Saturday, April 29, 2017

Wisdom (Part 1): Week 4, Day 3

Today is our day of APPLYING what we have learned about wisdom in Proverbs 8:22-36.

When you started reading these verses, if you did not have the correct context to what you were reading, it would be easy to misinterpret the pronoun "me" that is written in verse 22.  This is one of the reasons why context is so important to studying the Scripture, why I asked you to read the first 21 verses of the chapter before moving on, and why we mark certain words the way we do.  This "me" is wisdom personified.  Just in case you questioned if "me" was really wisdom, we looked at a reference in Job and another reference in Proverbs.  Proverbs 3:19 makes very clear that wisdom is being talked about here.

The creation account in the next few verses is just amazing to me.  I can't help but stop and praise the Lord when I read through this.  Wisdom played a critical roll in the creation account.  Wisdom was created by God (8:23) before the earth was created by God (8:27).  Wisdom then helped God create (8:30).  How powerful is that - the same God who created you and me created wisdom, and then used the creation of wisdom to go on and create the whole world.  This can be so mind-boggling if you let it.  If you truly stop to think this through, you can get caught up in it.  Sometimes, sisters, it is better to accept the Word of God for what it says, then to try and reason it out.  God said it, and that is all I need to know!

Wisdom is such an important part of our lives.  We are told in verse 32 that we will be blessed if we keep the ways of wisdom.  We know from reading Proverbs 9:10 that, "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."  We need to keep the fear of the Lord!  We never need to neglect God, and we never need to disrespect Him.  Doing so would be going against everything that we have learned about wisdom.

We listed three things about the person who listens to wisdom:
  1. They are blessed
  2. They find life
  3. They obtain favor from the Lord
My sisters, if you choose to listen to wisdom, if you choose to fear the Lord, you will be blessed! You will find life (eternal life)! You will obtain favor from the Lord!  How amazing is this God that we serve?  The same God Who created wisdom, and then used that wisdom to create the world, is offering us that same wisdom!

But in stark contrast, the person who chooses to not listen to wisdom, who chooses to not fear the Lord, "injures himself".  It is harmful to us if we do not listen to what the Lord says.  In an eternal sense, those who do not seek the Lord will end up in Hell.  In a daily sense, if we do not do the Lord's will and walk in His ways, we will end up doing things that are not good, honorable, trustworthy, and everything else that was on our list last week.

We are given the choice - to listen to wisdom or to not listen to wisdom.  To fear the Lord or to not fear the Lord.  You have to make the choice for yourself, no one else can do it.  Oh sisters, I pray that you choose to listen to wisdom.  I pray that you choose to fear the Lord.  I hope that everything we have learned and studied so far about wisdom is causing you to choose wisdom.  Next week we will look at Proverbs 9 and continue this conversation.  Please come back and see what else the Lord has to say!
To read the previous posts on Wisdom, click these links:
Week 1: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 2: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 3: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 4: Day 1, Day 2

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Wisdom (Part 1): Week 4, Day 2

Welcome back!  Today we are going to INTERPRET the things that we read yesterday in Proverbs 8:22-36.  Before we begin, read through this section of verses again.

In your notebooks, answer the following:
  1. Read Job 28:26-28 and Proverbs 3:19.  These verses help confirm the pronoun "me" in verse 22.  Who is "me"?
  2. Verses 22-31 go into an account of creation that takes my breath away.  How did wisdom play a roll in creation?
  3. Whenever you see the word "therefore", you need to look back and see what it is there for.  In light of everything that we just read concerning creation and wisdom's roll in creation, what should we do to wisdom?
  4. Relate "listening to wisdom" back to Proverbs 9:10.
  5. Verse 33 gives us a specific command and a specific not-to-do.  Write these down.
  6. Verses 34-36 contrast the person who listens to wisdom to the person who doesn't.  What three things will happen to the person who listens to wisdom?
  7. The phrase "sins against me" in verse 36 can be translated "misses me".  What happens to the person who does not listen to, or who misses, wisdom?
  8. People who hate wisdom love what?
Congratulations!  You have made it to the end of Proverbs 8.  In our last session, we wrote down questions that we had in our notebooks.  Have you received any answers to your questions? What questions do you still have?  Write these down and pray for wisdom!
To read the previous posts on Wisdom, click these links:
Week 1: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 2: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 3: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 4: Day 1

Monday, April 24, 2017

Wisdom (Part 1): Week 4, Day 1

Welcome back to our study on wisdom.  Today, we are going to pick up where we left off in Proverbs 8.  This is a tough passage to read and understand, but we are going to work through it together.  Trust the method of inductive Bible study, pray, seek the Lord, and remember that it is okay to not know.  Today we are going to OBSERVE the text for what it says.

