The Beginning of Wisdom
Speaker: Rev. Scott Strickman
Series: Proverbs 1-9: An Invitation to Wisdom
Proverbs 1:1-7 (ESV)
1 The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
3 to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in righteousness, justice, and equity;
4 to give prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth—
5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
6 to understand a proverb and a saying,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs (chapters 1-9) invites and urges us to eagerly search after and take hold of wisdom.
1. What is it for?
v2 instruction, understanding
v3 wise dealing
1 Kings 3:5-15 – Solomon (v1) chooses wisdom
2. Who is it for?
v4 – the simple
v5 – the wise
v7 – but not the fool
3. Where do we begin?
v7 “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”
Luke 23:39-42 – two criminals
Questions for Reflection
What is wisdom? What are some synonyms for wisdom? Does wisdom encompass the synonyms (are whatever words one would find in a thesaurus parts of wisdom, or are there meaningful distinctions between wisdom and some of these other related concepts)?
What aspect of wisdom do you resonate with, or gravitate towards (information, good choices, giving good advice, living well, synthesizing, etc.)? Where do you need to grow? How do you need to become wiser?
God spoke to Solomon, the young king, “ask what I shall give you”. If God presented that opportunity to you, what would you ask for? What do you want or need most in life? If you were to rank your top 5, would wisdom make the list (and if so, where would it appear)? Are there things you want that you have the sense you shouldn’t?
How is learning challenging for you? What hinders you from learning? How do you learn best?
What does it mean to “fear” God? What does it not mean?
The path of wisdom is a path of learning the fear of God. What kinds of things do you expect to learn as our church begins this path together? Where do you hope to grow?
Those in relationship to God will experience the fear of God differently than those who simply think of the fear of God as a concept. How is trusting God a chief starting place to get on the path of a search for wisdom?
How is Jesus the picture of a life lived in wisdom?
Prayer of Confession
Our Father, we need wisdom. We have been foolish, assuming we know more than we do. We have misunderstood you, ourselves, and our world. We don’t fear you as we should. We don’t understand what healthy, honorable, wise fear even looks like. We lack discernment and not only make choices that undermine our own good, we also do what is wrong and bring harm to ourselves and others. Wisdom is from you, so we ask that you would give it to us. You alone are wise, and thank you that you show us the path of wisdom – lead us on it, we pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.