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LEADER GUIDEProverbs;Song of SongsSummer 2020 CSB 2020 Life Way Christian Re so urce s

A LIFE WELL LIVEDWisdom is a Person with whom we can have a relationship.People want to succeed in life. In theworkplace, relationships, finances—in everyarea of life—they crave success. This drive tothrive inevitably draws them to quick fixesand easy steps. They seek advice from TV talkshows, books, or the Internet to help themlive life well.Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, andthe life. No one comes to the Father exceptthrough me” (John 14:6). He is waiting foryou now.What we know from the Bible, however, isthat the wisdom needed for living life wellcomes not from quick tips and easy steps;true wisdom is a Person with whom we canhave a relationship. By faith receive Jesus Christ as God’s Sonand accept Jesus’ gift of forgiveness fromsin. He took the penalty for your sin bydying on the cross.The Book of Proverbs is about becoming wisein everyday life. It reveals God’s principlesfor successful living. The theme of the bookis stated in this way: “The fear of the Lordis the beginning of knowledge” (Prov. 1:7).This means wisdom has a starting point. Itbegins with a personal relationship with God.The Bible speaks of Jesus as “the wisdom ofGod” (1 Cor. 1:24). Thus, coming to a savingknowledge of God through the person of JesusChrist is the beginning of a life well lived. Admit to God that you are a sinner.Repent, turning away from your sin. Confess your faith in Jesus Christ asSavior and Lord. You may pray a prayersimilar to this as you call on God to saveyou: “Dear God, I know that You love me.I confess my sin and need of salvation.I turn away from my sin and place my faithin Jesus as my Savior and Lord. In Jesus’name I pray, amen.”After you have received Jesus Christ intoyour life, tell a pastor or another Christianabout your decision. Show others your faithin Christ by asking for baptism by immersionin your local church as a public expression ofyour faith. 2020 Life Way Christian Re so urce s

CONTENTSFEATURESWord Wise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6Bible Reading Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7Introduction to Proverbs; Song of Songs . . . . . 10Leader Pack Ideas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143The Heart: A Hebrew Understanding . . . . . . . 146The Fear of the LORD: The Meaning . . . . . . . . . . 149I Ask a Question, But Nobody Talks . . . . . . . . . . 151SESSIONSTitleSUGGESTED FORTHE WEEK OFPageJune 7Session 1:Charted Waters* (Prov. 1:7-19)June 14Session 2:Direction Offered (Prov. 3:1-12) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23June 21Session 3:Compassion Demonstrated (Prov. 3:21-35)June 28Session 4:The Choice (Prov. 4:11-27)July 5Session 5:Following God’s Design (Prov. 5:3-11,15-18)July 12Session 6:Pursuing Wisdom (Prov. 8:6-21)July 19Session 7:Living Wisely (Prov. 14:8-15)July 26Session 8: Pleasing God (Prov. 15:33–16:11)August 2Session 9: Staying Sober (Prov. 23:17-21,29-35)August 9Session 10: Accepting Discipline (Prov. 29:1-3,12-20).13.33.43.53.63.73.8393103August 16 Session 11: Finding Honor (Prov. 31:10-16,23-31) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113August 23 Session 12: Relational Foundations (Song of Sg. 2:15–3:5).123August 30 Session 13: Relational Investment (Song of Sg. 5:6-16) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133*Evangelistic EmphasisE x pl or e t h e B i bl e 2020 Life Way Christian Re so urce s3