Before you begin the new section of Proverbs 8, re-read verses 1-21.  This will help you get your mind back into the correct context of the passage.  Remember that the majority of the pronouns are talking about wisdom.  Once you have read through verse 21, go ahead and read verses 22-36.

22 “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.
23 “From everlasting I was established,
From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth.
24 “When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills I was brought forth;
26 While He had not yet made the earth and the fields,
Nor the first dust of the world.
27 “When He established the heavens, I was there,
When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,
28 When He made firm the skies above,
When the springs of the deep became fixed,
29 When He set for the sea its boundary
So that the water would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth;
30 Then I was beside Him, as a master workman;
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
31 Rejoicing in the world, His earth,
And having my delight in the sons of men.
32 “Now therefore, O sons, listen to me,
For blessed are they who keep my ways.
33 Heed instruction and be wise,
And do not neglect it.
34 Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at my doorposts.
35 “For he who finds me finds life
And obtains favor from the Lord.
36 “But he who sins against me injures himself;
All those who hate me love death.”
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Now re-read Proverbs 8:22-36 and use the following markings:
  • Mark wisdom (and all pronouns) with a blue cloud colored yellow
  • Mark Lord with a purple triangle colored yellow (and all pronouns by coloring them yellow)
  • Mark evil by coloring it brown
  • Mark love with a red heart
  • Mark hate with a black heart
  • Mark all time phrases with a green clock (beginning, before, everlasting, earliest, when, while, then, daily, etc.)
  • Mark therefore and for by circling them red
  • Mark but by circling it blue

In your notebooks, write down a take-away from today's reading.  If you have some questions about what you read, write those down as well.  In our next study, we will INTERPRET the things that we have read today. Take care, sisters. Pray for wisdom!
To read the previous posts on Wisdom, click these links:
Week 1: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 2: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 3: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Wisdom (Part 1): Week 3, Day 3

Thanks for sticking with me in this study on wisdom.  I hope that as you have spent time reading about this topic, that you are realizing how much God can give us, if we would just ask Him!  Today we are going to APPLY Proverbs 8:1-21 to our lives.  There is so much to talk about here, I apologize in advance if I get long-winded!

This passage starts off with wisdom being personified.  For those who are far removed from high school English courses, that means that wisdom has taken on a bodily perspective.  Over the next few weeks, wisdom is going to remain in this personified form.  In other words, sometimes it seems as if we are reading about a person.  That is why we marked wisdom, including the pronouns.  We need to know exactly who - or what - we are reading about.  Do not let the personification get in the way of your understanding of this text.  We are learning about wisdom, not a person.

In this first part of this chapter, wisdom is calling out to whoever will listen to her.  She is at the city gates, at the doorways, in the walking paths - she is everywhere.  She is crying out - loudly!  This tells us that wisdom is not hard to find, not hard to gain access to.  Wisdom is available to us, we just have to make the move and ask for it.

Wisdom is speaking to several groups of people:
  1. Men (women)
  2. Sons (daughters)
  3. Naive ones
  4. Fools
No matter who you are, or what your current state is (some days I feel pretty naive), wisdom is available for you!  All of us are daughters of someone.  Wisdom is for us!  She is calling out for us, she is in our doorways, she is on the paths that we walk daily.  We need to answer her call.

Wisdom speaks about six different things:
  1. Noble things
  2. Right things
  3. Truth
  4. Righteousness
  5. Straightforward things
  6. Right things (yes, this one is listed twice.  If something is repeated in the Scripture, it is doubly important!)
I think we could spend the next hour talking about these five (six) things.  Wisdom speaks of noble things.  The definition of noble is: having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals.  Synonyms of noble are: righteous, virtuous, good, honorable, upright, decent, worthy, moral, ethical, reputable.  This is the type of woman I want to be!  I want people to look at me and thing that I am a moral, ethical, decent person.  I want to speak of these things.  If I have wisdom, then I can be this way.  You can, too!

