Summary: The primary message of Proverbs is “Get wisdom or act and look like a fool!”
Opening Illustration: A Riddle: Who am I?
What is more valuable than gold or silver?
What has the power to make our life fulfilling?
What can assist us to achieve our God given destinies?
What insight can make me financially fit?
What force is able to restore and maintain healthy relationships in our life?
What is able to make our families and kids prosper?
What can help me to be physically fit and healthy?
What has the ability to help establish a solid financial foundation throughout my life?
What source can help me raise my children to be successes?
What program can make me successful in the business world?
What dynamic can make us laugh and cry?
What influence can change the way I look at a certain situation in life?
What resource can help me handle a crisis appropriately and honorably?
What insight can save my marriage and make it strong?
My name is – Wisdom!
Quote: Bill Hybels, “The world overflows with information, data and knowledge. But there is precious little wisdom?"
Illustration: On the Lighter side: The Wisdom of Cowboys:
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad
Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier ’n puttin’ it back in.
If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and
then to make sure it’s still there.
If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try
orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.
After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started
roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him... The
moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.
There’s two theories to arguin’ with a woman. Neither one works.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
Never slap a man who’s chewin’ tobacco.
Always drink upstream from the herd.
Don’t kick a sleeping dog.
The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it
back in your pocket.
These cowboy proverbs have some good sound advice in them but are they really what the bible defines as wisdom?
The Book of Proverbs is filled with colorful language and it paints great word pictures which apply to everyday life.
Hybels states: “Proverbs simply tells (us) how life works most of the time…The rule is that the godly, moral, hardworking, and wise will reap many rewards.
The book of Proverbs is a compelling book of practicality and insight! It is a practical guide to life in written form and it is filled with exciting insights to read and to apply to our personal lives. The book has the power to transform a life, a nation or even a church. When you read a proverb it usually strikes a chord within you. You may laugh and then read another one and cry. Proverbs is elegant yet forceful in its words. Proverbs will touch your heart and give you wisdom in the everyday decisions of life.
The following thought is from Holman Bible Handbook on the book of Proverbs: Proverbs has other features in common with the wisdom writings of the other nations of the ancient Near East. Like them, it is very practical. It deals with ordinary matters of life more than with great philosophical concepts. Also its structure and organization are in many ways like the other wisdom writings, especially those from Egypt. But Israelite wisdom is distinct from that of the other nations in its assertion that God is the starting point in the search for true wisdom: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7; compare 9:10; Ps 111:10). From beginning to end, Proverbs deals with the practical concerns of an individual who knows God. It teaches the believer how to live.
Proverbs challenges us believers to learn the lessons from the past generations. It gives us the practical implications of confessing our trust and faith in the Lord of all of life. In Proverbs the wise show respect for God and His value system. We must have a God focus for our lives because we cannot be divorced from lives of faithfulness. Faith must be lived out in the day-to-day world where problems call for practical wisdom.That wisdom starts with God and comes from God.
Willmington’s Bible Handbook says this about the book of Proverbs:
The book of Proverbs is a collection of proverbs and wise sayings brought together for the purpose of imparting wisdom ... Proverbs focuses on the difference between the wisdom that results from belief in God and the folly that results from denial of his existence. It describes the fate of the “fool” (see 12:1), who, because he has deliberately rejected God (see Ps. 14:1; Rom. 1:18-23), becomes one of “the wicked” (see 4:10-19). As the wicked fool moves ever further from God, he moves further from wisdom and common sense as well. By contrast, the wise person realizes God exists and has a healthy “fear” of God’s authority (see 1:1-7). He or she realizes, therefore, that right and wrong actions have consequences. Such awareness of how the world works leads to a happy and satisfying life.