Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Proverbs Week 1: Wisdom

The main character in the book of proverbs is wisdom and the antagonist is folly. Folly is the lack of wisdom, it means foolishness. It isn’t necessarily sinful, it’s just stupid.  - Not studying for that test, Staying up too late on Saturday night with church the next day, not having health insurance, picking up a rattlesnake with your bare hands. All things that aren’t sinful, but they’re just foolish. They don’t show that you have wisdom.

3 Myths
Myth #1 - If you’re old you’re wise. You can be old and foolish. You can be young and incredibly wise!
Myth #2 - If you’re smart you’re wise. You can have a high IQ can be unwise. 
Myth#3 - If you’re educated you’re wise. You can have a PhD and be foolish.

This is all because wisdom and knowledge are different. The point of knowledge is to fill your brain with as much information as possible. The point of wisdom is to enable you to live a life with God that glorifies God. There is more knowledge in earth than ever before, but we be the most unwise generation of all time!

Actual Product warnings: 
Have you ever seen a stupid warning on a product. You know the only reason that they are there is because some idiot actually tried to do it at some point. Here some…

• On packaging for an iron: Do not iron clothes on while wearing them.
• On Nytol Sleep Aid: Warning: May cause drowsiness.
• On a blowtorch: Not used for drying hair.
• On a stroller: Take baby out before folding up for storage.
• On a box of fireworks: Do not put in mouth.
• On a toaster: Do not use underwater.
• On a mattress: Do not attempt to swallow.

The whole point of the book of wisdom is to contrast wisdom and foolishness and plead with us to choose wisdom in order that worship would take place in the practical, everyday stuff, of life. 

Eugene Peterson, from his intro to Proverbs in The Message Bible:

“Wisdom has to do with becoming skillful in honoring our parents and raising our children, handling our money and conducting our sexual lives, going to work and exercising leadership, using words well and treating friends kindly, eating and drinking healthily, cultivating emotions within ourselves, and attitudes towards others that makes for peace. Threaded through all these items is the insistence that the way we think of and respond to God is the most practical thing we can do. In matters of everyday practicality, nothing, absolutely nothing, takes precedence over God. Proverbs concentrates on these concerns more than any other book of the Bible.”

Inward Signs of Wisdom from Proverbs

Learning - Proverbs 1:7
Fools aren’t intentional about learning. Wise people are. Everywhere you go, everyone you meet try to learn something. No circumstance or relationship you have with anyone is by accident. It’s passed through God’s hands. Ask questions, learn, and never stop growing. When you know you’re meeting with someone come prepared to ask questions and learn. When we do that in our daily life it will transfer over into our Bible reading, and we are going to continually grow in our relationship.

Discernment - Proverbs 14:15
Foolish people will believe everything. Wise people don’t believe everything they hear. 
Don’t believe the first thing someone says, the first thought, the first teacher, the first book that really speaks to you. If we don’t use discernment we are going to be constantly deceiving ourselves and self-deception always leads to self-destruction!!

Caution - Proverbs  14:16
Foolish people take way too many risks. Wise people are cautious. Foolish people like to gamble, chase after money, and they don’t plan. Fools take unnecessary risks and reckless in their money and in their relationships. We've seen students that have met someone on facebook or some other way on the internet and have actually met up with them alone. NO, that is reckless, it’s stupid. Caution doesn’t mean that wise people are paralyzed not to do anything or paranoid about making any decision. But they walk slowly and stay far away from something that might turn bad.

Self-Control - Proverbs 29:11
You can have a plan but if in the moment you act on emotions you’ll ruin your whole plan. You can have a financial plan but then blow it because you buy a brand new car. You can have a health plan but then blow it when you walk down the snack aisle at the grocery store. You can have a purity plan but then blow it because you constantly allow yourself to be alone with a girl or a guy or you allow yourself to have a computer in your room. 
God will never give us more until we’re responsible with what we have right now.

Humility - Proverbs 11:2
Fools are proud but wise people pursue humility. Humble people are learners and servants or others. Proud people, you can’t teach them anything and they are unwilling to listen, they think they know everything. It’s the same sin that God Satan kicked out of heaven. 
St. Augustine said Pride is the mother of all sin. Wow, all sin comes for our own pride. 
Pride leads to prison.

