SUGGESTED VERSES FOR MEMORIZATION & MEDITATION
• The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 ESV)
• The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever! (Psalm 111:10 ESV)
Wisdom’s beginning is the fear of the LORD (9:10). You cannot possess wisdom without fearing God. This is the primary message of Proverbs. Those who do not know God may behave wisely at times, but they cannot be wise. True wisdom comes from knowing
that God is God and I am not. It seems simple enough… until I catch myself in idolatry again. And again. And again.
Calvin said that our hearts are idol factories. We rarely ever truly revere God as God; instead, we continuously bow our hearts before lesser things, gods that will never satisfy. Our sin testifies that we do not actually fear God; therefore, our sin constantly proclaims our foolishness. Each time we sin, we temporarily live as if there is no God. We embody folly by sinning. We turn against the omnipotent and eternal Creator for instant gratification. There is, therefore, no greater display of foolishness than sin.
Fortunately, once we realize that we are fools in need of wisdom, God promises to give it to us if we ask. James 1:5 says that “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” No strings attached, God promises to give wisdom to all who ask for it. As we dive into Proverbs, will you forsake your own “wisdom” and embrace the wisdom of God?
Read chapter 1:1-7 and discuss the following.
1. Which verses stood out most to you as you read Proverbs 1:1-7 this week? Why? What do these verses teach you about who God is?
2. Proverbs begins by saying that its goal is to help us to know wisdom. What is biblical wisdom? How does it compare with knowledge, insight, prudence, etc.?
3. What are a few principles to remember when reading Proverbs?
4. What is the fear of the LORD, and why is it called the beginning of knowledge and wisdom? Why does Solomon use knowledge instead of wisdom here? What role does humility have in gaining wisdom? What role does pride have in foolishness?
Because Scripture profits us through teaching, reproving, correcting, and training us, reflect upon the studied text, and ask yourself the following questions.
• What has God taught you through this text (about Himself, sin, humanity, etc.)?
• What sin has God convicted or reproved you of through this text?
• How has God corrected you (i.e. your theology, thinking, lifestyle, etc.) through this text?
• Pray through the text, asking God to train you toward righteousness by conforming you to His Word.