Wisdom speaks of right things.  The definition of right is: morally good, justified, acceptable.  Synonyms of right are: just, fair, proper, good, upright, righteous, virtuous, moral, ethical, honorable, honest.  People with wisdom speak of things that are fair, proper, and honest.  Let's think about the word "honest".  The opposite of being honest is being untruthful.  Lying.  Spreading gossip.  Talking about people in a bad way.  How easy is it for us to get caught up in talking about things that are not good?  It is so easy!  We need to pray for wisdom, and pray that God will help us to resist the temptation to get caught up in frivolous gossip that will not help us be an honorable person.

Wisdom speaks of the truth.  This one should be easy enough, right?  Just speak the truth!  However, in our sin-filled lives, sometimes it is just "easier" to lie.  Or so we think.  We lie to cover up what we don't want others to know.  Was the thing that we did that we want covered up done in wisdom?  If so, is there a reason to have to cover it up?  We need to live in truth.  We need to be honorable in our actions so that we do not have to cover up what we have done.  We need to pray that God would guide our every action, so that everything we do will be honorable to him.  Then, we can speak the truth about the things we do.  We should not be ashamed of our actions, as long as they please the Lord.  Pray that God will guide your life so that you can speak the truth in wisdom!

Wisdom speaks of righteousness.  Righteousness is the quality of being morally right or justifiable.  Remember what the Scriptures said in Genesis 15:6, "[Abraham] believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness."  Habakkuk 2:4 tells us that, "the righteous shall live by his faith."  Our faith in God is counted as righteousness, and our righteousness as Christians is because of our faith.  We are saved by the grace of God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.  Hang on sisters, let's get real.  Can we be morally right?  No!  We are sinners.  We could never be completely right, even if we tried as hard as we could.  We have a sin nature that we cannot get rid of.  And the payment for that sin nature is death - eternal death, eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23).  However, 1 John 1:9 tells us, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  So, through faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ and through confession of our sins, we can be made righteous! (Can I get an Amen, here!)  One of the greatest mysteries in the Bible is the fact that we can be saved, we can be made holy (no time to talk of that now), we can, "become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:21).  And those who are wise speak of righteousness.  As daughters of God, we can know true righteousness.  We have become the righteousness of God.  What an honor, what a responsibility.  We need to pray to God for Him to give us the wisdom we need to speak of righteousness.  We need to pray that He will help us to act like we are His righteousness.  The world will know us by our fruit.  Oh sisters, let your fruit show that you are God's righteousness!

Wisdom speaks of straightforward things.  Straightforward means honest and frank.  In other words, truthful and sincere.  Are you sincere in your words and actions?  Or are you dishonest and hypocritical?  Hypocrites say one thing and do something different.  Honest people say one thing and do that one thing that they spoke of.  They are straightforward in all their ways.  People who are wise speak of, and do, straightforward things.  We need to pray for wisdom that God would help us speak and do the same things, and that those things would be honorable.

And once again, wisdom speaks of right things.  If the Scripture says it twice in a row, it is doubly important.  Sisters, if we are to be wise, we need to speak of things that are right.

Let's now spend a little bit of time talking about the "fear of the Lord" as mentioned in Proverbs 8:13.  Earlier this week we looked at Proverbs 9:10, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."  In Proverbs 8, "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil."  To fear the Lord is to honor and respect Him, to fully trust Him, to do as He says, etc.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  The start of gaining wisdom is to fear the Lord.  Wisdom comes from Him, so we need to honor and respect Him in order to be wise.  The fear of the Lord hates evil.  As wise women, we need to hate evil.  There is so much evil in the world around us.  Let us fear the Lord, pray for wisdom, hate evil, and pray for wisdom on how to handle the world that we live in.

In Proverbs 8:14-16, we are told nine things about wisdom:
  1. Counsel belongs to wisdom
  2. Wisdom is sound
  3. Wisdom is understanding
  4. Wisdom is power
  5. Kings reign with wisdom
  6. Rulers decree justice with wisdom
  7. Princes rule by wisdom
  8. Nobles rule by wisdom
  9. All who rightly judge do so by wisdom
Do you see, yet, what a wonderful thing wisdom is?  Do you understand the responsibility that the wise person has?  Do you see how trust and faith in God make wisdom what it is?  Do you sense the urgency to become wise?

