Monday, May 8, 2017

Wisdom (Part 1): Week 5, Day 3

Today we are going to APPLY what we have learned in Proverbs 9 to our lives.  This is the best part about Bible study because this is where grow our fruits that others know us by (Matthew 7:15-20).

Before we begin, read Proverbs 9 again.  We have been talking about wisdom, the characteristics of wisdom, how wisdom relates to God, and how to gain wisdom.  This chapter starts off with wisdom personified again.  This time, wisdom is getting ready for a party.  Actually, if you look closely at the text, she has already gotten ready for the party.  The prep work is done.  She is now inviting people to her party by calling out for them.  Sisters, wisdom is ready for us!  There is nothing that we have to do, but accept the invitation.  Are you naive?  I admit that I sure can be at times.  Do you lack understanding?  Yes!  I know that I lack understanding of things every day.  Wisdom is for me!  Wisdom is for you!  All you have to do is accept the invitation, and abandon your prior ways.  Then, you can live in the way of understanding.

Verse 7 begins talking about a person called a scoffer.  We have learned that a scoffer is someone who jeers or mocks, a disagreeable person, or an unpleasant person.  I'm sure that you know someone who fits this description.  As much as we do not need to spend time talking about who these people are, we also do not need to spend our time trying to correct them.  Scoffers, unpleasant people, are not worth the time of those who are wise.  Leave them alone!  Do not try to correct them!  Do not spend your time trying to make the life of a scoffer better.  The Scripture tells us that spending your time that way will not only not help the scoffer, but it will make them hate you and insult you!  Instead, let us look at the wise man.  A wise person wants instruction.  They want correction.  If we are to be wise, we need to be able to accept correct and training in righteousness.  This is sometimes extremely hard.  Human beings do not like to be told what to do or how to change.  But, if we want to be a wise person, we would be good to accept this kind of instruction.  It may come in different forms - sometimes what your Pastor preaches about on Sunday mornings is the exact kind of correction that we needed to receive.  Sometimes it takes someone coming to you in love and speaking to you directly.  However the reproof comes, wise people are willing to accept it and use it for the good in their lives.

Proverbs 9:10 is a verse that we have talked about a couple of times in the past.  This is the verse that brings this thing called wisdom home to me.  "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."  In order to be a wise person, I have to know the Lord.  I must have a personal relationship with God.  I must cultivate that relationship in fear and respect of Who God is.  And then, I can obtain the wisdom that He wants me to have.  Do you have a relationship with God?  Are you saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ?  If you are, you can have this wisdom.  If you are not, please reach out to someone that you trust to help you find the Lord!

Verse 12 talks again about the scoffer, but deeper than that, it talks about the individuality of our relationship with God and the wisdom that He gives us.  If we are wise, we are wise for ourselves (no one else).  If we are foolish, we are foolish for ourselves (no one else).  This doesn't mean that our words and actions will not mean anything to anyone else.  On the contrary, our wise words and actions will positively affect those around us, and our foolish words and actions will negatively affect those around us.  What this verse is saying, is that only we can determine for ourselves if we will be wise or foolish.  And only we will receive the internal and eternal consequence for our choice.  Oh sisters, choose wisdom!

This chapter ends will a look at what our lives will be like if we decide to choose foolishness over wisdom.  The woman of folly that is talked about in verse 13 is a foolish woman.  She is boisterous.  She is naive.  She knows nothing!  Yet, she is so appealing to those around her.  The things that she seems to offer to others are sweet and pleasant.  But in an eternal mindset, those who accept foolishness over wisdom will spend their eternity in Hell.  Hell is real, my sisters.  Hell is a place that people will wind up if they do not commit their hearts and lives to Jesus Christ.  You do not have to go to Hell.  If you have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, if you choose wisdom over foolishness, you will not go to Hell.  Instead, you will find yourself in a glorious place called Heaven, a place where Jesus Himself is preparing homes for His beloved.

Choose wisdom, sisters!  Pray to the Lord that He will guide you in your choice!  If you have made your eternal choice (you are saved by grace through faith) then pray that the Lord will guide your steps every day, that every day you will continue to walk in the ways of the Lord.  If you find yourself in a position where something happened and you went the foolish route instead of the wise route, ask the Lord for forgiveness, and ask Him to guide you back to the right path.  I know He will do so!  If you have not made your eternal choice, please reach out to someone to help you with that decision.

