Sunday, November 11, 2012

Overview of Proverbs: Jesus our Wisdom

1. Lesson: Overview of Proverbs: Jesus our Wisdom
  • Besides building the Temple of God, King Solomon wrote several poetry books in the Bible.
  • Last week, we learnt about one of them — Song of Solomon.
    • What did we learn? God sees us as beautiful; We see Jesus as beautiful!
  • Today, we will look at another book — Proverbs. 

  • What’s a proverb?
    • Proverbs are wise sayings about life to help people live right and make wise choices.
    • The world is full of wise sayings/proverbs that we can learn from.
    • E.g.
      • Practise makes perfect: If we practise something over and over again, we will be very good at it. 
      • Honesty is the best policy: We should always tell the truth 
      • Slow and steady wins the race: We don’t have to be the fastest all the time, but if we hang in there, we will surely succeed; like the tortoise who was racing with the rabbit and didn’t give up. 

  •  Wise Sayings of a Wise Man 
    • If you remember, King Solomon was the wisest man in the world. When God asked Solomon what he wanted, Solomon did not ask for riches or fame or long life. Instead he asked for wisdom.
    • Being a wise man, Solomon wrote many wise sayings/proverbs, about 3,000, which make up most of the book of Proverbs.

  • Purpose of Proverbs (1:1-7)
    • The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
      for gaining wisdom and instruction;

      for understanding words of insight;

      for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,

      doing what is right and just and fair;
      for giving prudence to those who are simple,

      knowledge and discretion to the young
      let the wise listen and add to their learning,

      and let the discerning get guidance
      for understanding proverbs and parables,

      the sayings and riddles of the wise.
      The fear of the
      Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
      but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    • The main theme of the book of Proverbs was on the importance of WISDOM.
    • Solomon wrote the proverbs to share wisdom and insight, so that people could
      • learn and grow into wise people like him
      • make right choices and live a life of peace and prosperity 
      • avoid destructive mistakes 
      • live peacefully with others in this world
    • Solomon also acknowledged that the source of wisdom is God — The fear (worship) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

  • Picture of Wisdom (3:13-18) 
    • There are many, many pictures of wisdom in the book of Proverbs. For example:
    • Blessed are those who find wisdom,
      those who gain understanding,
      for she is more profitable than silver

      and yields better returns than gold.
      She is more precious than rubies;

      nothing you desire can compare with her.
      Long life is in her right hand;

      in her left hand are riches and honor.
      Her ways are pleasant ways,

      and all her paths are peace.
      She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;

      those who hold her fast will be blessed.
    • Wisdom is described as: 
      • Better/more precious than silver, gold and rubies 
        • Solomon chose wisdom from God over silver, gold and rubies because he believed it was more important than all these
      • Source of long life, riches and honour
        • If we have God’s wisdom, we can make wise decisions that result in blessings of long life, riches and honour, just like Solomon
      • Pleasant and Peaceful 
        • God’s ways bring peace to us and all around us. Sometimes when we try to do things our own way or in our own wisdom, it causes strife and disunity among others. But we can ask God for wisdom to do things peacefully in every way. 
      • A Tree of Life and blessing 
        • Wisdom from God is the source of life and blessings to us, and we should hold on tight to it

  • Jesus our Wisdom 
    • Since wisdom is so good, how do we get this wisdom that Solomon talks about?
    • Solomon was the wisest man in the world. He wrote many wise things. Yet, at the end of his life, he didn’t follow the wisdom God gave him. He had many foreign wives who led him to worship other gods. As a result, his kingdom was divided after his death.
    • Who then is the true wise man?
      • A thousand years after Solomon, the Bible tells us that one greater than Solomon is here! (Luke 11:31)
    • His name is Jesus!
    • Jesus IS Wisdom from God 
      • In Christ, you find all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3).
      • 1 Cor 1:30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
    • Jesus is the perfectly wise man who lived a perfect life to the very end.
      • Even as a young boy at 12 years old, Jesus was discussing with the teachers of the law in the temple. “Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.” (Luke 2:41-50)
      • "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." (Luke 2:52)  
      • When Pharisees and Sadducees tried to trick Him, Jesus always found a way to turn the tables on them.
      • In all He taught and all He did, Jesus led a life of wisdom.
      • Jesus was never lazy, never one-sided, never gossiped or lied. He lived out every proverb perfectly. His obedience and perfect life was deserving of every blessing of God. He should life a long life full of riches and honor, peace and blessings.
      • YET, he was punished instead. Not for His sins and mistakes. But for ours. So that we need not be punished by death for our sins (Prov 16:5).
      • And when Jesus rose from the dead, He gave all of us His righteousness so that we have all the life and blessings He deserved.

    • Choose Jesus, choose wisdom, choose life 
      • In Proverbs, Solomon keeps urging us to choose wisdom.
      • So if Jesus = Wisdom = Life
      • When we choose Jesus, we are choosing His wisdom and His eternal life. Jesus is our Tree of Life!

    • Live wisely
      • How do we live wisely? While there are many good lessons we can learn from the book of Proverbs, we don’t have to follow the instructions like a recipe book. Just like we don’t have to follow the 10 Commandments to live a godly life.
      • Before He returned to heaven, Jesus promised his disciples (and us) to send us His Holy Spirit. Today, we have the Holy Spirit in us. He is our guide and our counsellor. And He will teach us what to do in the different situations and circumstances we may face.
      • He will teach us what to say. "For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict." (Luke 21:15).
      • He will tell us what to do. "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)
  • Conclusion: 
    • Because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross, Wisdom is a gift for every one of us.
    • As we abide/live in Christ and Christ in us, we grow in wisdom through our relationship and dependence on Him. His Holy Spirit transforms us more and more into the image of the one true wise man, Jesus.  
    • The more we trust and depend on Christ, the more we will display his wisdom in each and every situation.  
    • So … choose Jesus, choose wisdom, choose life! 

    • Memory Verse: Proverbs 3:5-6
      Trust in the Lord with all your heart
      and lean not on your own understanding;
      in all your ways submit to him,

      and he will make your paths straight.

    2. Suggested activities:
    • Worksheet

    No comments:

    Post a Comment