MEET THE WRITERSArgile Smith wrote the Bible commentary for thisstudy of Proverbs and Song of Songs. Dr. Smith isSenior Pastor at Parkway Baptist Church in Biloxi,Mississippi. He graduated from William Carey College(B.A.) and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary(M.Div., Ph.D.).ADULT LEADER GUIDESUMMER 2020VOLUME 6 NUMBER 4MIKE LIVINGSTONECONTENT EDITORLiz Sherrer wrote the group Bible study plans forthis study. Liz is a retired teacher and educationalconsultant. She has degrees from Oklahoma StateUniversity and the University of Central Oklahoma.Liz is married to Dr. Joe Sherrer, a professor at NewOrleans Baptist Theological Seminary.DWAYNE MCCRARYTEAM LEADERKEN BRADDYMANAGER, ADULT ONGOINGBIBLE STUDIESBRANDON HILTIBIDALDIRECTOR, GROUPS MINISTRYSEND QUESTIONS/COMMENTS TOTeam Leader by email:Dwayne.McCrary@lifeway.com;or by mail toTeam Leader, Explore the Bible:Adult Personal Study Guide,One LifeWay Plaza,Nashville, TN 37234;or make comments on the Webat lifeway.com.PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATESOF AMERICACOVER PHOTO UNSPLASH.COMExplore the Bible: Adult Leader Guide CSB (ISSN 1930-5877; Item 005075122)is published quarterly by LifeWay, One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234, BenMandrell, President. 2020 LifeWay.INTERIOR PHOTOSFor ordering or inquiries, visit lifeway.com, or write LifeWay Church ResourcesCustomer Service, One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234. For subscriptions orsubscription address changes, email subscribe@lifeway.com, fax (615) 251-5818,or write to the above address. For bulk shipments mailed quarterly to one address,email orderentry@lifeway.com, fax (615) 251-5933, or write to the above address. LIGHTSTOCK.COM,Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the ChristianStandard Bible , Copyright 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers . Used bypermission. Christian Standard Bible and CSB are federally registered trademarksof Holman Bible Publishers.The suggestions in this resource for pronouncing Bible names are from That’s Easyfor You to Say: Your Quick Guide to Pronouncing Bible Names by W. MurraySeverance, 1997 by Broadman & Holman Publishers. Used by permission.4E x pl or e t h e B i bl e 2020 Life Way Christian Re so urce s ISTOCKPHOTO.COM, SHUTTERSTOCK.COM, UNSPLASH.COM

A WORD FROM THE TEAM LEADERThe decision was made to serve donuts on the shuttle vans. The churchused off-campus parking and needed to encourage people to park there,so donuts seemed to be a simple solution. The only problem was thatparents began dropping their kids off in the remote parking lot so thekids could grab a donut, but the parents proceeded to follow the van intheir cars and park in the crowded church parking lot. Someone observedwhat was happening and offered some wisdom—serve coffee on theshuttle van instead. Parents began dropping their kids off at the churchand then enjoyed a few moments of peace and some coffee while ridingthe shuttle from the remote lot.We live in a world that may seem simple at times, but the simple is oftenwhat makes it so complex. This is true in part because we live in a systemwhere everything is connected. One decision impacts others, havinga ripple effect. Systems theory refers to this as simplexity, and thissimplexity points to our need for wisdom.Some people seek out professional analysts to help them navigate thisworld while others turn to their trusted friends and mentors. Solomondiscovered that the only place to go when trying to figure out thissimplex world was to the One who created it in the first place. Solomonrecorded the wisdom God revealed to him in Proverbs and Song of Songs.Learning from these Bible books helps us fulfill Paul’s directive to live aswise people (Eph. 5:15).As we study Proverbs and Song of Songs, we will discover the wisdomof God for living in ways that please our Creator. Not everything wediscover will be easy nor will it be simple, but it will be right.May God grant us a glimpse of His wisdom and give us courage to act onwhat we discover.Dwayne McCraryTeam Leader, Adult Explore the BibleE x pl or e t h e B i bl e 2020 Life Way Christian Re so urce s5

WORD WISETerms listed here are identified in the Bible commentary with a dot ( ).Beryl—a light-green precious stone closely related to emeralds and aquamarinesDiscipline—moral training and instruction that warns of the consequences of sinful actions orcorrects those who have sinnedFear of the LORD—includes awe, reverence, trust, submission, and obedience; for enemies of Godrather than followers of God, the fear of God involves terrorFool—the antithesis of a wise person; the Hebrew word suggests stubbornness. The term denotesmoral perversion. The fool thinks of himself as without error; he rejects godly wisdom because itcontradicts his own view of knowledge. He detests discipline because discipline involves correctionand correction implies he made an error.Iniquity—one of several biblical words for sin; a legal term that emphasizes the guilt of the sinnerand the consequences of sinPit—The Hebrew word means a hole in the earth. The most common use of the word is to refer toa “well” or “cistern”; it can also mean an open grave.Righteous/righteousness—”Righteous” denotes that which God determines to be right;righteousness involves being right with God and living in a way that reflects it.Sheol [SHEE ohl]—In Old Testament thought, Sheol refers to the grave or the realm of the dead.Stiff-necked—obstinate, stubbornMyrrh—an aromatic resin used in anointing oil, perfumeWisdom—Biblical wisdom is a gift from God; it includes the knowledge of God, discipline,morality, and the ability to apply knowledge to overcome the problems of life.Wormwood—a bitter plant common to the Middle East; often used in the Old Testament tospeak of bitterness or sorrow6E x pl or e t h e B i bl e L e a de r G u i de 2020 Life Way Christian Re so urce s

