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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
February 17, 2012
Applying Proverbs to Life
Next Sunday we will begin a study of the Life of Christ using the gospel of Luke as the framework, but also extensively using the other gospels in order to gain a fuller understanding of the person, life and commands of the Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot be good disciples of Jesus if we do not know well both Him and His directions to us.
This morning I want to conclude our study of Proverbs which we began a year ago. I had originally planned for about eight sermons from the book concentrating on wisdom, righteousness and foolishness. The number of sermons rapidly expanded the more I studied the book. We ended up also examining Proverbs on subjects such as friendship, family, marriage, parenting, economics, government, speech, pride, anger, vices, covetousness, wine and drinking, and sexual purity. I also preached some related topical sermons which were not based in Proverbs, but did reference them. These included Morality & Voting, The Value of Human Life, Godliness & Entertainment, and Racial Harmony.
My already great appreciation for Proverbs has increased even more by being able to give additional attention and careful study of the book. It has been a very practical and helpful study for me, and I expect that there will be many more Proverbs sprinkled into my sermons in the future because of it. I trust that these sermons from Proverbs have been helpful to you as well and that you will also continue to mine its depths for the great wisdom it contains. It is still a good idea to include in your daily reading a chapter of Proverbs per day, or at least a few Proverbs per day that you can meditate upon.
This morning I want to wrap of this study with a strong exhortation to apply the wisdom in this book into your own life. In Proverbs 8, wisdom and understanding are personified as calling out and lifting her voice to men, the sons of men, to the naive, scoffers and even to fools. Wisdom dwells with prudence and finds knowledge and discretion. Because of this, counsel, sound wisdom and power belong to her and those who will listen to her. It is a great tragedy that so few heed wisdom’s call and turn into her house to learn from her. It is even a greater tragedy that there are so many that do turn into wisdom’s house to learn, but quickly forget the lessons once they depart from her door.
James 1:19-27 gives a good description of this and a strong warning and encouragement to be diligent. 19 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. 26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
The righteous are wise and will prove themselves to be doers of the word and not forgetful hearers.
Solomon The Ignorant
King Solomon is the source for nearly all of the Proverbs. Even Chapters 25-29 are from him though they were compiled by King Hezekiah’s men. The exceptions are Proverbs 22:17-24:34 which are attributed simply to “the wise.” Proverbs 30 are the words of “Agur the son of Jakeh,” and Proverbs 31 are the words of “King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him.” But Solomon was not born wise. He was born just like all the rest of us. He was ignorant as a child. He did not know and had to be taught.
Solomon is first mentioned in 2 Samuel 5:14 as one of King David’s sons born to him in Jerusalem after he had become king over all of Israel. He had at least six older half brothers that had been born while David was still reigning from Hebron (1 Chronicles 3:1-9). More information about the birth of Solomon is given in 2 Samuel 12. He was the second son born to David and Bathsheba. Their first child together was illegitimate and died. He will later have three younger full brothers (1 Chronicles 14:4), but there is a time in which he is the only living son of David and Bathsheba according to Proverbs 4:3.
Solomon’s wisdom began with the instruction received from his father and mother. The theme of parents teaching their children to be wise runs throughout Proverbs with Solomon directly citing in Proverbs 4:3-4 his father’s instruction to him concerning wisdom. The words of King David to his son are as relevant today as they were then. 4 Then he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; Keep my commandments and live; 5 Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth. 6 “Do not forsake her, and she will guard you; Love her, and she will watch over you. 7 “The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding. 8 “Prize her, and she will exalt you; She will honor you if you embrace her” (Proverbs 4:4-22). Wisdom is to be passed down from generation to generation.
That is the first lesson in applying Proverbs to life. You are responsible to both seek wisdom for yourself and instruct others in what you have learned. “How blessed is the man who finds wisdom And the man who gains understanding” (Proverbs 3:13). Being able to learn and apply those lessons to life are what marks maturity. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” A person that does not do this remains immature, childish. However, it must be clearly understood that the quest for wisdom is lifelong and not just for the years of childhood. As Proverbs 9:9 states, “Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.” Since only God is omniscient, there will always be things about which you are ignorant and so you will need to be instructed and grow in wisdom. The person that abandons the quest for wisdom begins the descent into foolishness, for Proverbs 18:2 states, “A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind.” Proverbs 26:12 adds, “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for
a fool than for him.”
