DAILY DISCIPLINE #72
By Colleen Donahue
If God told you that you could ask Him for anything (which He actually does in John 15:7), what would you ask Him for? Well, this was exactly the question that God presented to young King Solomon, (the man we've been studying), in a dream one night. "Ask what I shall give you," the Lord said to him! Imagine all the wonderful things a young man could get from the Creator of the whole universe!
But, perhaps to even God's surprise Solomon didn't ask for a new chariot, an abundance of money, or the perfect wife. In taking over the position of king, Solomon was painfully aware that he was really just a boy not knowing himself how to "go out or come in" (I Kings 3:7). And so with that on his heart, Solomon without pause asked God for an understanding mind to govern the Israelites and for a mind to be able to discern between good and evil!
God was so pleased by Solomon's unselfish request that not only did He give Solomon wisdom but He gave him riches and honor as well. This was an example of the words that Jesus spoke centuries later when He told His disciples to "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things (material blessings) shall be yours as well."
"And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and largeness of mind like the sand on the seashore so that Solomon's wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the East, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all other men...and his fame was in all the nations roundabout. He also uttered three thousand proverbs, and his songs were a thousand and five." (I Kings 4:29-32)
Solomon's wisdom and "large mind" seemed to just spill out of him in the form of songs and proverbs. These proverbs were exactly the kind of short, pithy statements that a man in Eastern cultures would use to teach his children the principles of life. In the book of the Bible called Proverbs, we have recorded about 850 of these timeless gems of wisdom that are as true today as they were when written. In fact, should a father or mother today wish for a manual on how to raise good sons and daughters they need look no further than this inspired book of...........
PROVERBS - Part 1 - Wisdom For the Ages
Day 1- What did Solomon hope to accomplish by writing Proverbs?
Day 2 -For us to listen to advice from a mom, dad, or from others in authority over us is not always wanted, but in time if headed, what will result?
Day 3 -To read Proverbs 1:10- 14 might sound like a New York City gang member getting a new recruit and offering his sales pitch. The same tactics were used in Solomon's time.
Day 4- Why shouldn't a young man or woman "run with the wrong crowd?"
Proverbs 1:15-19 / 4:19
Day 5- "Wisdom" is personified in Proverbs as a woman. But in the New Testament era we learn that Jesus Christ Himself was made our wisdom.
I Corinthians 1:30
Day 6- Thus as you read the "wisdom" sections of Proverbs, you are reading what God Himself through Jesus is saying to you. "Wisdom" is not an obscure bundle of truths but the living God.
Read Proverbs 1:20-33
Day 7- Now compare what you read in Proverbs 1:20-33 with what God said through the other prophets as He called out to His people.......
Isaiah 65:2, 12 / Isaiah 66:4 / Jeremiah 7:13/ Zechariah 7:11-13 / Romans 10:21
So as you read in Proverbs about "wisdom" calling out, you are reading what God Himself is calling out to you.
Day 8- What are the consequences of NOT listening to God in your heart? Reread:
Day 9- What will happen if you DO listen to God and obey Him?
Proverbs 1:33/ 3:21-26
The phrase "fear of the Lord", used throughout Proverbs, does not mean to be afraid of God. Rather it carries the meaning of being in such awe of the Creator of the universe that we would submit to His superior knowledge and act in accordance with it. What is the "fear of the Lord" the foundation for?
Day 10- How does one go about understanding the "fear of the Lord" and understanding the knowledge of God?
The Bible in our day is a book owned by many but only casually read by even most Christians. Yes it is God's own word to each of us and its truths will be revealed to us as we search for them as we might for any hidden treasure.
Day 11- Besides giving us wisdom, what other benefits does God have in store for those who seek Him?
A JEWISH FATHER TEACHES HIS SON
Our setting is of a Jewish father that is teaching his son about life. But it could be you or I teaching those we love.
Day 12- If you wanted to give sound advice to your son or daughter, what might you advise them?
Day 13- What benefits would your children receive from following this advice?
Day 14- Notice that the Father encourages his son to keep God's commandment with his HEART. (The heart refers to a man's spirit which is his deepest part.) We are not to just do things out of duty but because we love God from our very heart.
Earlier, I mentioned that when Proverbs talks about wisdom it is often personified as a woman - "she". But in our day, Jesus Christ has been made unto us wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30). Therefore, in most cases "wisdom" can be substituted with the "Lord Jesus Christ".
Day 15- As you read Proverbs 3:13-18, what does a man or woman gain who finds Christ?
As we study the rest of Proverbs we're going to look at the main subjects that the Jewish father chooses for his son which will have us looking at verses throughout the entire book. Perhaps the subject he spends the most time on is.......
THE RIGHTEOUS VS. THE WICKED
There is little to compare between these two groups of people but plenty to contrast and that is how you'll notice many of the verses presented.
Day 16- What attitude do righteous and wicked people have towards God?
Proverbs 14:2 / 18:10
Day 17- What attitude do they have towards one another?
Day 18- There are many things that God does for BOTH the righteous and the wicked. For example: "He sends His rain on the just and the unjust" (Matthew 5:45). But in these verses, you'll see the ways that God rewards and punishes those who do good and evil.
Proverbs 3:32-33 / 10:3/ 12:2/ 14:9 / 15:8-9,26,29 / 16:7 / 21:27
Day 19- How do these two groups of people think?
Proverbs 12:5,8,20 / 15:28 / 21:29
Day 20- It is "out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks." (Matthew 12:33). What and how we speak will often give away which group we are a part of.
Proverbs 10:11,20-21,31-32 / 11:9,12 / 12:13,22 / 15:18,28 / 16:32
Day 21- If our speech doesn't reveal who we are, then our actions surely will.
Proverbs 11:3,5-6,8 / 12:10,21,26,28 / 13:5 / 14:14,22,32 / 15:19 / 17:23 / 21:8,26 / 24:16 / 28:1,10,18 / 29:6
Day 22- Why is a righteous man wanted by employers?
Proverbs 9:9 / 12:15-16 / 13:5 / 15:18-19
Day 23- When life is good for a good man how are others affected?
Proverbs 11:10-11,23,30 / 14:22,34 / 16:7 / 21:15 / 23:24 / 28:12
Day 24- How do ordinary citizens view an evil man?
Proverbs 24:8-9 / 25:19 /28:12 /29:27
Day 25- If an evil man or woman gets into a leadership position what happens?
Proverbs 28:12,15-16 / 29:2,7,16
Day 26- What a man or woman does with their money and material possessions is also the outworking of what their heart is like.
Proverbs 10:16 / 21:26 / Psalm 37:25-26
Day 27- If a wicked man does not respect God then there will follow little respect for man or beast.
Proverbs 11:30 / 12:10
Day 28- A righteous person needs to make certain choices if he is to keep himself from falling into the evil around him.
Proverbs 16:17 / 21:21
Day 29- There is nothing sadder than to see a good man or woman give way to even one unlawful deed. What is Solomon's description of this situation?
Day 30- Although it sometimes seems that it is the evil men that are prospering in this world, what is certain concerning their lives and those they affected?
Proverbs 11:21 / 12:2 / 13:9 / 14:11/ 21:12
Day 31- Who will win in the end?
Proverbs 10:30/ 12:3,7 / 14:19/ 24:19-20
We'll continue with Proverbs in the next study as we learn what the Jewish father tells his son about.....the fool, the simple, the scoffer, the sluggard, and the glutton!
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