WEEK 2 OF OUR STUDY.

Hello ladies. I hope that you have spent time considering the lesson from last week, Making Wisdom a Priority. If you have, I trust that you have been reading from the book of Proverbs this week.

God’s word speaks to us in such a loving, caring way. God wants every good thing for us in our life. If there is anyone that can help us to have the very best life  … it is the One that created us. 

The book of the Proverbs is attributed to King Solomon, son of King David and Bathsheba. What made Solomon so very wise? Let us go back to the book of 1st Kings 3:5-15:

1Ki 3:5  In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.

1Ki 3:6  And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

1Ki 3:7  And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.

1Ki 3:8  And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.

1Ki 3:9  Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

1Ki 3:10  And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.

1Ki 3:11  And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;

1Ki 3:12  Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

1Ki 3:13  And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.

1Ki 3:14  And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.

1Ki 3:15  And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.

When Solomon became king, he was not walking perfectly before God. In fact, most of the leaders that became Kings were not perfect in all things.  At this time in Solomon’s life, he was guilty of worshiping in his own way. He sacrificed and burned incense in the high places. We are not studying worship during this period of time, but I don’t want to miss an opportunity to remind you that God has always been particular about how we worship him. It is to honor and reverence him, not to please ourselves in the way we want to worship. If I worship, I want God to be happy to receive it.  The way we worship does matter to God.  I have been thinking about the ways of worship today. I think this is a topic we should consider and we will further look into it in the future. The Book of Proverbs does not neglect this important matter either!

I think 1 Kings 3:5-15 is a beautiful portion of Scripture and every time I read it, I am reminded of something that God told each of us. Something found in the New Testament:

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”  James 1:5  

Wisdom is available for all of us. We need to ask for it, according to the first chapter of James. Every time we open to the book of the Proverbs… Truly any time we open the Word of God, we should be asking God to reveal Himself to us. In Proverbs, particularly though, ask for wisdom as you read. (Before you This verse in James 1:5 tells us to ask God.  Ask God.  God does not make it difficult to possess this thing called wisdom. He will give to each of us liberally or generously. If we truly desire wisdom though, we won’t miss out on the opportunity to get all that we can from the book of Proverbs. Consider this: A first step in growing in wisdom is reading the Book especially given that we might become wiser.  The book of Proverbs. It is really quite simple. 

This is important: What we do should support what we say. We say we want wisdom – so we must make use of the obvious wisdom of the Bible, which we all have. 

The book of Proverbs is clearly attributed to King Solomon. Nowhere does he claim to have written these Proverbs. They are principles for life and collected into this book. All truth originates from God. Most of the Proverbs will apply to the lost person and to the saved child of God. They are part of the way that God created the world. They are the natural laws of order in this world. Think of the laws of the harvest. A farmer that is diligent in sowing and reaping will produce a good harvest – whether he knows the God that created him or not. I believe this is one of the ways God uses to draw souls to Himself. This is how God gave order to the world. The farmer should also consider these things while he is quietly working in the field. Because this book is part of the Bible, we can be sure that every principal within is a truth that God declares important for our lives. The same can be said about every verse in the entire Bible. It matters not so much who “penned” the Book, the chapters and verses, but it matters more that the origins of every word are from the great I AM.   

The book of Proverbs does seem to be broken down into several sections. The determination of these divisions are man-made, for example, the first nine chapters are often thought to be counsel and advice from a father to a son. And that is how much of it reads. I find did those instructions kind and comforting. 

My mother and father wanted the very best for me and my life and taught me the things that they thought would help me to have that life. You do no less with your own children. As adults, we can recognize that our parents did the best that they could, but they were not perfect.

The often gentle, but firm teachings of the book of Proverbs come from One that loves us too. The difference is that that ONE is perfect and has perfect knowledge and perfect wisdom. The book of Proverbs contains the secrets to a happy life. I do think of it as a book of secrets, for anyone that does not study the book of Proverbs is missing some of the greatest truths and principles for their life on earth. Ladies, we all love to hear a good secret. I have watched you. I am guilty; I love to know the truth about a situation. We want the details.

Well here we are – living our lives. We all want to be happy and we hold the secrets to a happy life on our laps. We don’t need our friends, our next-door neighbors, some television show or some new book to tell us how to be happy. Happiness seems to be the thing that many people are missing and it is not complicated. God has not hidden happiness and wisdom from us, but to experience these gifts – we must accept them. Apply your hearts unto wisdom………………..

