Bible Study: (Book of Proverbs; Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom)
Study: Week # 6
Father God, we thank You for gift of wisdom. You have blessed Your people with understanding and knowledge, and now, we come to asking for wisdom. James 1:5 says, we can ask, and You will give to us because You are a gracious God. We honor Your Word with all our hearts. You are a wonderful God. You are mighty. You are omniscience, omnipotent, and omnipresence. We seek wisdom so we can live a good life unto You. We have found out that Your wisdom is far better than man's wisdom. We are blessed because the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory has blessed us with this wisdom. Bless us father God with the godly wisdom that comes from You. Father God, we receive from You, the Creator of the universe. Lord God, help us to abide in You, and in Your Word. Teach us to know right from wrong according to Your will for our life. Bless us with the spirit of discernment and understanding as we study these lessons in Jesus' name. We make the choice right now that begins with a decision to trust Christ as our Savior, and to follow God's Word always, and forever. This we pray in the Mighty Name of Jesus. AMEN.
Title: Wisdom Part 2
The believer will meet many situations in life that he cannot solve because they are beyond his ability to work them out. There will be many times when there is not a clear answer as to what is "right" or what is "wrong," however he can learn "equity." That is what the book of
Proverbs teaches - what to do when there is no law . . .
PRINCIPLES FROM HEAVEN FOR LIFE ON EARTH
The book of Proverbs gives "principles for living" which appears to be like "scattered seed." The various subjects that it deals with are sprinkled throughout the book, seemingly disconnected, often it appears to have no association to the declaration given just previous, or the following truth stated. The reader runs across a proverb on child rearing, and the very next breath is a proverb on a completely different subject, such as gossip or riches. Why is this? It seems, at times, as if Solomon dropped his manuscript and the pages got shuffled when he put them back together!
There are those who hesitant to get too excited over the book of Proverbs because of this sprinkled style of presenting truth. This seems to be a common aversion in studying what appears to be very difficult to comprehend. However, as one begins to apply himself to what he reads in the book of Proverbs, he will find that, instead of spending time on the outskirts of his problems, and not being able to come to grips with them, the book of Proverbs will give him ability to strip aside the obvious and come to the heart of the matter more quickly.
The book of Proverbs is not like neat rows of corn growing in straight, tall, lines for one to walk through and pick its fruit. No, it is more like walking through a treasured "gift shop," where every item one picks up is different . . . a priceless, beautiful treasure! There is a surprise waiting anyone as each item is inspected and every time one turns around, there is something new and different to examine.
The book of Proverbs deals with practical wisdom. However, it is more "heart wisdom, than it is "head" knowledge. The principles for living contained in the book of Proverbs are something which is more "caught," than "taught." Many, even though they have their doctrine straight have trouble with living what Galatians 5:22-23 refers to as "the fruit of the Spirit" . . . [love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control] . . . Their systematic theology stands in straight, tall, lines and scribbled tittles, however, their ability to cope with crises in everyday living has, somehow, gone wrong. Herein is the beauty of the book of Proverbs - it works in every area of life, Monday through Sunday, with amazing efficiency!
The reason for the arrangement of the book of Proverbs is because God is presenting wisdom as the supreme treasure to the diligent seeker. God is not speaking of any one subject in life, but, rather He is stating that wisdom is to be in all of life's experiences. The "wisdom" given in the book of Proverbs, permeates every category of life. All facets of wisdom is set forth. All shade into one another, and any one of them can be used to represent the whole. Here, in the book of Proverbs, God's "moral-presentation" is given, dealing with God's "righteousness, justice, and equity," enabling the believer to do what is right just and fair! No matter what the subject, difficult situation, or problem one faces, a principle given here, is always there to meet the need, whatever it might be.
In this book of Proverbs the believer can receive ability and power to project "eternal" goals and proper direction, which in some cases is toward a goal, and in other cases, it is to turn away from a certain crisis or situation. However, as the student gives diligent attention to the book of Proverbs he will discover far more order than there seemed to be when he first began studying this book. There are narrative forms, such as, in the first nine chapters, one finds a section about the father's advice to his son.
