The Beginning (and End) of Wisdom
Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: In ancient tradition, wisdom is personified as a woman who walks down the street pleading to be heard. “In the markets she raises her voice”—the invitation is to all—but only a few will embrace her. Many reject her. Others scoff at her. And sadly, they bring upon themselves ruin. But to those who receive her, she offers long life, confidence, satisfaction, and security.
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. Who was Solomon and why should we listen to him?
2. How would you define “wisdom”? How is it different than intellect or knowledge?
3. In Proverbs, Lady Wisdom encounters three different characters. Who are they and what do we see about them in this section (Proverbs 1:1-7)?
4. How open to instruction would your friends say that you are? In what areas do you tend to dig in and resist counsel?
5. If wisdom is a gift, how can we obtain it?
6. In Colossians 2, the apostle Paul says that “in Christ … are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” What does Paul mean?
1. “These are the words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” – Luke 24:44-45
2. Read Proverbs 1:1a
3. “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies—I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have!” – 1 Kings 3:10-11 NLT
4. Read Proverbs 1:1b-6.
5. 01. Wisdom is the ability to discern how the heart works, how desire works, how to think and act in a way that is right, beneficial and rewarding.
6. “My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste. Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” – Proverbs 24
7. 02. Wisdom is a gift; to those who receive it, it brings long life, confidence, satisfaction and protection.
8. “The simple is no half-wit; he is a person whose instability could be rectified, but who prefers not to accept discipline in the school of wisdom.” – Derek Kidner
9. Read Proverbs 1:7.
10. The fear of the Lord is a reverence for the magnitude and majesty of God, which necessarily leads to awe, submission, dependence and worship.
11. “In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that—and therefore know yourself as nothing in comparison—you do not know God at all.” – C.S. Lewis
12. “In Christ … are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” – Colossians 2:3
13. 03. If wisdom begins with knowing who God is and who we are in relation to him, only Jesus can take us there.
14. “Everything we might want to ask about God and his purposes can and must now be answered—this is the force of the verse—with reference to the crucified and risen Jesus, the Messiah.” – N.T. Wright