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Opening Up Proverbs (Session 3)

Proverbs Equipping Class - Opening Up Proverbs   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Two Invitations with One Moral (1:8-33)

Wisdom begins at home (vs. 8-9)

“My Son” is used ten times in the first nine chapters.
Proverbs 1:8–9 ESV
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.
Who are the primary influencers of our children in the Western culture?

Refuse the appeal of ungodly companions (vs. 10-19)

“A major purpose of the book of Proverbs is to prepare a young man to wisely and effectively assume the responsibilities of adult life.” JN
Proverbs 1:10–19 ESV
My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder; throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse”— my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths, for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird, but these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives. Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.
Deuteronomy 6:6–7 ESV
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Proverbs
Ephesians 6:4 ESV
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Mom and Dad are crucial
Proverbs 1:8 ESV
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching,
2 Timothy 1:5 ESV
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.
Children have a responsibility as well
Proverbs 15:5 ESV
A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.
Parents must be careful not to abdicate their responsibility to properly train their children.

Refuse the appeal of ungodly companions (vs. 10-19)

“Some parents shelter their children from the world so much that their young ones are naive and vulnerable. Proverbs helps parents prepare their children for the allurements of the world and train them in how to resist evil.” JN

The enticement of moral misfits (vs. 10-14)

The enticement of moral misfits (vs. 10-14)

Proverbs 1:1–14 ESV
The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck. My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder; throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse”—
Proverbs 1:10–14 ESV
My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder; throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse”—
“Those who are of the world are trying to seduce our children into substance abuse, crime, and immorality. Many worldly people take particular pleasure in luring and ruining the righteous and their offspring.” JN
Jim Newheiser, Opening up Proverbs, Opening Up Commentary (Leominster: Day One Publications, 2008), 35.
How do you respond to this statement?

If you follow evil companions, you will reap destruction (vs. 15-19)

Proverbs 1:15–19 ESV
my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths, for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird, but these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives. Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.
Fools do not consider the long term consequences of their actions.
According to this text, even the bird is smarter than the fool for he will not step into the trap!
The fool devises his own destruction. How do you see this happening today?

Choose your companions wisely

1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
Friends, heroes, celebrities…be careful!
Community starts at home!

Choose your companions wisely

Heed the appeal of Wisdom before it is too late (vs. 20-33)

Wisdom calls out to you (vs. 20-23)

Proverbs 1:20–23 ESV
Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge? If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.
Proverbs 1:2–23 ESV
To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck. My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder; throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse”— my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths, for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird, but these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives. Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors. Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge? If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.
Proverbs 1:20–23 ESV
Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge? If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.
Wisdom is personified in the early chapters of Proverbs as a woman who is placed in stark contrast to Madame Folly, who would seduce and destroy you. She is the soul’s true lover and bride who should be prized and embraced (4:6–8). She is a tree of life (3:18). Here she sounds like one of the prophets appealing to God’s people to turn before it is too late. She offers great blessing to those who listen but warns of terrifying judgement upon those who reject her. She does not keep her message secret but goes into every public place (vv. 20–21) in order to get the widest possible hearing. Her voice is loud, even shrill and piercing, because of the urgency of her appeal. JN
Jim Newheiser, Opening up Proverbs, Opening Up Commentary (Leominster: Day One Publications, 2008), 38.

Wisdom appeals to four different category of fools (vs. 22)

The naive - is committed neither to good nor evil. There is hope
The fool (Hebrew keciy) - has rejected wisdom and has become morally insensitive. He is preoccupied with the things of this word.
The (stronger word for) fool (Hebrew eviyl) - This is the fool in 1:7. He loves folly and despises wisdom and instruction!
The scoffer - is on the faculty of the graduate school of folly. He is the free thinking cynic who mock at God, sin and judgement. He is hardened against any reproof.

Wisdom Promises blessing to those who repent (vs. 23)

James 1:5 ESV
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

If you reject Wisdom’s appeal, you will reap calamity (vs. 24-32)

Proverbs 1:24–32 ESV
Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you, when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices. For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them;
24
God’s patience with fools will finally run out...
Galatians 6:7–8 ESV
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Galatians 6:7–8 ESV
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Those who seek wisdom are secure (vs. 33)

“Some people wear a Saint Christopher medal, thinking it will protect them from danger. Our text teaches that it is the one who is adorned by wisdom who is safe even on the Day of Judgement.” JN
Proverbs 1:33 ESV
but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”

Conclusion: The Voice of Wisdom is the voice of God

“The cry of Wisdom in Proverbs recalls how, under the Old Covenant, God cried out to Israel through the law and the prophets, promising blessing for obedience and judgement to those who refuse, to pay heed to his voice ().” JN
Jim Newheiser, Opening up Proverbs, Opening Up Commentary (Leominster: Day One Publications, 2008), 41.

Jesus is wisdom incarnate

“Under the New Covenant, God speaks to his people through our Lord Jesus, in whom is the fullness of wisdom.”
1 Corinthians 1:30 ESV
And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,
Jesus pleads with the lost.
Matthew 11:28–30 ESV
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
So does wisdom
Proverbs 1:20–21 ESV
Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
Jesus pours out His spirit on those who seek Him.
John 7:37–39 ESV
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
So does wisdom
John
Proverbs 1:23 ESV
If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.
Jesus gives life to all who come to Him
John 1:4 ESV
In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
So does wisdom
Proverbs 3:18 ESV
She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.
Jesus warns that the season of mercy will pass
Matthew 23:37–39 ESV
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ”
So does wisdom
Proverbs 1:24–27 ESV
Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you, when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.
Jesus promises safety for those who trust Him
John 10:28 ESV
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Hebrews 2:15 ESV
and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
So does wisdom
Proverbs 1:33 ESV
but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”

You are the voice of wisdom to a foolish world

Romans 10:18 ESV
But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”

Are you wise?

We, like Lady Wisdom and Jesus, may be rejected by many, but some will turn and gain life (; ). JN
Jim Newheiser, Opening up Proverbs, Opening Up Commentary (Leominster: Day One Publications, 2008), 42.

Are you wise?

For Further Study

1. How did unwise companions influence Amnon and Rehoboam (see ; )?
2. Describe the four categories of people to whom Wisdom appeals (see 1:22 and 1:7b). Do you know people who fall into each of these categories?

To Think About and Discuss

1. Why do kids join gangs? What can be done to strengthen the identity a child feels with his or her family?
2. Why are we tempted at times to listen to Folly? How can we cultivate a mindset of rejecting Folly’s invitations?
Opening Up Proverbs To Think about and Discuss

3. How does Wisdom relate to the law and the prophets?

3. How does Wisdom relate to the law and the prophets?
Opening Up Proverbs To Think about and Discuss

4. In what sense is the voice of Wisdom the voice of Jesus?

4. In what sense is the voice of Wisdom the voice of Jesus?
Opening Up Proverbs To Think about and Discuss

5. Have you seen situations in which both Wisdom and Folly were crying out to someone? How did he or she respond?

5. Have you seen situations in which both Wisdom and Folly were crying out to someone? How did he or she respond?
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