You are also responsible to instruct others in the wisdom that you learn. As already pointed out, a theme throughout Proverbs is parents instructing their children. This is one of the godly character traits of the Proverbs 31 woman. “She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue” (Proverbs 31:26). For Christians, this is a key component of ministry in making disciples of Jesus Christ. We are to go and proclaim the gospel, baptize those that respond, and then teach them to observe all that Jesus has commanded (Matthew 28:19). We are to teach those who are faithful so that they will be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2).
While Solomon was young, he grew in wisdom from the teaching and instruction of his father and mother. Perhaps this is one of the reasons David recognized that Solomon was God’s choice to succeed him on the throne instead of one of his older brothers. 1 Kings 1 records how David established Solomon on his throne before he died. This did not end all the intrigue by his brother, Adonijah, to gain the throne for himself, but Solomon’s dealing with him and others demonstrated good wisdom. However, it was not until after David had died and Solomon had solidified his kingdom that his wisdom went from being good to being without parallel. 1 Kings 3 records the story of what God did for Solomon and why.
Solomon The Wise
1 Kings 3:3 tells us of Solomon’s godly character. “Now Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.” The next couple of verses tell us that Solomon went to Gibeon and offered a thousand burnt offerings. The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream that night and asked him what he would want God to give him. Solomon’s answer was the greatest demonstration of his heart and wisdom to that time. 1 Kings 3:6-9, 6 Then Solomon said, “You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You; and You have reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 “Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 “Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. 9 “So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
God answered that prayer in a way that went beyond what Solomon could have even dreamed possible. 1 Kings 3:10-14,
10 “It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. 13 “I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days. 14 “If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days.”
Solomon became the wisest, richest man that every lived even by the standards of the super wealthy. In terms of just raw wealth, he received 666 talents of gold in a year. Depending on the standard used, a talent weighed between 67.3 lbs and 130 lbs. This means Solomon received between 44,821 lbs and 86,580 lbs of gold a year. At today’s prices of gold at about $1,635 per ounce, that is between $1,172,517,360 and $2,264,932,800 received in a year. That does not include the silver, precious stones, garments, spices, various animals, lumber and such brought in year to year. 1 Kings 10:21 states that silver was so common it was not considered valuable in the days of Solomon. 1 Kings 10:23 summarizes, “So King Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom.”
Modern technology has enabled even common men to have comforts such as central air conditioning and heating, refrigeration, transportation by car and airplane and such that would make even Solomon envious, but that does not mean Solomon lacked comfort. Ecclesiastes 2 makes it clear that Solomon was able to enjoy an overflowing amount of material wealth, physical pleasure, aesthetic beauty and stimulation of the mind. However, the greatest thing about Solomon was his wisdom. 1 Kings 4:29-34 describes it as follows.
29 “Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all men, than Ethan the Ezrahite, Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was known in all the surrounding nations. 32 He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. 33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even to the hyssop that grows on the wall; he spoke also of animals and birds and creeping things and fish. 34 Men came from all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.”
The source of Solomon’s great wisdom was God for the Lord has put it in his heart (1 Kings 10:24). Solomon stated this himself in Proverbs 2:6-10, For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice And equity and every good course. For wisdom will enter your heart And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul:”
Solomon’s wisdom resulted in great blessings for the nation. It expanded its boarders to its greatest extent under his rule. They enjoyed peace with their neighbors. And most importantly, Solomon built the Temple which became one of the wonders of the ancient world. 1 Chronicles 22-29 describes all the preparations King David had made for the Temple including the organizing of the Levites to minister in it. 2 Chronicles 2-5 describes its construction, furnishings and bringing the Ark of the Lord into it. And 1 King 8 and 2 Chronicles 6-7 record Solomon’s dedication of the Temple which was then filled with the Shekinah glory of the Lord.
While you will not become as wise as Solomon, you can follow in his footsteps to learn from his instruction. That is why we have taken the time to study the book of Proverbs. However, to have true wisdom, you must also seek the Lord and continue to follow Him. It is not enough to have knowledge and understanding, you must also have righteousness for true wisdom is bound with it. Psalm 37:30 puts it this way, “The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, And his tongue speaks justice.” Proverbs 10:31 says nearly the same thing, but also issues a contrast and a warning. “The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom, But the perverted tongue will be cut out.”
