman. She states, “I wisdom” live in my house with “prudence” ( 12). That’s not the name of her mother or sister. The Hebrew word used for “prudence” in this verse suggests virtue as having foresight or far-sightedness. She wisely plans for the future and develops a plan for successful living. Her “knowledge” is not only that of book learning or life experience. Even though she may be well versed in “knowledge of witty inventions” (vs. 12), she does not place value in those things of human reason. No, she has a desire to have a deep and abiding knowledge of TRUTH! From where did these virtues come? She sets out to answer that question in vs. 13-16. She reminds Solomon’s son of instruction he had already received from his earlier counsel. IN VERSES 13-14, WHAT DOES THIS TEACHER CLAIM TO BE THE “MOST IMPORTANT” ISSUES TO GAIN GOD’S WISDOM? We must recognize, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy” (vs. 13). To “fear” God meant to love Him in a way that nourished healthy respect for Him. It made the difference between growing wise or becoming foolish. Once again, the issue of Humility is introduced into the discussion of Wisdom. God honors humble people who make wise choices. The woman continues to point out other areas that godly Wisdom hates; “the evil way, and the froward mouth” (vs. 13b). Eventually, selfish, prideful, behavior would give way to moral corruption. That’s when individuals turned to “the evil way” of lying and other forms of “the froward mouth.” With their wicked words, they shrouded the corruption that would ruin them in due time.
- Verses 14-16 transition to the virtues of Wisdom portrayed in this godly woman as the only true source of “guidance.” List some of the things WISDOM (She) provides through God: “Counsel is mine;” “sound wisdom;” “understanding;” strength;” “By me kings reign;” “princes decree justice;” “By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth” ( 14-16), seek the wisdom of God to know how to rightly govern. Wisdom is the source of such POWER. Oh, if only our leaders today would quit operating in their own prideful and sinful ways and seek God’s Wisdom. Then maybe with His divine favor, we would once again, see God’s blessings upon our nation.
#3 – OBTAINABLE! (vs. 17-21)
- The woman who personified wisdom in Solomon’s instruction to his son turned her attention to all God’s people who loved her. Verse 17 does not imply that God only loves those people who love Him. On the contrary, we love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:7-10). This theme of 17 is reinforced in the NT for true Christians in search of wisdom. God gives His wisdom to believers who ask Him for it (James 1:5; Heb. 11:6).
- Verses 18-21 continue Solomon’s encouragement to love God’s wisdom. These verses tell us that those who pursue wisdom will recognize the extravagant blessings of God. Two expressions of the blessing are presented in 18. The first expression is presented in terms of “riches” and wealth. God’s people who live by His wisdom will have “needed” resources. The second expression is described as “honour” and “righteousness.” These benefits are by-products of a life lived with a priority towards God and a desire to obtain His Wisdom! This is not a “Prosperity Theology” where people give to gain. Here we see the natural outgrowth of God’s blessings upon those who make Him the primary focus of their lives and seek His wisdom. Verse 19 repeats the principles we learned earlier in today’s lesson regarding what is really valuable. Wisdom of God bears abundant “fruit” in our lives, and its value surpasses “gold” and “silver” (vs. 19). The language of “revenue” also helps us to get the most attractive picture of the lavish yield God’s wisdom renders for us when we follow it. These riches and revenues are not so much profits we glean from the world’s monetary systems, but rather the prosperity afforded to the pursuers of God’s wisdom. For those of us who seek after “righteousness” and “judgment” (vs. 20), there is an eternal reward that far exceeds the temporary wealth of this world. Our personification of Wisdom concludes, “That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures” (vs. 21). She reiterates that this result of wisdom is a treasury that is provided as an inheritance. In other words, she would supply them with plenty of assets to minister and for future blessings to come. So, seek God’s Wisdom and He will pour out the blessings!
LOOK: (Why is what it says important?)
- Objective Statement (Repeated): EVERY BELIEVER SHOULD PURSUE GOD’S WISDOM BY HEEDING THE THREE WORDS WE DISCUSSED TODAY; VALUABLE; POWERFUL; OBTAINABLE!
- What is significant about God’s promise to make Himself available to those who seek Him? Remember that godly wisdom is not a matter of intellect. Rather, we gain His Wisdom by faithfully pursuing God ( 8:5). God’s wisdom comes through fearing Him but it can be totally trusted as true. If you lack WISDOM, ask God for it because He is always eager to give it (James 1:5).
- What is your testimony about the blessings you have received by living out godly wisdom? As you think about those many blessings, thank God for His marvelous grace. Now, how often do you share your testimony with others? It should be a normal, natural, thing for believers to do as we go through the course of our day. Boast about Jesus!
TOOK: (Why is it important to me? What should I do with it?)
Evaluation: This week in the constant “tug-of-war” between WISDOM and FOLLY in our lives, who will win out? It’s all based upon our choices. List the characteristics of a “Wise Person” based on Proverbs 8. Strive this week to choose at least two of those actions and display them in your life. People will take notice of your wisdom choices.
In preparation for our next Bible Study please read Proverbs 14:8-15.