BIBLE READING PLANJUNE 1. Proverbs 1:1-72. Proverbs 1:8-193. Proverbs 1:20-334. Proverbs 1:1-225. Proverbs 3:1-126. Proverbs 3:13-267. Proverbs 3:27-358. Proverbs 4:1-199. Proverbs 4:20-2710. Proverbs 5:1-1411. Proverbs 5:15-2312. Proverbs 6:1-1113. Proverbs 6:12-1914. Proverbs 6:20-3515. Proverbs 7:1-1516. Proverbs 7:16-2717. Proverbs 8:1-1118. Proverbs 8:12-2119. Proverbs 8:22-3620. Proverbs 9:1-1821. Proverbs 10:1-1022. Proverbs 10:11-2223. Proverbs 10:23-3224. Proverbs 11:1-1025. Proverbs 11:11-2126. Proverbs 11:22-3127. Proverbs 12:1-1128. Proverbs 12:12-2029. Proverbs 12:21-2830. Proverbs 13:1-14JULYAUGUST 1. Proverbs 13:15-252. Proverbs 14:1-113. Proverbs 14:12-214. Proverbs 14:22-355. Proverbs 15:1-116. Proverbs 15:12-227. Proverbs 15:23-338. Proverbs 16:1-99. Proverbs 16:10-2010. Proverbs 16:21-3311. Proverbs 17:1-1412. Proverbs 17:15-2813. Proverbs 18:1-1314. Proverbs 18:14-2415. Proverbs 19:1-1716. Proverbs 19:18-2917. Proverbs 20:1-1618. Proverbs 20:17-3019. Proverbs 21:1-1520. Proverbs 21:16-3121. Proverbs 22:1-1622. Proverbs 22:17-2923. Proverbs 23:1-1824. Proverbs 23:19-3525. Proverbs 24:1-1426. Proverbs 24:15-2227. Proverbs 24:23-3428. Proverbs 25:1-1229. Proverbs 25:13-2830. Proverbs 26:1-1231. Proverbs 26:13-28 1. Proverbs 27:1-142. Proverbs 27:15-273. Proverbs 28:1-144. Proverbs 28:15-285. Proverbs 29:1-166. Proverbs 29:17-277. Proverbs 30:1-178. Proverbs 30:18-339. Proverbs 31:1-910. Proverbs 31:10-2011. Proverbs 31:21-3112. Song of Songs 1:1-713. Song of Songs 1:8-1714. Song of Songs 2:1-715. Song of Songs 2:8-1416. Song of Songs2:15-1717. Song of Songs 3:1-518. Song of Songs 3:6-1119. Song of Songs 4:1-720. Song of Songs 4:8-1121. Song of Songs 4:12-1622. Song of Songs 5:1-223. Song of Songs 5:3-824. Song of Songs 5:9-1625. Song of Songs 6:1-1026. Song of Songs6:11-1327. Song of Songs 7:1-928. Song of Songs7:10-1329. Song of Songs 8:1-430. Song of Songs 8:5-931. Song of Songs8:10-14E x pl or e t h e B i bl e 2020 Life Way Christian Re so urce s7

USING THIS GUIDE TO LEADBEFORE THE GROUP TIME1. Study the core passage.Start preparing early. Read the passage, listing people, places, key words, key phrases,and actions taken. Use the commentary included in the Explore the Bible Leader Guide,the Explore the Bible Adult Commentary, and Biblical Illustrator to discover informationabout the items you listed. Write a summary of the truths you discovered using thestatement printed under the session title of each session as a starting place.2. Create a group time plan.Identify the main idea of the session. Craft a group plan that helps the group discoverand respond to the main idea. Consult the Group Plans in the Explore the Bible LeaderGuide (includes ideas for using the Personal Study Guide). Identify ways to focus thegroup’s attention, explore the text, summarize the lesson, and challenge the group.For additional ideas or questions, consult QuickSource and Explore the BibleExtra (identifies a current event to introduce and conclude the lesson, found atgoExploreTheBible.com/AdultLeaderExtras). Review the Explore the Bible Leader Packitems, determining how to best use them in your group’s setting.3. Gather and review.Use the list in the Gather the Following Items list on the first page of each session asa starting place. Make sure you have additional copies of the Explore the Bible PersonalStudy Guide for anticipated guests.DURING THE GROUP TIME4. Arrive early.Make sure you are the first person to arrive. Pray as you set up the area. Greeteveryone as participants arrive and focus their attention on the Bible study.5. Lead the group in a time of Bible study.Use the plan you created, recording notes along the way to help you remember howthe group responded. Remember, every group experience takes a few unexpectedtwists and turns; be flexible.AFTER THE GROUP TIME6. Evaluate and Record.Review Practice for ideas to encourage the group to put into practice the truthsdiscovered. Record prayer requests and other insights you gained about the group andspecific participants. Use these notes to help you be a better teacher in the future.7.8Start preparing to lead the next group time.E x pl or e t h e B i bl e L e a de r G u i de 2020 Life Way Christian Re so urce s