I hope you have enjoyed this study on 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, Day 2, Day 3
Week 5: Day 1, Day 2

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Wisdom (Part 1): Week 5, Day 2

Welcome back to our second day of studying this week.  We are in Proverbs 9 this week.  Before you answer any questions, take the time to read the chapter in its entirety.  Today we are going to INTERPRET the Scriptures.

Now, re-read the passage and answer the following questions in your notebook:
  1. In verses 1-3, wisdom has prepared for something (we'll call it a "party"). She has gotten everything ready.  Notice that all the preparation is in the past tense.  Look at the word "calls" in verse 3.  It is in the present tense.  What does this tell you about the preparation for wisdom's party and the invitation to wisdom's party?
  2. Which two people are invited to wisdom's party?
  3. In verse 6, forsake means: to leave behind, give up, abandon.  Folly means: young, naive person.  What must we do to gain wisdom and "proceed in the way of understanding"?
  4. The definition of scoffer is: someone who jeers or mocks, a disagreeable person, an unpleasant person.  Is it worth the time of a wise person to correct a scoffer?
  5. What two things will happen to the wise man who tries to correct a scoffer?
  6. Compare the scoffer to the wise man.  What three things happen to a wise man who gets reproof, instruction and teaching?
  7. If we are to be wise, what must we be willing to accept?
  8. According to verse 10, what must you have to have wisdom? understanding?
  9. Verse 12 compares the wise man to the scoffer again.  What is the comparison?
  10. Verses 13-18 tell us all about a foolish woman - the opposite of a wise woman.  Go through each of these verses and lit everything the Bible tells us about the foolish woman and the people who choose to follow her.
You made it through!  This is a great passage, and I hope your understanding of it has become more than yesterday.  Wisdom is something that we would be good to have in our lives.  Pray for wisdom, sisters.  Pray for knowledge of the Holy One.  Pray that the Lord guides you in your walk with 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, Day 2, Day 3
Week 5: Day 1

Monday, May 1, 2017

Wisdom (Part 1): Week 5, Day 1

We are on Week 5 of our study on wisdom.  I hope you have been blessed by what you have learned, and I hope that your relationship with the Lord has grown because of this study.  Today we are going to OBSERVE what is written in Proverbs 9.  This is a continuation of what we have studied the last two weeks in Proverbs 8.  Before reading our new text, take the time to read Proverbs 8.  Once you have done that, read Proverbs 9 in its entirety.
Wisdom has built her house,
She has hewn out her seven pillars;
She has prepared her food, she has mixed her wine;
She has also set her table;
She has sent out her maidens, she calls
From the tops of the heights of the city:
Whoever is naive, let him turn in here!”
To him who lacks understanding she says,
“Come, eat of my food
And drink of the wine I have mixed.
“Forsake your folly and live,
And proceed in the way of understanding.”
He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself,
And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself.
Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you,
Reprove a wise man and he will love you.
Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser,
Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you.
12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
13 The woman of folly is boisterous,
She is naive and knows nothing.
14 She sits at the doorway of her house,
On a seat by the high places of the city,
15 Calling to those who pass by,
Who are making their paths straight:
16 Whoever is naive, let him turn in here,”
And to him who lacks understanding she says,
17 “Stolen water is sweet;
And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
18 But he does not know that the dead are there,
That her guests are in the depths of Sheol.
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:
  • Mark wisdom (and all pronouns) with a blue cloud colored yellow
  • Mark understanding and knowledge by coloring them green
  • Mark Lord with a purple triangle colored yellow (and color all pronouns yellow)
  • Mark love with a red heart
  • Mark hate with a black heart
  • Mark righteous with a blue box
  • Mark evil and wicked by coloring them brown
  • Mark time phrases with a green clock
  • Mark Holy One with a purple box colored yellow
  • Mark woman of folly (and all pronouns) with a black cloud colored orange

Write in your notebook a take-away from today's reading.  During our next time together, we will be INTERPRETING 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
Week 3: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 4: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3