To be truly wise you must seek wisdom, learn from her and carry out her instructions. That is a pursuit that will continue throughout life. That wisdom must also be accompanied by righteousness or the knowledge and understanding gained will be either ignored or perverted into foolish actions. A young fool can become a wise man if he will seek wisdom. At the same time, a wise young man can become an old fool if he do
es not continue in wisdom and righteousness.
Solomon The Fool
Solomon was very wise in his early years as king. That wisdom was demonstrated in the Proverbs he wrote, his knowledge on so many different subjects and in the manner in which he lived. Solomon had the instruction and understanding, yet, as he got older he turned away from that wisdom and pursued a course of foolishness. Solomon did not continue to walk in God’s ways and keep His commands and statues as David had done. As Solomon walked farther away from God, the Lord brought opposition to Him to chasten him.
Deuteronomy 17:14-20 gives God’s instructions to those who would become kings of Israel. A king was to write out a copy of God’s laws for himself and read it all of his days so that he would fear the Lord, keep God’s statutes and humbly lead the nation. Israel’s Kings were not to multiply horses, gold, silver or wives. God did not want them to trust their wealth, their military might or have their hearts turned by having many wives. Solomon asked God for wisdom, and God granted him wisdom and also great wealth and honor. Solomon did not obey the Lord as he should. He multiplied horses amassing 40,000 for his chariots plus another 12,000 horsemen (1 Kings 4:26). He also multiplied wives ending up with seven hundred wives, princesses and three hundred concubines (1 Kings 11:3).
1 Kings 11 tells the story of Solomon’s decline. 1 “Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, 2 from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away. 4 For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.”
Solomon was wise, but in disobeying the Lord and multiplying wives he sowed the seeds of his own decline into foolishness. Just as God had warned through Moses, the many wives did turn his heart away from the Lord to follow other gods. He not only allowed them to continue to worship their idols, he built high places for them and joined them in the idolatry. Many in the nation then followed his example and became idolaters.
The consequences of Solomon’s disobedience were high, though the Lord tempered the punishment for the sake of His promises to David and for Jerusalem which He had chosen (1 Kings 11:13). The kingdom would be split during the reign of Solomon’s son with only one tribe remaining loyal to the Davidic line, and the peace Solomon had enjoyed during his reign would end as the Lord raised up adversaries – Hadad the Edomite, Rezon the son of Eliada, and Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephariamite, whom Ahijah the prophet commissioned to become king of the northern ten tribes of Israel.
Perhaps it may seem strange that Solomon did not follow the advice he had given his son throughout Proverbs, but tragically it is quite common for parents to teach their children one thing and then do the opposite themselves. It never works to teach your children to do what you say instead of what you do. They will generally follow your example instead of your words. Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, followed the example instead of the words and became an evil king (2 Chronicles 12:14).
There are two kinds of wisdom: the wisdom of world and godly wisdom from above. The wisdom of the world requires intelligence, knowledge and understanding, but not righteousness. Godly wisdom is better with intelligence, knowledge and understanding, but those are not as important as righteousness. As 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 points out, God makes the wisdom of the world foolishness while giving true wisdom to those the world considers foolish. There are people that may know a lot about the Bible and may have even memorized many of the Proverbs, but without the Lord’s guidance, they will not be able to make application of their truths in their life or that of others. Of greater tragedy are those like Solomon that at one time did show a lot of true wisdom, but because they did not continue in a godly pursuit of righteous living, they became foolish.
James 3:13-18 contrasts earthly wisdom with the wisdom from above by examining the fruit that each produces. Earthly wisdom is natural, even demonic, and results in disorder and every evil thing because of the jealousy and selfish ambition that is behind it. In contrast, the wisdom from above is pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, and without hypocrisy. What does your manner of life tell you about the kind of wisdom you are following? What kind of wisdom do you want to learn and follow?