MEETING THE EXPLORE THE BIBLEFAMILY OF ADULT RESOURCESCORE RESOURCESUse the Daily Discipleship Guide or PersonalStudy Guide & Leader Guide as the core resourcefor your group.Additional Leader HelpsAdult CommentaryProvides additional insight intothe passages studied.Daily Discipleship GuideResource for both the groupmembers and the group leader.An alternative to the PersonalStudy Guide/Leader Guidemodel. Includes key words,commentary and questions forthe group, daily Bible readingsfor personal study after thegroup time, and ideas for smallergroups to discuss the study.Leader helps with targetedteaching plans included in back.Personal Study GuideResource for the group membersto help them prepare for andstudy during the group time.QuickSourceResource for leaders, providingadditional discussion questions,an object lesson, and dig deeperfeature. Also provides a tool foran individual called on to step into lead the group on short notice.Adult Leader PackResource filled with posters,masters for informativehandouts, and access to a digitalleader pack (includes DOC files ofthe Leader Guide commentary,group plans, the pack items inPDF format, and other helps forthe leader).Adult Leader GuideResource for leaders of groupsusing the Personal Study Guide.Includes commentary andteaching plans.Biblical IllustratorResource providing biblicalbackgrounds related to thesession using articles, photos,and illustrations.Find out more or order at goExploreTheBible.comUs i ng T h i s G u i de t o L e a d 2020 Life Way Christian Re so urce s9

INTRODUCTION TO PROVERBS;SONG OF SONGSIn the days of the Old Testament, God’s people listened to Him through three voices: thepriest, the prophet, and the wise. In Jeremiah 18:18, for example, the leaders of Judahmentioned all three of these voices. The priests pointed them to God’s written law, theprophets proclaimed His spoken words, and the sages taught them His faithful wisdom.The voice of the wise sage resonates throughout Proverbs and Song of Songs. Accordingly,these two Bible books fall into the category of Old Testament wisdom literature that alsoincludes Job, Psalms, and Ecclesiastes.Proverbs and Song of Songs offer insights into the way God wants His followers towalk in His wisdom. Being wise in Him involves seeing things His way so we can do thingsHis way. Proverbs gives us God’s wisdom for everyday living. A vast assortment of issueslike living with integrity, avoiding foolish choices, being honest, resisting temptation, andleading well receive serious consideration. Songs of Songs shows God’s people how to putHis wisdom to work in nourishing relationships that will endure. Particular attention isgiven to marriage relationships.BACKGROUNDProverbsSolomon has been credited with providing us with Proverbs because his name appearsin the first verse. The son of King David, he reigned over Israel in 970-931 BC. Duringthat time, he gained a reputation for being wise (1 Kings 4:29-31). His love for wisdomprompted him to collect a vast assortment of proverbs for God’s people (Eccl. 12:9).King Hezekiah reigned over Judah in 716-687 BC. During his reign, he found more ofSolomon’s proverbs and had them added them to the collection (Prov. 25:1). Agur andLemuel also have been credited with providing portions of Proverbs. Agur wrote Proverbs30, and Lemuel contributed Proverbs 31. The first readers of Proverbs may have beenyoung men in the royal court who needed to learn how to rule well when their time came.The larger audience included God’s people who needed to walk in the Lord’s wisdom sothey could serve Him faithfully.Song of SongsSolomon’s name also appears in the first verse of this Bible book. He wrote the love poemabout his romantic relationship with a Shulammite woman, but no one knows withcertainty when he penned it. The evidence in the poem itself suggests that Solomon wroteit as a young king when he married the true love of his life. However, he could havewritten it years later when he came to understand true love between a man and a womanin the light of God’s loyal love for His people. The specific identity of the first hearers ofthe poem cannot be identified with certainty. Generally speaking, Solomon obviouslywrote the poem with the people of Israel in mind.10E x pl or e t h e B i bl e L e a de r G u i de 2020 Life Way Christian Re so urce s