So how do we get this thing called wisdom?  Proverbs 8:17 says, "...those who diligently seek me will find me."  James 1:5 says, "...if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God...and it will be given to him."  All we have to do is know in our hearts that we want wisdom and ask God for it.  That's it!  He will give it to us if we ask Him.  What a wonderful, powerful, amazing God we have!

One more thing that comes with having wisdom - it does not guarantee a life of monetary riches.  Our true riches are the righteousness, the justice, the love, and all the other things that we have talked about in this incredibly long blog (much love to you for sticking with me!).  Matthew 6:25-33 tells us to seek God first, seek His kingdom, seek His righteousness (there's that word again).  Everything else will come after we get our hearts and minds right.  God will supply everything that we need.  Everything.

Oh my sisters, do you see how wonderful wisdom is?  Do you sense the amazing things that can come with living a life of wisdom?  Do you understand how important it is to fear God above all else?  I hope that you do.  I hope that you didn't get bogged down in the amount of information that came from this week's passage.  Take time over the next few days to meditate on the Word of God. Pray that He will give you the wisdom to understand His Word.
To read the previous posts on Wisdom, click these links:
Week 1: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 2: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 3: Day 1, Day 2

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Wisdom (Part 1): Week 3, Day 2

Welcome to our day of INTERPRETING the Scriptures! We are looking at Proverbs 8:1-21 this week, and over the next couple of weeks we will look at the second part of Proverbs 8 and Proverbs 9. Read through this week's text slowly, absorbing what the text says.

Now, re-read the passage, and answer these questions in your notebook:
Side note: In verse 1, I told you to mark wisdom and understanding the same way.  The Hebrew meaning of wisdom in this verse is: technical skill, experience, shrewdness.  The Hebrew meaning of understanding is: cleverness, skill.  In verse 5, the Hebrew meaning of understanding is: see, pay attention, consider, teach, examine.  In verse 1, understanding means close to the same thing as wisdom, so we are going to mark them the same way. In verse 5, understanding takes on a different meaning, so we are going to mark it green throughout the rest of the passage.
  1.  In verses 1-3, is wisdom a seemingly difficult thing to come by? How prevalent is wisdom?
  2. In verses 4-5, wisdom is speaking to four different groups of people.  List these out.
  3. In verse 6-9, the author talks about wisdom "speaking".  List the six things that wisdom speaks about. List the three things that wisdom will not speak about.
  4. In verses 10-11, wisdom is compared to riches.  Write out these comparisons.
  5. In verse 12, what three things does wisdom do?
  6. In verse 13, look at the phrase, "the fear of the Lord."  Read Proverbs 9:10 and write down the relationship between the fear of the Lord and wisdom.  How does that relationship help you interpret verse 13?
  7. Look at verses 14-16 and list nine things that you learn about wisdom.
  8. According to verse 17, how can you gain wisdom? Use Proverbs 2:4-5 and James 1:5 to help you.
  9. Do verses 18-21 imply that if we have wisdom we will be rich? What is the implication in these verses? For more clarity, read Matthew 6:25-33.  What things do we need to concern ourselves with, instead of material things.
Well, sisters, you have made it through today's study.  Take a deep breath!  There is so much to learn and gain from what we have read.  Our next study will be the APPLICATION time, and you better hang on to your hats!  I'm so excited to share this with you!
To read the previous posts on Wisdom, click these links:
Week 1: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 2: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 3: Day 1

Monday, April 17, 2017

Wisdom (Part 1): Week 3, Day 1

Welcome to week 3 of our study on wisdom!  Over the next three weeks we are going to look closely at Proverbs 8 and 9.  There is so much to take in and so much to learn from these two chapters.  As we are spending our time learning about wisdom, these chapters give us so much that we can take away and use in our lives.  Don't get overwhelmed as you read through this text.  Trust our method of inductive Bible study (observe, interpret, apply).  Go slow, take your time, and listen to the Lord speak through His Word.  Start with prayer, and ask the Lord for the wisdom to understand the things that we are going to read about.

