Friday, June 11, 2010

Which Way Wisdom?

Deut 34: 9 Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the Spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the LORD had commanded Moses.
Not having Moses handy, we may have to seek another way to be wise.  Although wisdom is mentioned through the bible, the book that really meditates on it is Proverbs, written by Solomon and perhaps some later authors.  Trivia of the day: the Hebrew word for wisdom seems to have grown out of a word for know-how that was used by fisherman.  So maybe we should just go fishing?

Read Proverbs 1:1-7
1.    What is wisdom for?  How can you tell when someone has it?  What is the difference between wisdom and intelligence?

After the warning against fools enticing you away from wisdom, the tone suddenly switches.  Read Prov 1:20-33.
2.    Suddenly wisdom is Wisdom and is personified.  There are three theories about this.
a.    Solomon is being poetic.  Why would it be reasonable to think this?

b.    Solomon is describing the Holy Spirit. Why would it be reasonable to think this?

c.    Solomon is describing Jesus., Why would it be reasonable to think this?

In Proverbs 8, wisdom again speaks.  “Does not wisdom call out?  Does not understanding raise her voice?”  Read Prov 8:22-36.
3.    Considering this and Chapter 1, what do you think about Wisdom personified?

In Proverbs 9:10, Wisdom advises, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”  Read Prov 2:1-10.  (Where wisdom is back to being an attribute.)
4.    How does one become wise?

Components of Wisdom
5.    Some of the themes from the sayings of Solomon.  Try to find connections with your own experiences or in what you’ve seen.

Prov 11: 2-3 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.  The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” 
Righteousness:  Why is righteousness wise?

Prov 16:23-24  “A wise man's heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction.  Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
What you say:  the words of the wise are true, gentle, calming, testifying.  Why is this wise?

Prov 16: 3 “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” 
What you do: the work of the wise is timely, fruitful, prioritized, and planned.  Why is this wise?

Proverbs 18:15  “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.”
How you grow: the wise are open to instruction, discipline, counsel and correction.  Why is this wise?

6.  Page through Proverbs 10-21.  What else do you notice?  What themes are there?

The 4 wise creatures:  Prov 30:24-28
“Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer;  are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags; locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks; a lizard* can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings' palaces.”

7.    What are they trying to teach us by these examples?
ant –

coney –

locust –

lizard –

8.    If you were writing down your sayings for the next generation, what’s one proverb you would want in the book?

Prov 24: 13-14 “Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.  Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”

Homework?  Other places to find wisdom mentioned in scripture:  Job 28, Ps 111, James 1

Note:  the youth group study is off for the summer, so I'll mostly just be posting monthly for the men's study.