MESSAGE AND STRUCTUREProverbsProverbs provides us with wisdom that comes from God. At the beginning of thisfoundational guide for being wise in Him, we’re led to understand that seeking God’swisdom means nurturing a close relationship with Him. As we grow in our walk withHim, we nourish a healthy respect for Him that emanates from our love for Him. Fromthere, Solomon provides us with an exhaustive assortment of proverbs to address almostevery facet of our everyday lives. As a result, God’s people who seek His wisdom and applyit to their lives will take a path that leads to righteousness and fulfillment. Everyone whoignores or rejects His wisdom places themselves on the path of foolishness that will takethem to misery and destruction.Song of SongsSong of Songs is an extended poem that affirms the value of choosing to live according toGod’s wisdom when it comes to nurturing relationships. Specifically, the poem addressesGod’s way of cultivating true love between a man and a woman. Throughout the poem, theportrayal of the authentic romance between two people in love is painted on the canvas ofGod’s faithful love for His people. The story that’s told in the poem includes scenes from acouple’s courtship, their wedding day, and their life together as husband and wife.THEMESProverbs God’s wisdom comes only through a personal relationship with Him. The temptation to give into foolishness and the need to choose wisdom serves as anongoing concern for God’s people as we live for Him every day. Being wise and overcoming menacing temptations means that we seek the Lord’swisdom and put it to work. Seeking God’s wisdom and applying it in our lives allows us to learn how He wants usto handle the issues that confront us in work, play, money, and relationships. God wants us to enjoy the fulfillment that comes from being wise in Him.Song of Songs God affirms intimacy, but He expects His people to be wise in Him in the expressionof romantic love between a man and a woman. The relationship between a married couple provides the only healthy setting forChristians to express romantic love completely.E x pl or e t h e B i bl e 2020 Life Way Christian Re so urce s11

OUTLINE OF PROVERBSI. Solomon’s Exhortations and Warnings (1:1–9:18)A. Contrast between wisdom and riches (1:1–3:20)B. Praise of wisdom, love, and worthy conduct (3:21–4:27)C. Warnings against lust, idleness, and deceit (5:1–7:27)D. A portrayal of wisdom (8:1–9:18)II. Solomon’s Proverbs (10:1–29:27)A. Collected proverbs (10:1–22:16)B. Thirty sayings of the wise (22:17–24:22)C. More sayings of the wise (24:23-34)D. Hezekiah’s collection (25:1–29:27)III. Other Proverbs (30:1–31:31)A. Words of Agur (30:1-33)B. Words of Lemuel (31:1-9)C. Praise of a capable wife (31:10-31)OUTLINE OF SONG OF SONGSI.Their Story Begins (1:2–2:7)II. Invitation to Enjoy a Spring Day (2:6-17)III. Night of Separation Preceding Wedding (3:1-5)IV. Wedding Day and Night (3:6–5:1)V. Night of separation following wedding night (5:2–7:9)VI. Invitation to Enjoy a Spring Day (7:10–8:4)VII. Their Story Complete (8:3-14)12E x pl or e t h e B i bl e L e a de r G u i de 2020 Life Way Christian Re so urce s