Today we are going to read Proverbs 8:1-21 and OBSERVE what the text has to say.  Read through this section slowly.
Does not wisdom call,
And understanding lift up her voice?
On top of the heights beside the way,
Where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
Beside the gates, at the opening to the city,
At the entrance of the doors, she cries out:
“To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
“O naive ones, understand prudence;
And, O fools, understand wisdom.
“Listen, for I will speak noble things;
And the opening of my lips will reveal right things.
“For my mouth will utter truth;
And wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
“All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness;
There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.
“They are all straightforward to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.
10 “Take my instruction and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choicest gold.
11 “For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.
12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And I find knowledge and discretion.
13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverted mouth, I hate.
14 Counsel is mine and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, power is mine.
15 “By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
16 “By me princes rule, and nobles,
All who judge rightly.
17 “I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 “My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield better than choicest silver.
20 “I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
21 To endow those who love me with wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Now, re-read these verses, and use the following markings to help you observe:
  • Mark wisdom and all pronouns with a blue cloud colored yellow (In verse 1 only, mark understanding the same as wisdom. This will be further explained in our INTERPRETATION study.)
  • Mark understanding and knowledge and all pronouns by coloring it green (In verse 1 only, mark understanding the same as wisdom. This will be further explained in our INTERPRETATION study.)
  • Mark truth with a blue box colored red
  • Mark righteousness with a blue box
  • Mark wickedness, abomination, evil and all pronouns by coloring it brown
  • Mark love with a red heart
  • Mark hate with a black heart
  • Mark all references to what wisdom says by underlining them (this is in verses 6-9)

Go back and re-read the text again.  In your notebook, write down your take-away from today's study.  At our next time together, we are going to INTERPRET this passage of Scripture.
To read the previous posts on Wisdom, click these links:
Week 1: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 2: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Wisdom (Part 1): Week 2, Day 2

Wasn't yesterday's reading pretty remarkable?  I'm so excited to dig into this even deeper with you today and INTERPRET the text.  As a reminder, read through 1 Kings 3:16-28 again.

Now, read through it again, and answer these questions in your notebook:
  1. Verses 16-22 present a problem.  Summarize this problem.
  2. What is verse 23?.  Can you already see Solomon's wisdom shining through?
  3. Verses 25-27 show Solomon solving the problem. Summarize these verses.
  4. Verse 28 shows the kingdom's response to Solomon's wisdom. How did they react?
  5. How is Solomon's wisdom identified in verse 28?
This is a short, yet extremely sweet, passage of Scripture.  Passages that read as stories are generally easier for me to understand, but it does not take away from the importance of the Scripture. As we move into our time of APPLICATION, what are you already gathering from this week's study? Be in prayer about how this section of Scripture can be applicable to your daily life.
To read the previous posts on Wisdom, click these links:
Week 1: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 2: Day 1

Wisdom (Part 1): Week 2, Day 3

Welcome back to this Bible study!  Today we are going to APPLY the text of 1 Kings 3:16-28 to our lives.  This is where we take what the Lord has given us, and we live it out in our daily lives.  What can we gain from reading this passage about Solomon gaining, and then showing, his wisdom?  Before we get into the meaning of this text, take the time to re-read it for yourselves.

As this story starts, we are brought into a harsh reality of the times of Solomon.  Two women, two harlots, two prostitutes, living together in house.  There was no one else in the house with them, which tells us that they were unmarried.  They were each other's support system in this terrible life that they were living.  I'm sure before they both got pregnant, they were living together as roommates.  These women could have very well been best friends.  After all, if you have a choice as to who you would pick as a roommate, wouldn't you choose a friend?  Now, the Scripture does not go into this detail, so this is all speculation on my part.  Both of these prostitutes end up pregnant at the same time.  They go through the nine months of pregnancy together - the joys, the scary times, the unknown - they lived it as friends and roommates.

Now there are two babies, born just three days apart, living in this house with their mommas.  In an extremely tragic event, one of the mommas rolled over on her baby in the night, suffocated it, and killed it.  In her grief, pain, trauma, insanity...whatever emotions she was feeling at the time, she made a terrible decision to switch the babies and lie about the truth of the event.

Now think about the other momma.  She, too, was feeling very emotional, as all new mothers do.  She woke up to a dead baby beside her.  I can't imagine the pain, the grief, how upset she was to think that her baby had died.  But as she looked closer, she knew that this was not her baby.  She knew in her heart that her friend and roommate had committed a terrible act.

Enter King Solomon.  He was able to sum this story up in one short verse (verse 23). One momma says that the living baby is hers, the other momma says that the living baby belongs to her.  What is the King to do?  Last week we studied about how Solomon asked for wisdom from the Lord so that he could properly judge the kingdom.  This is how God is going to show the world how much wisdom he have to Solomon.