In the past is year, many of us, perhaps all of us, have suffered some incredible loss in our life. The loss of my husband, your Pastor Harry, was not the only loss I had this year, but that would have been more than enough to recover from. I returned to be with you about three months after his death. And you saw me, I really was happy. Even I was amazed at the extent of peace and joy in my life. Please know that I made a decision to be happy and joyful and the Word of God was my constant companion as to reach acceptance and joy.  If you want to be happy and wise, it is a choice you must make. It will not happen because of circumstances. If we allow circumstances to control our moods and lives, our life will be up and down and generally out of control. Look around you; look at the out of control world. The Book of Proverbs will precisely tell you why the world is a mess.

Let us read the six opening verses in the book of Proverbs:

Pro 1:1  The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;

Pro 1:2  To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;

Pro 1:3  To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;

Pro 1:4  To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

Pro 1:5  A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

Pro 1:6  To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

When we are teaching someone, especially someone we care about, we explain and communicate with great care so that the listener can understand, even deeply understand, the important things we are sharing.

These first verses tell us why the book of Proverbs are so important. Here are the reasons listed in these few short verses;

  1. To know wisdom
  2. To know instruction
  3. That that we can sense words of understanding, words that are important to know.
  4. To receive instruction of wisdom
  5. To receive instruction of justice
  6. To receive instruction of judgment
  7. To receive instruction regarding equity
  8. These verses are to give subtlety to the simple. What does that mean? You will understand very soon.
  9. To give understanding and discretion to the young man. (and woman)

In very simple terms, the book of Proverbs will teach you how to make a good life for yourself and those you care about. We are born selfish, thinking only about what we want or what we need. Your baby will not wait until you are finished with a phone call to let you know they need something; they want it now. As they grow, they show the beginnings of wisdom because they wait until you are finished with your phone call. And that is wisdom. You will be more likely to cheerfully hear their plea. Wisdom is learned and there is no better place to increase your wisdom than in the book of Proverbs. You will learn about creating happiness. You will be reminded how your tongue can get you in trouble. There are many verses about handling money and being dishonest with it. Marriage and friendship are spoken of often in the book of Proverbs. This should be of great interest to everyone because we all live and interact with people. Any help that we can have in getting along with others we should hold close to our hearts. The book of Proverbs discusses purity and immorality/lust. Proverbs discusses respect. Every one of you, every woman in the circle wants to have a good life. You will not have a happy life if you neglect to grow wisdom in your life. I encourage you to begin today to grow a little bit wiser every day. Make it a commitment. We can learn these principles, but if we do not apply them to our life I believe the result will be worse than had we not known the principles at all. Neither situation is good. You hold in your hands the answers to the problems and challenges of life. Don’t neglect the Book. It is life.

I challenge you this week, especially if you are not reading from the book of Proverbs every day: Read and meditate upon the first seven verses of Proverbs chapter 1 every day – twice a day. Read it often enough that you truly increase in hunger for wisdom that is from above.

After we are told the benefits of reading and meditating upon this book we are admonished or even warned to receive this instruction very carefully and to understand the value and the importance of the words given. As mothers, when we take time to sit down and explain why something is very important to our children, there is a reason we do this. It is because we love them and we want the very best for their life. As we do for our children, so God wants the best for our lives. We teach our children important truths and we want them to respond to our words. We know that that they have taken our words into their hearts as we watch their lives. And so, our God takes notice too.

So, verse 5 again:  A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

It is as if we are given a choice. If you are wise then you will hear and you will become more intelligent. You will have a deeper understanding that will cause you to look to wise counsel. Because of our study, we are focusing on the book of Proverbs primarily as being our wise counsel. So if we want to be wise and have a deeper understanding of life, the book of Proverbs is an excellent way and place to begin. I want to remind you, also, that frequently when we have a question or a problem we want to run to another person. There are many reasons not to do that as a first choice. If we have grown in knowledge and wisdom because of the Scriptures, we will have a well of resources to help us lead good and happy lives. There is nothing wrong with seeking counsel from another person, but even in choosing the right person to counsel with requires wisdom. Just think about a time that you went to talk to someone about a problem and you received incorrect advice, or learned that they repeated your matter to another person. These are both very common situations and can greatly be avoided when the first place we run to for counsel is the word of God. His counsel will always be wise and in your best interest and he will never repeat your struggle to another person.

Ladies, think of growing in wisdom as a decision that will bring reward to your life. Imagine yourself as a woman that Proverbs 1:9 applies to. Learning and following the truths from this book will be as an ornament of grace upon your head and chains around your neck. This is easy to imagine and understand for ladies because verse nine is clearly a description of beauty, honor and elegance. This is how we want to be thought of in our lives. We can be a picture of this kind of grace that is freely given.

Have a great week, encourage someone and purpose in your hearts to be faithful and joyful every day. Choose to be wise.