Session1C W God’s Word warns us of the consequences of foolish choices.PROVERBS 1:7-19MEMORY VERSE: PROVERBS 1:7READ Proverbs 1:1-33, First Thoughts (p. 14), and Understand the Context (pp. 14–15). Whilereading, note words and phrases that describe godly counsel and the consequences of following thepath of temptation.STUDY Proverbs 1:7-19, using Explore the Text (pp. 15–19) and examining the following Scriptures:Job 28:28; Psalm 14:1; Proverbs 9:10; John 16:13; 17:17; and 1 Corinthians 1:30. Complete the BibleSkill activity (PSG, p. 13) for a deeper look into the meaning of “the fear of the LORD.”PLAN the group time using ideas under Lead Group Bible Study (pp. 20–21), More Ideas (p. 22),and Weekly Adult Extras under the Leader Extras tab at goExploreTheBible.com/LeaderHelps.Customize a plan to meet the needs of your group.GAIN insights from the weekly podcast on Ministry Grid (MinistryGrid.com/ExploretheBible) oron iTunes .GATHER the following items: Personal Study Guides. Prepare to display the following Pack Items:PACK ITEM 1 (Map: Solomon’s Economic Enterprises); PACK ITEM 2 (Outlines of Proverbsand Song of Songs); and PACK ITEM 6 (Key Verse: Proverbs 1:7a). Make copies for the group of:PACK ITEM 7 (Handout: Solomon Time Line); and PACK ITEM 8 (Handout: Memory VersesBookmark). If using the Bible Skills activity on page 22 during the group session, be prepared toprovide a Bible concordance and a Bible dictionary.Dat e of My B i bl e S t u dy: 2020 Life Way Christian Re so urce s13

FIRST THOUGHTSKEY DOCTRINEManOnly the grace of God can bringpeople into His holy fellowshipand enable them to fulfillthe creative purpose of God(1 Cor. 12:21-31).BIBLE SKILLDig deeper into the meaning of akey word or phrase.Take a closer look at themeaning of “the fear of theLORD” in Proverbs 1:7. Read theverse in different translations.Use a Bible concordance to lookfor other passages in which thephrase is used. Consult a Bibledictionary for more insight.Write in your own words themeaning of the phrase and howit relates to spiritual growth.14The knowledge of God and the knowledge to live wisely are interrelated. Nextto the knowledge of God in salvation, the knowledge to live wisely is the mostimportant kind of knowledge. Godly knowledge is more than information;it is about transformation. You can be factually right but spiritually wrong.Solomon’s argument in the Book of Proverbs is simple: godly wisdom isapplied truth that leads to transformation and wise practical living.(In PSG, p. 10) How would you describe the difference between knowledgeand wisdom? How should information lead to a change in behavior?UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXTPROVERBS 1:1-33After King David died, Solomon, his son, ruled the kingdom of Israel forforty years (1 Kings 11:42). During his reign, he gained a reputation forbeing a wise king who composed 3,000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32). In theintroductory verses of the Book of Proverbs, Solomon shared the benefitthat comes to those who give serious attention to the proverbs in it (Prov.1:1-7). They would nourish an understanding of God’s wisdom, enablingthem to live with integrity and discretion. Nobody can ever grow past thegodly wisdom in the proverbs. Anyone who studies and meditates on themwill consistently mature in discernment. The path leading to God’s wisdomstarts with a sincere relationship with Him that is marked by healthyrespect. Only foolish people would discard God’s wisdom.Solomon then turned his attention to his son (1:8-19). His son wouldneed to live according to God’s ways. He would need to make up his mindthat he would walk in God’s wisdom. Making that decision would not beeasy since he would encounter evil people who would try to entice him tojoin them. They would try to persuade him that the road they took wouldbe fun. But it would involve violence, murder, and theft. Solomon warnedthat these evil ones would eventually have their lives stolen from them.Solomon went on to portray wisdom as an elegant woman (1:20-33). Shewould invite young people to listen to her, and she would speak to them asan authority figure who deserved their respect. If they listened, they couldhear her calling out to them from above the noise of a foolish world. Shewould ask them to listen to her so they would not take the path of foolishpeople. Such people would regret ignoring the wisdom she would have beenglad to share. They had been given an opportunity to embrace God’s wisdombut didn’t seem to be interested in it. They had their minds only on their ownplans. In due time, trouble would come, but wisdom would not be there toE x pl or e t h e B i bl e L e a de r G u i de 2020 Life Way Christian Re so urce s