That is the second lesson in applying Proverbs to life. It is not enough to seek wisdom, you must make sure it is the wisdom from above and not earthly wisdom. Wisdom must be joined with the pursuit of holy living. This may not be as easy as you think because many claim to teach godly wisdom, but instead what you get is earthly wisdom and the concept of holiness is perverted. This occurs not only with false religions and cults, but also among those who claim to believe and hold fast to the Bible. Jesus and the apostles gave many warnings about this.
Jesus warned about the “leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees” referring to their teaching which would lead men astray from God. The Sermon on Mount (Matthew 5-7) gives multiple specific examples of their false teaching. They come in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. The apostle Paul warned the Ephesian Elders in Acts 20:29 that these wolves would arise from among them after his departure. Most of Paul’s writings are related to warning churches about and correcting them for false teaching that had entered into them. There would be those that would fall away and pay attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1). Their teachings would give the appearance of wisdom and even claim supernatural sources as if from angels, but it would be false and of no value in pursing holiness (Colossians 2:16-23).
The apostles Peter, John and Jude all gave many warnings about false teachers that would come as deceivers to secretly introduce destructive heresies. They would creep in unnoticed, but if you paid attention you would be able to identify them by their false doctrine and ungodly lives. Jesus also said that you would know them by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-23). Sadly, many, many believers and churches have been destroyed by false teachers despite the clear warnings and descriptions of how to identify them. How does that happen? Two major reasons.
First, many professing believers remain infants in their knowledge of the Bible so they can be easily deceived. When you do not know the truth, you can easily be fooled by what is counterfeit. All Christians are called to know the Scriptures well so they can accurately handle the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). They then need to be like the noble minded Bereans in Acts 17:10-11 that received what Paul preached with eagerness, but also examined the Scriptures carefully to make sure what he was proclaiming was true. If you do not know the Scriptures, you cannot do this, and so you can be lead astray by false doctrine. You must know the truth before you can be wise and apply the truth to life. Can you identify false teaching about even the basic truths about God, Jesus, and salvation from sin? You can if you know the truth of what the Scriptures say about each of these.
Can you at least identify the personal characteristics of a teacher that should make you cautious of their teaching? You will be able to do so if you are familiar with the passages that describe them and are willing
to heed their warnings. Remember, false teachers will even do what appear to be miracles in Jesus’ name, yet their characteristics identify them to be false teachers (Matthew 7:15-23). In addition to their heresies, their personal characteristics can include qualities such as: sensuality, greed, lying, corrupt desires, despise authority, daring, self-willed, revilers, carousers, arrogant, corrupt, ungodly, licentious, grumblers, lustful, flatterers, etc. (1 Peter 2; Jude, etc.). In short, be very skeptical of the teaching of anyone that is not obviously and actively pursuing a godly lifestyle.
Second, many professing believers fall for false teaching because they are not pursuing holiness as they should. They are still enticed by the world and so become easy targets for deceivers who will tickle their ears telling them what they want to hear. They end up turning aside from the truth of sound doctrine and instead follow myths (2 Timothy 4:3-4). This is more serious and dangerous than being ignorant. A person who is naive can be taught, but what do you do for someone who knows the truth and turns away from it? This became the problem for Solomon. He knew better, but he disobeyed God’s commands anyway and multiplied his military force and gathered hundreds and hundreds of women into his harem. His heart was turned away from God and he no longer followed the wisdom given in his own Proverbs.
Galatians 6:7 warns, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” If you walk in righteousness, you will receive the rewards of righteousness. If you walk in unrighteousness, then you will receive the consequences of your sin (Proverbs 11:31).
There are many deceivers and false teachers, so be very careful to check what is taught against the Scriptures. However, Satan is the master of scripture twisting, so don’t believe it just because a verse is quoted. You must examine the claims through careful and proper Bible study in context. (Ephesians 5:6; Titus 1:10; 1 John 2:26; Matthew 4:1-11; Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15). You must also be very careful whom you allow be your close friends for they will influence you, and “bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Solomon The Resigned
1 Kings 11:40-41 ends its narrative about Solomon’s life with him seeking to put Jeroboam to death, and then gives a general statement that the rest of his acts and wisdom are written in another book. If that was the end of the information we had about Solomon, we would assume he continued in his foolishness until the end of his life. However, we have the book of Ecclesiastes which informs us that he did some serious reflection at the end of his life and points out the foolishness of not walking with God.