An example of areas of "wisdom" found in the book of Proverbs:
The sovereign 8:15-16; 16:10-13; 21:1; 25:2-5; 28:16; 29:14; 31:1-9
The principles of national 11:14; 14:34; 24:6; 28:2
Prosperity or decay are laid open the rich are warned of their besetting temptation
18:11; 23:4-5; 28:20 & 22
The poor are cheered in their worldly humiliation 15:16-17; 17:1; 29:1, 22; 28:6
Wisdom is given for self-control 4:23-27; 16:32; 23:1-3
Wisdom bridles the tongue 4:24; 10:31; 17:20; 25:23; 26:20-26
Wisdom corrects the wanton eye 5:20-21; 6:25-29; 23:26-27
Wisdom ties the unjust hand in chains 18:5; 28:8
Wisdom prevents laziness 6:6-11; 12:27; 13:4; 19:24; 20:4; 24:30-34
Wisdom chastises all unclean desires 21:25-26
Wisdom teaches clean living 4:14-15; 6:1-5; 14:8, 15, & 18; 22:3; 25:6-10
Wisdom raises men's courage 28:1
Wisdom represents self-control & purity in such a manner as to produce a deep respect and high regard of reverence for God and man 5:15-19 together with 23:29-35
The blessing or curse of the marriage ordinance is vividly portrayed 18:22; 29:14; 31:10 with 12:4; 19:13; 21:9 with 19
Sound principles of family order and discipline are inculcated 13:24; 14:1; 19:18; 22:6; 23:13-14; 29:15, 17, 19, and 21
Domestic economy is displayed in handling money properly 27:23-27; 31:10-27
Even the minute courtesies of daily life are regulated 23:6-8; 25:17
Self-denying consideration of others 3:27-28
Providing liberty for all men 11:24; 22:9
Principles of true godliness 31:10 and verse 30
From the moment one rises in the morning until he goes to sleep at night, his life is one continuing series of decisions and, the book of Proverbs, can able him to make decisions which are right, just and fair. God promises "wisdom," not to the causal seeker, but, rather, to those who "seek after wisdom as one would seek after silver." These riches, offered in the book of Proverbs are not lying on the surface, one must dig, as one seeks after gold, in the depths of the earth. The surface may seem barren, because the mine, which bears inexhaustible riches is beneath the surface? Its riches are held out only to the diligent digger. [Proverbs 2:4] Remember, the meaning of the Hebrew word for "wisdom" is the word that means "strong, or firm." The meaning is obvious, when one receives wisdom, it will make him strong and sound in character - and this is the purpose of the book of Proverbs. God does not promise one will "get smart" by diligent study of the book of Proverbs, but, rather, God does promise that one will receive "justice, judgment and equity."
Wisdom, then, is affirming God's right to define righteousness. It is to let God's decision stand and this, of course, will produce a strong and sound character. Wisdom is "seeing life from
God's point of view" and this will, certainly, make one strong in character. We have already learned in this study that the Hebrew word which is translated as "understanding," when it is used in conjunction with the word "wisdom," has a far deeper meaning that just "head-knowledge," it has the explicit meaning of "carrying out a decision between good and evil." This Hebrew word "understanding" has the meaning to "stand under," by acting on what God says, and, in doing so, it activates wisdom. The word "understanding" has the meaning of responding to life's situation, as God would act.
Another word, closely associated with wisdom, is the Hebrew word which is translated as "knowledge" in our Bibles. This Hebrew word, "knowledge," has the meaning of, after one accepts God's decision as final, and has acted on God's decision, (this process of "understanding") then, after one has this "understanding," he is given "knowledge," or, deep insight into Godly living.
Out of "wisdom" and "understanding" comes "knowledge." As one seeks God's mind as to what is right, just and fair - (and has acted on what God says) - then God gives insight into Godly living, that brings favor with both God and man. Amen. We will be studying the book of Proverbs later, but let's look at some of it now concerning wisdom. . .
Proverbs 1:2 – these proverbs will give a person wisdom, which brings discipline and the ability to carry wisdom out.
Proverbs 1:3 – one must laboriously, with discipline, seek wisdom and the product will be the ability do what is right, just and fair.
Proverbs 1:4 – this wisdom from the book of Proverbs will enable one to strip aside the obvious and get to the heart and core of a matter, and not to be "gullible."
Proverbs 1:5 – One gains Godly wisdom by continuing to learn and retaining what he learns!
Proverbs 1:6 – these proverbs will cultivate a keenness of mind to grasp the puzzles of life, and give the ability to carry out this wisdom.
Proverbs 1:7 – finally, the purpose of these Proverbs is to produce a deep reverence, or respect, of God that will enable one to take God seriously and to know Him intimately. God exhorted the believer to pursue wisdom contained within the book of Proverbs, and, when one seeks the wisdom found in Proverbs, God promises success in their lives. The book of Proverbs will give one "equity," which is to "know what to do when there is no certain law pertaining to a situation."
The purpose of the book of Proverbs is not to give specific laws to govern one's life, but, rather, it is to give underlying patterns and principles that is to be constant in the course of human living. The book of Proverbs gives certain guidelines, which gives direction in living a successful and productive life. Searching diligently for the wisdom that is found in the book of Proverbs will be a lifetime search because the believer no one can ever exhaust the applications found in this book.
However, one will find that as they faces situations in dealing with different types of people, that, a principle of this book of wisdom will come to mind and he will be given wisdom, thereby avoiding many problems of life.