Outward Signs of Wisdom from Proverbs

Guidance - Proverbs 12:15
If you want to be a fool all you have to do is just always do what you think is best. If you want to be wise seek out counsel. Seek out people that will speak into your life and give you guidance. From your walk with God to buying a car to choosing a college… you better have people that will give you advice. -  Who do you have in your life that will encourage you, give you direction and help you run and jump, even when it’s scary or unknown?

Friendships - Proverbs 13:20
In many ways whether you are wise or foolish depends on the friends you have. Consider… who are your friends?  I don’t want my children one day being friends with foolish kids. Right now, if you’re honest would you say are my friends foolish or wise. In a few weeks, we are going to spend a whole message on friendships.

Rebuke - Proverbs 9:8, 15:12
Some people you don’t really know if they are wise or foolish until they get rebuked, or something is pointed out in their life that isn’t the greatest. Then you find out! Someone who is wise they’ll receive it and be glad that someone called them on it and helped them. A fool gets defensive, argues, changes the subject, blames. To blame is lame. Listen, don’t be a fool! A real biblical friendship is not one that we never talk about the tough, dirty, secret stuff. It’s one where you can talk about that with each other and one friend can rebuke the other and point the wrong out in love. When you’re rebuked you can either choose victim or victory. But victims will never walk in victory.

Change - Proverbs 22:3
Not liking change, the bible says is foolishness. If you don’t change your diet you’ll have a heart attack, okay. If you stop working like this you’re going to lose your job, yeah. If you keep dating that guy you are going to get hurt and you will get dragged away from God. Foolishness!
I don’t want you to suffer. Foolish people suffer, and their family suffers.

Planning - Proverbs 20:18, 24:5-6
Who is a planner? Some of us are and some aren’t but God would say we all should plan and plan wisely. Do you have a plan for your time, for when temptation hits, for saving money, for how you interact with your family, how you grow with God on a daily basis?

So it all has to do with Wisdom - Proverbs 26:12
If at any point you think that you are wise. You’re done. We’ve got to wake up and look in the mirror every day and say “today, I am capable of being a fool. I could make a really dumb decision today that I would have to live with consequences for the rest of my life.” We can never be overconfident. We have to never stop praying for wisdom and sticking as close to Jesus as possible, the wisest man ever to live. 

The book of Proverbs is overflowing with wisdom, but here are nine truths that the book of Proverbs speaks directly about wisdom:

    1) Wisdom calls and cries out to us. (Proverbs 1:20)
    2) The Lord gives wisdom and He gives it to the upright. (Proverbs 2:7)
    3) Wisdom is like a shield. (Proverbs 2:7)
    4) Wisdom gives us moral and ethical direction. (Proverbs 2:9)
    5) Wisdom keeps us from sin. (throughout the entire book)
    6) Wisdom is a blessing. (Proverbs 3:13)
    7) Wisdom is precious. (Proverbs 3:15)
    8) Wisdom leads to righteousness. (Proverbs 4:11)
    9) Wisdom is exceedingly valuable. (Proverbs 8:10-11)

    Hear and learn. (Proverbs 1:5)
    Be attentive to wisdom. (Proverbs 2:2)
    Seek out wisdom. (Proverbs 4:5)
    Treat wisdom as you would treat a close family member or friend, basically, familiarize yourself with it. (Proverbs 7:4)
Wisdom does not come to those you are lazy. It is not random inspiration. It comes to those who worship Jesus and it comes to those who seek it. Anyone who professes to be wise that does not know Christ is ultimately a fool. And anyone who confesses to know Christ but is not seeking wisdom and learning from God’s word and others is a fool. Listen, we are fools we are sinners and the greatest revelation God can give us sometimes is the reality of our own sinfulness.


  • Who do you know that you consider wise? Why?
  • What have been the greatest sources of wisdom in your life? (books, experiences, classes, people, etc.)
  • Where are you reaping the fruit of foolishness in your life? (what one of the 10 areas or you hurting in most?)
  • How have you seen that God’s wisdom was better than the world’s advice?
  • We discover God’s commands by reading His Word. How can you do better about reading the Bible each day?

DYM Curriculum at ALIVE Student Ministry 

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