Proverbs – Week 2 Study Guide

By January 12, 2020 Small Group Study Guide

Intro to Proverbs 1:1-7

OPENER

Start by reminding your group of the following personal QT/study aids:

  • Daily Devotions: The Devos run 7 days a week now. You can sign up for them by going to the webpage.
  • Weekly memory verses. There are 52 verses from Proverbs that you can memorize this year; one verse for each week of the year. (rivercc.org/memorize)
  • Hand out the Proverbs Journals… Bring your journal to church on Sunday and take it to small group; write down of points of application that God reveals to you throughout the year.

Review Last week:

Have someone share how we described the book of Proverbs last week?

We talked a lot about Wisdom, can someone tell us how the Bible defined Wisdom?

What are the summary verses for the year?

Answers:

  • Proverbs describe how life generally works and how to grow in Wisdom. They can be read quickly…but they require thought to accurately apply them and take them into ourselves. They don’t work like the law of gravity…drop ball, ball falls.
  • Proverbs is a book of Wisdom—wisdom to not think of self-first, Wisdom to know what God is up to, and Wisdom to know what is in the hearts of others—it is Wisdom in the streets.
  • Proverbs 9:10; Colossians 2:2,3

OBJECTIVE

Our objective today is to look at Proverb’s introduction and think through its implications for our own lives and how we might personally align our lives with its instruction.

PASSAGE:

Read Proverbs 1:1-7. 1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: 2 for gaining Wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; 3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; 4 for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young— 5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance— 6 for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

STUDY:

Question: Who wrote Proverbs?

Answer: Not all of these were written directly by Solomon (for Instance, chapter 31 is said to be the sayings of King Lemuel and were taught to him by his mother). Solomon was like the general editor…compiler.

Question: What is a Proverb? What are the four major traits of Proverbs?

Answer: Short, concise “General statements as to how life usually works.” Brevity/Situational/Parallelism/Imagery

  • Brief…to the point…concise and precise. truth is stated in as brief a form as possible…this makes them memorable
  • Proverbs are most often written in sets of parallel sets of lines… sharpening and intensifying the thought.
  • Lots and lots of images used to capture our attention and imagination, and to get our hearts

Question: Look back at the passage, what is the purpose of Proverbs?

Answer: Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise.

Question: What did Terry say Wisdom means?

Answer:

  • Skilled living. It’s a practical versus merely theoretical knowledge. We must put them to action in our lives: Information + application=transformation (Wisdom)
  • Wisdom entails the ability to avoid problems (good thing). It also entails the skill to handle problems appropriately when they come (also a good thing) Intelligence or simple knowledge is not Wisdom’s focus…skilled living is.
  • Tremper Longman, OT and Proverbs expert, says that Wisdom is “skill, a knowing how” not “raw intellect, a knowing that.”

Question: So why is it important that we understand Proverbs?

Answer: We want to understand Proverbs in order to be wise, to navigate life well, to honor God and bless people. Proverbs give joy and purpose to our lives. Wisdom brings joy…folly destroys it.

Question: Who is Wisdom’s, running buddy? What is their purpose?

Answer: Discipline. Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them to do what is right, just, and fair.

Question: Discipline can also be translated as what? Why is this important for us to consider?

Answer: Correction. Wisdom and discipline (correction)…run as a pair… The wise know they have not “arrived”…they have humility, so they know they need to continue to change and grow…they want “discipline” “correction.”

Question: What does the passage say is the foundation of true knowledge? Who is the one that despises Wisdom and discipline? And why do they do it?

Answer: The Fear of the Lord. The Fool. Wisdom is reading situations correctly, seeing God as he is. To walk in wisdom is to know the will and ways of God. By definition fools cannot participate in God’s Wisdom because they reject God. “fools say in their hearts there is no God” (Ps 14:1)

APPLICATION:

So what do we do with all this?

  • Thank God for revealing Himself to us through Christ Jesus.
  • Thank him for giving us guidance for living life well.
  • Know that you can grow in the Wisdom of Christ. We have the good news of the gospel…we do not have to live a vain life (like the fool) only to die a vain death. We can walk in Wisdom and discipline.
  • Let us pursue Christ the Wisdom of God together in community.

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