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Proverbs: How do we become wise? - Part 1

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8th grade bible class on wisdom.

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Understanding the Paradox

Proverbs 2:3–6 NKJV
Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
(NKJV)
3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, 4 If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
Proverbs ch 2-4: How wisdom develops and grows within us.
Definition of paradox: a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.
Paradox: Seek wisdom and wisdom is a gift from God
Wisdom cries out:
(NKJV)
20 Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. 21 She cries out in the chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words:
Cry out for wisdom:
Proverbs 1:10–11 NKJV
My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait to shed blood; Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;
(NKJV)
3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, 4 If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Describes our search for wisdom with great effort and perseverance. This search is even compared to how you would search for hidden treasure.
Cry aloud for wisdom!! (v. 3)
Wisdom is a gift then, right?
It's both. Look at the paradox here:
(NKJV)
Amos 2:6–7 NKJV
Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they sell the righteous for silver, And the poor for a pair of sandals. They pant after the dust of the earth which is on the head of the poor, And pervert the way of the humble. A man and his father go in to the same girl, To defile My holy name.
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
"The paradox itself is wise. The paradox gives enough incentive and enough assurance to pursue the knowledge of God all our life long." Keller
Question:
Are you pursuing wisdom as you should? If you are, are you being as patient with God as you should? He gives out wisdom in His wise time.

Be righteous

(NKJV)
20 So you may walk in the way of goodness, And keep to the paths of righteousness. 21 For the upright will dwell in the land, And the blameless will remain in it; 22 But the wicked will be cut off from the earth, And the unfaithful will be uprooted from it.
Hebrew words for Righteous: tzedeq and mishpat.
both have a strongly social aspect.
"The righteous are willing to disadvantage themselves to advantage the community; the wicked are willing to disadvantage the community to advantage themselves."
Bruce Waltke
Moral + committed to social justice
Points to Jesus:
(NKJV)
45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Everything I have is for the good of those around me.
Question:
In what ways are you disadvantaging yourself, in time and money, for the food of the community in which you live?

Don't rely on pedigree

Hebrews 3:13 NKJV
but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Proverbs 1:15 NKJV
My son, do not walk in the way with them, Keep your foot from their path;
(NKJV)
10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. 11 If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait to shed blood; Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;
(NKJV)
15 My son, do not walk in the way with them, Keep your foot from their path;
Anyone has the potential to be cruel
The Bible never assumes that family pedigree is any insurance against evil.
(NKJV)
6 Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they sell the righteous for silver, And the poor for a pair of sandals. 7 They pant after the dust of the earth which is on the head of the poor, And pervert the way of the humble. A man and his father go in to the same girl, To defile My holy name.
The well-off can take advantage of the poor and deal violently either directly or indirectly.
Let me not be hardened by my sin.
(NKJV)
13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Question:
Are there any ways in which you may be participating in an arrangement that benefits you but is cruel to someone else?
Read excerpt from Frederick Douglas Book.

Get Experience

Proverbs 1:20–21 NKJV
Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words:
(NKJV)
Matthew 13:10 NKJV
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
Luke 20:4 NKJV
The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men?”
20 Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. 21 She cries out in the chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words:
John 16:29 NKJV
His disciples said to Him, “See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech!
James 1:22 NKJV
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Wisdom is developed only in experience.
(Remember nursing school and critical care training)
How do some people who go through the same experiences grow in wisdom and some don't?
(The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom)
"It comes through first with experience and then with deep, honest reflection on that experience." Keller
Challenge yourself by asking the hard questions and inviting wise people into your life.
Jesus spoke in parables and asked searching questions continually.
Jesus spoke in parables and asked searching questions continually.
(NKJV)
10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
(NKJV)
4 The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men?”
(NKJV)
29 His disciples said to Him, “See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech!
Prayer: Don't let me deceive myself.
(NKJV)
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Question:
What has happened to you recently that was significantly good or difficult? Have you reflected on it with others to learn wisdom from it?

Don't Delay

Proverbs 1:28–29 NKJV
“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the Lord,
(NKJV)
Ephesians 6:10–18 NKJV
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. 29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the Lord,
1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Wisdom takes years to develop and is acquired through knowledge and long experience. Her habits are hard-won. You learn how to rest in Christ in day to day situations and rest in Him when your comfort is removed. You learn to choose what is good, better and best for your life. These wise choices and habits can't be developed overnight, "any more than you can get ready for the Olympics overnight."
Keller
So, in crisis, you will long for wisdom, but it will not answer.
We are given spiritual armor to put on in , but are you putting it on every day?
(NKJV)
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
God will also not give you more than you can handle.
(NKJV)
13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Question:
Are you devoting time to developing wisdom? Begin by assessing how much planned time you given to, first, Bible study and, second, personal accountability with Christian friends.

Proverbs 2:3–6 NKJV
Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
Philippians 2:12–13 NKJV
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Proverbs 1:20–21 NKJV
Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words:
Proverbs ch 2-4: How wisdom develops and grows within us.
Definition of paradox: a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.
Paradox: Seek wisdom and wisdom is a gift from God
Wisdom cries out:
(NKJV)
20 Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. 21 She cries out in the chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words:
Cry out for wisdom:
(NKJV)
3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, 4 If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Describes our search for wisdom with great effort and perseverance. This search is even compared to how you would search for hidden treasure.
Cry aloud for wisdom!! (v. 3)
Wisdom is a gift then, right?
It's both. Look at the paradox here:
(NKJV)
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
"The paradox itself is wise. The paradox gives enough incentive and enough assurance to pursue the knowledge of God all our life long." Keller
The paradox gives enough incentive and enough assurance to pursue the knowledge of God all our life long." Keller
Question:
Are you pursuing wisdom as you should? If you are, are you being as patient with God as you should? He gives out wisdom in His wise time.

Be righteous

Proverbs 2:20–22 NKJV
So you may walk in the way of goodness, And keep to the paths of righteousness. For the upright will dwell in the land, And the blameless will remain in it; But the wicked will be cut off from the earth, And the unfaithful will be uprooted from it.
Mark 10:45 NKJV
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Hebrew words for Righteous: tzedeq and mishpat.
both have a strongly social aspect.
"The righteous are willing to disadvantage themselves to advantage the community; the wicked are willing to disadvantage the community to advantage themselves."
Bruce Waltke
Moral + committed to social justice
Points to Jesus:
(NKJV)
45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Everything I have is for the good of those around me.
Question:
In what ways are you disadvantaging yourself, in time and money, for the food of the community in which you live?

1. Identify your idols

Proverbs 3:5 NKJV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
Romans 3:21–24 NKJV
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
Proverbs 28:25–26 NKJV
He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the Lord will be prospered. He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.
“You can believe in God yet still trust something else for your real significance and happiness-which is therefore your real God. We hide how we do this from ourselves...”
Keller
How are our idols revealed?
When they are in danger of being taken away or exposed.
How does this effect your heart and life?
We devote emotional energy in the thing we put our trust in.
Here’s a test:
What makes you inordinately shaken, anxious, angry, or despondent if anything threatens that thing?
Effect:
Clouded judgement, distorted vision of yourself and the world. Foolishness in life in general.
Remedy For idolatry:
The gospel!
We aren’t justified by works, success or achievement but by faith in Jesus.
(NKJV)
21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
What idols do I have in my life that I need to repent of?
(NKJV)
25 He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the Lord will be prospered. 26 He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.
Trust in the Lord. Don’t trust in your heart or your feelings. Trust in what is true.
Question:
What is the best candidate in your life for an alternate "god"?
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