Summary: In order to grow in social and relational wisdom, we must understand what is likely; fortunately, Proverbs gives us a divine perspective.
Caution: We Are In the People Zone
1. Wisdom not valued much in modern society, so wisdom literature not popular in our culture; In the past, Aesop’s fables–which are amazing– used to be a common resource for popular wisdom. But in the ancient near east, wisdom literature abounded.
2. Shortly before Solomon, an Egyptian named Amenemope was famed for his wisdom:
Let me read the introduction to the Proverbs of Amenemope:
The beginning of the instruction about life, The guide for well-being,
All the principles of official procedure, The duties of the courtiers;
To know how to refute the accusation of one who made it,
And to send back a reply to the one who wrote,
To set one straight on the paths of life, And make him prosper on earth;
To let his heart settle down in its chapel, As one who steers him clear of evil;
To save him from the talk of others, As one who is respected in the speech of men.
3. Compare this with the introduction to the Proverbs of Solmon (Proverbs 1:1-7)
4. Wise sayings to be compared and modified by other wise sayings; not complete treatises, but hands-on sayings that are readily available as life suddenly happens.
5. Today I am going to take you back 3,000 years to evaluate the inspired wisdom of the great King Solomon as we begin a series in Proverbs 18. Unlike other collections of wise sayings, Proverbs is the inspired Word of God, and thusly quoted in NT.
6. Today’s proverbs relational; team-play, how our personal behaviors affects others.
Main Idea: In order to grow in social and relational wisdom, we must understand what is likely; fortunately, Proverbs gives us a divine perspective.
I. We Should Be SUSPICIOUS of People Who Isolate Themselves (18:1)
Isolation and being anti-social is dangerous…often implies a hidden agenda. We might say, "be suspicious of people who are suspicious."
(1) To others – Columbine
(2) To self – depression and other conditions
NIV An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.
ESV Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.
NASB He who separates himself seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom.
Holman One who isolates himself pursues [selfish] desires; he rebels against all sound judgment.
KJV Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.
The LXX, instead of "he quarrels against all sound judgment" has "he seeks prextexts."
A. The importance of being FRIENDLY
1. "Hebrew word …refers to someone … reclusive or divisive." [ESV Study Bible]
2. Friendliness can thought of as being inclusive and accommodating
B. The importance of being SOCIAL
1. Jesus amazingly socially at ease, Cana , synagogue, housed, tax collectors
2. The JOY acrostic has merit
C. Be warned: sour people find EXCUSES (the LXX) pretext.
– bad attitudes "fallen countenance." (Cain)
Application: How much of a team player are you? Are you an opportunist or a participator? Hidden agendas? Are you isolated? If so, what steps to fix the problem?