Proverbs is an optimistic, yet very realistic book. It gives strong warnings about foolishness and its consequences, yet it gives great hope to those that will heed the call of wisdom and turn to learn from her and follow her ways. Ecclesiastes is a cynical book pointing out the folly of living contrary to God’s commands. It is the writing of a man that has looked back with the realization and resignation that he has wasted his life chasing vanity.
Solomon did try it all, and all of it ended in vanity. He magnified and increased in wisdom setting his mind to know wisdom, madness and folly and concludes it was striving after the wind because it resulted in grief and pain (Ecclesiastes 1:16-18). He sought pleasure, but found laughter and pleasure to be madness because it did not accomplish anything (Ecclesiastes 2:1-2). He amassed great material wealth, built beautiful homes and parks, had great gardens and farms to provide whatever food he desired, and he even provided for himself “the pleasure of men – many concubines.” Yet, at the end of it all, he considered all of his labor and activities to be “vanity and striving after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:3-11). The rest of the book continues in the same cynical vein with references here and there to what a man can and should enjoy because it is what God has given him.
There is little joy in Ecclesiastes. It is the conclusion of a man that has resigned himself to the fact that in the end, though he had been given great wisdom, he choose foolishly and could not regain what he had lost. Even his conclusion is one of resignation. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, 13 “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”
That is true and good advice, but it is not way you want to live your life and certainly not where you want to be at the end of it. Proverbs 1:7 correctly states that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” and Proverbs 9:10 adds that it is “the beginning of wisdom.” The fear of the Lord is a good and proper motivation to keep His commandments because you will eventually stand before Him to be judged. However, what is in the beginning should not be in the end.
Christians have a different reason to keep God’s commandments. It is not out of fear of His judgment, for we already have His promise that by faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ we will not be condemned but are forgiven and given eternal life (John 5:24; Romans 8:1). We obey the Lord out of a motivation of love for Him because He first loved us and proved it when Jesus died as the substitute payment for our sins (1 John 4:19; Romans 5:8). For the Christian, walking in obedience to Jesus is not a duty, it is a joy. We come to love God’s commands in the same way that David did and as expressed in Psalm 119. We delight in all God says because His words are sure, right, pure, clean and true resulting in restoring the soul, making us wise, rejoicing the heart, enlightening the eyes, warning us of error and bringing reward (Psalm 19). We desire to know and follow God’s word more than gold or honey from the honeycomb because that is the source for knowing the One we love and how to please Him.
Which part of Solomon’s life do you want your life to reflect – the Wise? the Fool? the Resigned? Or do you want something more? If you walk in the wisdom of Proverbs all of your life, you will become wise and remain wise. If you depart from them, you will live foolishly. If you have been living in foolishness and have finally realized it, you have two choices. There is the resigned position of Ecclesiastes which is better than continued foolishness, but the joy of knowing you are forgiven and walking in obedience out of love for Christ is much better. My prayer for you is that you will walk in wisdom with great joy because of your love for Jesus. If that is not where you are at today, talk with myself or any of our church leaders and let us show you how to get on that path of life.
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help.
Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Write down all the verses mentioned in the sermon and look them up later. 2) Count how many times the words “wise” and “wisdom” are said. Talk with your parents about how to continue in the path of wisdom and avoid foolishness
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. How has the sermon series on Proverbs been helpful to you? How will you ensure that you will continue to benefit from what y
ou have learned? How would you rate yourself at being a doer of the word instead of a hearer only? Always / Usually / Half the time / Seldom / Never. (James 1:19-27). How can you improve? How did Solomon begin to learn wisdom? What is a parent’s responsibility toward their children in teaching them? What is a Christian’s responsibility in teaching wisdom to others? Describe Solomon’s wealth? Describe Solomon’s pursuit of pleasure? Describe Solomon’s wisdom? How did Solomon gain his incredible wisdom? How can you become wise? What were the specific responsibilities of a king of Israel (Deut. 17:14-20)? How well did Solomon keep these commands? What was caused Solomon’s decline into foolishness? What were the consequences of His foolishness? What are the two kinds of wisdom? Describe each. Why are false teachers so dangerous? What is the common origin of false teachers? How does remaining Biblically ignorant make a person vulnerable to false teachers? How does a failure to pursue personal holiness make a person vulnerable to false teachers? Why is this more dangerous? Can you identify heresy concerning God, Jesus or the basis of salvation? Can you identify a false teacher by their personal characteristics? How can you protect yourself from false teachers? Contrast the book of Proverbs and the book of Ecclesiastes? What does Ecclesiastes reveal about Solomon at the end of his life? Why is the fear of the Lord the beginning of knowledge and wisdom? How and why is a Christian to go much beyond that to greater wisdom in joyously walking in obedience to God? Does your life reflect wisdom? Foolishness? Resignation? Or something else? What steps can you take to increase your wisdom, protect yourself from false teachers and joyfully obey God?