Solomon's judgement was to order that the living baby be cut in half.  One half was to go to one of the mommas, the other half to the other momma.  Can you imagine hearing King Solomon order this to happen?  I'm sure that the guards and others on duty at the time thought that Solomon had lost his mind.  Here was the King of Israel, God's chosen King of God's chosen people, and he is ordering the murder of an innocent baby.

But, of course, the killing of the baby didn't have to happen.  The true momma could not stand the fact that her baby was about to be killed.  She loved her baby so much that she was willing to give it up to the other momma just to save its life.  Solomon knew right away that that woman was the true momma of the baby.  The other woman was going to let the baby be killed.  Solomon, in all of his wisdom, was able to determine the true momma of that sweet innocent baby.

We are not told what happened to these two women after this event.  But, we do know that one of the mommas was able to take her baby home alive.

1 Kings 3:28 shows us how this one decision impacted the entire nation of Israel.  Everyone in the kingdom "feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice."  The kingdom knew that Solomon's wisdom came from God.  They knew that this was a king that they needed to respect and honor, because he had God's favor.

So how does this impact our lives?  We do not live in a time where we would ever have to make the kind of decision that Solomon made.  But what we do know from this chapter of 1 Kings is this: if we ask God for something, and that something is in His will, He will provide it for us.  His provision will be tens and hundreds of times more amazing than we could ever have imagined for ourselves.  Let's relate this directly back to wisdom, as that is our focus.  God has told us that He will give us wisdom, if we ask for it.  James 1:5 says, "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him."

God wants us to have wisdom, and oh my sisters, do we ever need it!  I have told you before, I pray for wisdom and discernment every single time I open my Bible.  I know that God gives it to me, because there are times when I struggle understanding His Word.  I have read passages of Scripture that I just do not understand at all.  But with the help of the Lord, He gives me the understanding that He wants me to have at the time.  The cool thing about studying the Word of God is that it is truly living and breathing, and I gain new meaning and new understanding every time I study.  I would not be able to do this without the wisdom and help of God.

Pray, sisters, for the wisdom of God.  Pray for wisdom as you open His Word to study and learn.  Pray for wisdom as you make small, daily decisions.  Pray for wisdom as you make large, monumental decisions for your life and the lives of others in your family.  Pray for wisdom as you encounter different people every day.  Pray for wisdom.  God will give it to you!
To read the previous posts on Wisdom, click these links:
Week 1: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 2: Day 1, Day 2

Monday, April 10, 2017

Wisdom (Part 1): Week 2, Day 1

Welcome back to our study of wisdom.  Last week we spent time learning about how Solomon asked God for wisdom.  This week we are going to read about how God demonstrated Solomon's wisdom to the world.  Get ready, sisters.  This is pretty awesome!

Today we are going to OBSERVE the text.  Take time to read through today's passage, 1 Kings 3:16-28.
16 Then two women who were harlots came to the king and stood before him. 17 The one woman said, “Oh, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house; and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house.18 It happened on the third day after I gave birth, that this woman also gave birth to a child, and we were together. There was no stranger with us in the house, only the two of us in the house. 19 This woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on it. 20 So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from beside me while your maidservant slept, and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead son in my bosom. 21 When I rose in the morning to nurse my son, behold, he was dead; but when I looked at him carefully in the morning, behold, he was not my son, whom I had borne.” 22 Then the other woman said, “No! For the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son.” But the first woman said, “No! For the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.” Thus they spoke before the king.
23 Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son who is living, and your son is the dead one’; and the other says, ‘No! For your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’” 24 The king said, “Get me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. 25 The king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” 26 Then the woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for she was deeply stirred over her son and said, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him!” 27 Then the king said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him. She is his mother.” 28 When all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had handed down, they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. 
Now, read through the passage again, and use the following markings to help you observe the text:
  • This passage is divided into three distinct pieces.  Use a bracket or a line in the margin of your Bible to divide the sections:
    • verses 16-22
    • verse 23
    • verses 24-27
  • Mark God with a purple triangle colored yellow, color pronouns yellow
  • Mark wisdom with a blue cloud colored yellow

Read the passage one more time, and write a thought from today's study in your notebook.  In our next study we will INTERPRET the meaning of this text.
To read the previous posts on Wisdom, click these links:
Week 1: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3