help. They would be left to face the consequences of ignoring God’s wisdom.By contrast, anyone who paid attention to godly wisdom would have noreason to fear as they faced their future.EXPLORE THE TEXTSTARTING POINT (PROV. 1:7)VERSE 7This important verse serves as the lens through which Christians lookdeeply into Proverbs. From the vantage point of this verse, the true sourceof knowledge comes into clear view. Another word for knowledge couldbe discernment. In the Old Testament world, knowledge bore a strikingsimilarity to wisdom. Wise believers see things God’s way so they can dothings His way.VERSE 77The fear of the Lordis the beginning ofknowledge; fools despisewisdom and discipline.Wise believers see things God’s way so they can dothings His way.Wisdom has a starting point. It begins with a relationship with theLord. Growing in wisdom by walking with the Lord seems to be contraryto some of the popular notions about how someone becomes wise. Forinstance, some people believe that life experiences cultivate wisdom. Butwithout God’s help, experiences themselves can lead a person to drawconclusions that might not be wise at all. Other people insist that agebrings wisdom. They believe that the longer people live, the wiser theybecome. Granted, wisdom may come with age, but only if the years havebeen spent in a deepening walk with the Lord. Neither life experiencesnor long life guarantee wisdom. Wisdom comes from the Lord who worksin the experiences and through the years to show His people how to seethings His way so we can do things His way.Solomon directed the people of Israel to understand that a productiverelationship with the Lord is characterized by fear. Fearing God didn’t inferHe terrorized them or made them dread the notion of being in His presence.Instead, fearing Him means respecting Him. Furthermore, their respect forthe Lord would emanate from their love for Him. Solomon encouraged themto take their walk with the Lord seriously. A sincere walk with the Lordwould allow their love for Him to be demonstrated in their respect for Him.Later in the Book of Proverbs, Solomon reiterated the importantconnection between fearing the Lord and gaining wisdom (9:10; 15:33).The psalmist, like Solomon, underscored the same connection (Ps. 111:10).Job also pointed to the value of fearing the Lord. He declared that fearingthe Lord was wisdom itself (Job 28:28).By contrast, fools have no use for God. They don’t cherish the wisdomHe can give. In fact, they despise it and even ridicule it. Foolish peoplepass on the possibility of a fulfilling relationship with Him, and theyturn their backs on His discipline. As a result, their foolish choices leaveBIBLICALILLUSTRATORFor additional context, read“Wisdom Literature in theAncient Near East” and“Solomon: His Life and Times”in the Summer 2020 issue ofBiblical Illustrator. Available atLifeWay.com/BiblicalIllustrator.Se s s ion 1 : C ha r te d Wa te r s 2020 Life Way Christian Re so urce s15

them unprepared to face the challenges that come every day as well as theoutcomes that will confront them in eternity.Throughout the Book of Proverbs, the contrast between wisdomand foolishness will come into view quite often. The stark contrast willencourage believers to develop a deepening walk with the Lord and to seekHis wisdom that comes from it. It will also nudge us to pray for people inour circle of relationships who have made the foolish choice to reject Him.When did you begin to realize that God would give you His wisdom?How often has H

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Proverbs 7-8 22. Proverbs 9-10 23. Proverbs 11-12 24. Proverbs 13-14 25. Proverbs 15-16 26. Proverbs 17-18 27. Proverbs 19-20 28. Proverbs 21-22 29. Proverbs 23-24 30. Proverbs 25-26 OLD TESTAMENT 1. Proverbs 27-28 2. Proverbs 29-30 3. Proverbs 31 4. Ecclesiastes 1-2 5. Ecc

Apr 9 Numbers 27 Proverbs 19 Philippians 3-4 Apr 10 Numbers 28 Proverbs 20 John 1 Apr 11 Numbers 29-30 Proverbs 21 John 2-3 Apr 12 Numbers 31 Proverbs 22 John 4 Apr 13 Numbers 32 Proverbs 23 John 5 Apr 14 Numbers 33 Proverbs 24 John 6 Apr 15 Numbers 34 Proverbs 25 John 7 Apr 16 Numbers 35 Proverbs 26 John 8

The proverbs of this book belonged to Solomon (Proverbs 1:1). Solomon was known for his wisdom (1 Kings 4:29). The Bible tells us that Solomon had composed 3000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32). Other authors were Agur (Proverbs 30:1) and Lemuel's mother (Proverbs 31:1). Date The date of compilation of Proverbs into book form can be no earlier than the .

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The second collection is “The proverbs of Solomon” (Proverbs 10:1 - 22:16). The third is “The sayings of the wise” (Proverbs 22:17 - 24:22) and “These also are sayings of the wise” (Prov-erbs 24:23 - 34). The fourth is “These are other proverbs of Solomon that the officials of king Hezekiah of Judah copied” (Proverbs 25 - 29).

1 Archaeological Laboratory Techniques [8/2015]. Suggested Reading. Adkins, Lesley, and Roy Adkins . 2009 . Archaeological Illustration. Paperback ed. Cambridge Manuals in