"Seek wisdom as for silver and search for her as for hidden treasures . . . Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can be compared to her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed . . . Wisdom is supreme, therefore get wisdom, through it cost all you have, get understanding." [Proverbs 2:4; 3:13-18; 4:7]
There is an interesting truth found in Proverbs 1:6, which states that the wisdom of
Proverbs will help "to understand a proverb, and the interpretation," and yet, there isn't a section of the book of Proverbs that actually explains how to understand a proverb!
How can this be?
Simply, because one does not, by mere reading, or even diligent study alone, understand these proverbs, but, rather, what is called for is "learning by doing" that develops strength of character! God enables one to discern accurately the works encountered in day-to-day living, as he puts into practice what he has learned. A proverb is realized as one discerns by pondering and practicing, just as one learns to walk by walking.
God promised Solomon, "Ask for whatever you will and I will give it to you." [The story is found in 1 Kings 3:5-4:34] Rather than power, money or fame, Solomon asked for "wisdom."
And God granted his request and the book of Proverbs is the result!
Solomon was given "wisdom" as God had promised. [Solomon was probably the only man who ever received this wisdom, without having to demonstrate it in his life.] Solomon did show wisdom by his writings, by building the Temple, by maintaining peace in Israel, and by stimulating commerce throughout the land of Israel, however, it must be noted, that he did some very unwise things. He certainly did not maintain the "fear of the Lord" all of his life. God promised Solomon to "give him wisdom" . . . [that is, divine wisdom] . . . and God did just that. No one, apart from Jesus Christ, has ever showed the wisdom in dealing with people as Solomon did. However, for everyone else, wisdom . . . [divine wisdom that produces strength of character] . . . comes only by doing. The actions and attitudes of the one who applies the principles of the book of Proverbs are always just, right and fair in all his dealings with everyone.
Solomon asked God for wisdom, and the book of Proverbs is the result of that God-given wisdom. Here is wisdom given by God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, passed down to us.
It is wisdom from God!
Paul's prayer was, "that we be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding."
If the believer desires his life to prosper . . . [God's idea of spiritual prosperity that is] . . . then he should "mediate" on God's Word.
"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers." [Psalms 1:1-3]
"Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." [Joshua 1:8]
Never put the book of Proverbs on the same level with other so called proverbs of brief striking expressions of man's wit and wisdom. The book of Proverbs is NOT just a book of pithy sayings, or a collections of short sentences that gives wise advice, but, rather, it is a book of
God's wisdom to man!
Here, in the book of Proverbs, God shares with man the principles of life. One will find that the book of Proverbs is jam packed with advice about every day details of life.
One finds situations in life which are beyond his ability to find a solution and, at times, there is no clear cut law telling him how to solve the situation. At times like that, one needs to know what to do to work out the situation. He needs "equity" - [knowing what principle to use when no law exists]. The book of Proverbs gives "principles from heaven for life on earth!"
Before one reads from the book of Proverbs, he needs to pray something like this,
"God, here are the decisions I must make and here are the circumstances I am confronted with. Please would You guide me in my reading and give me insight in those principles that will apply to my particular situation?"
Reading the book of Proverbs with this attitude, one will find that each time he reads it will be like a new book to him. He will never exhaust its applications and, more and more, he will find that when he faces any situation, or when he has to deal with all types of people, a verse from the book of Proverbs will come to mind, and he will be given wisdom that will guide his way, causing him to avoid many, many problems he would otherwise encounter. The book of
Proverbs will indeed make one wise and provide strength and soundness of character.
This is the purpose for which God gave the book of Proverbs!
As mentioned before, it is very difficult to try and put the book of Proverbs into any kind of order, because of its scattered manner of presenting principles of truth, however, in order to get a bird's eye view on the book of Proverbs and give an idea of an outline, I will supply the following in our next study:
We will start the study of the Book of Proverbs in our next lesson:
1). What is godly wisdom?
2). The Book of Proverbs gives "__________" which appears to be like "_____"
3). Proverbs' wisdom is more of ____ wisdom, than head _____.
4). How does God present wisdom in Proverbs?
5). From the moment one rises in the morning until he goes to sleep at night, his life is one continuing series of decisions and, the book of Proverbs, can able him to make decisions which are _____, _____and ____.
6). We have already learned in this study that the Hebrew word which is translated as "understanding," when it is used in conjunction with the word "wisdom," has a far deeper meaning that just "head-knowledge," it has the explicit meaning of "_____ ___ _____ ______ _____ ___"
7). Reading the Book of Proverbs is like searching for_____________.
8). How are we to seek for wisdom?
9). What did God promise King Solomon, and what was the result?
10). As stated in this lesson, ____is given by God, ____ by the Holy Spirit, and ____ ___to us.
11). Explain (Psalm 1:1-3) and (Joshua 1:8).
12). What is the prayer that is provided in this lesson?
13). The Book of Proverbs will indeed make one ___ and provide ____and ____of ____.
Weekly Reading: (optional)
Proverbs: Chapters 21-24
God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; courage to change the things we can, and the WISDOM to know the different, amen…..
God bless this study (II Timothy 2:15)
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