Sermon Notes – 2/17/2013
Applying Proverbs to Life – Selected Scriptures
It is a tragedy that so few heed the call of wisdom, and even more so that some that do will ________her
James 1:19-27 – be a ____________ of the word, and not a forgetful hearer
Solomon the Ignorant
Nearly all of the Proverbs are from Solomon, but he was born as ______________ as any man
Solomon was a ________son of King David, born in Jerusalem to Bathsheba and had three full brothers
Solomon’s wisdom began with the _____________received from his father and mother – Proverbs 4:3-4
You are responsible to both seek __________ for yourself and instruct others in what you have learned
The quest for wisdom is a __________ pursuit – Proverbs 9:9
A person that abandons the quest for wisdom descends into ________________ – Proverbs 18:2; 26:12
Parents must instruct their children – but Christians are to ____________others regardless of family ties
Solomon The Wise
1 Kings 3:3 – Solomon began his reign with a fairly strong _____________ character
1 Kings 3:6-9 – Solomon requested God give him an understanding _____in order to judge God’s people
1 Kings 3:10-14 – God gave Solomon unparalleled _____________ and also riches and honor
Solomon became incredibly wealthy ______________________________________________________
Solomon did not lack any _____________ or pleasure – Ecclesiastes 2
Solomon’s wisdom was without ___________ – 1 Kings 4:29-34
Solomon’s wisdom resulted in great __________for the nation – especially in the building of the Temple
You can follow in Solomon’s footsteps by ______________ from his instruction – Proverbs
Wisdom without _______________ will be either ignored or perverted into foolishness
Solomon The Fool
Solomon started his reign with incredible wisdom, but as he became ___________ as he got older
Deuteronomy 17:14-20 – __________________ to Israel’s kings – which Solomon did not obey
1 Kings 11:1-4 – Solomon’s _______________
Just as Moses had warned, the many wives turned Solomon’s heart __________ from the Lord
The Lord tempered his punishment of Solomon for the sake of _________and Jerusalem – 1 Kings 11:13
It is too common for parents to follow Solomon’s example and not ___________ their own teaching
God makes the wisdom of the world foolishness while giving wisdom to those the world thinks _______
James 3:13-18 – earthly wisdom and the wisdom from above are contrasted by their ____________
You must seek the wisdom from above which is joined with the pursuit of ______________
Jesus, Paul, Peter, John and Jude all warn about the ______________ of false teachers
Professing believers that remain ______________ of the Bible can be easily deceived.
You must know the ____________ in order to be wise and identify heresy and false teachers
False teachers will be known by their _______- be skeptical of any teacher that does not walk in holiness
Professing believers that do not pursue holiness will be enticed by false teacher who ________their ears
The __________can be taught, but those that know better but still disobey will descend into foolishness
You must learn to properly _____the Scriptures in context – and be careful of your friends (1 Cor. 15:33)
Solomon The Resigned
1 Kings 11:40-41 is inconclusive about Solomon’s ___________ state at his death
Ecclesiastes reveals the serious reflections of a man that realized the __________of his own foolishness
Solomon tried it all, but only then realized the waste of an ___________ life (Ecclesiastes 1 & 2)
Solomon’s conclusion in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 is true, but it is one of ______________
By faith the Christian is forgiven and goes on to _____the Lord and live joyfully by His commandments
You must continue to __________ in wisdom to be wise, for if you stop, you will become foolish
The joy of knowing you are forgiven and joyously obeying God out of love is much __________
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