Chapter OneStudy 1
If you could ask for only one thing in this world, what would it be?
Solomon was given the amazing opportunity to make such a choice
at a turning point in his life. His response was shocking. Rather than
asking for the gift of riches, long life, success, or power, Solomon
requested that God grant him wisdom "to distinguish between right
and wrong" (1 Kings 3:9).
As a result of his request for wisdom, Solomon received what he
asked for and much, much more! His wisdom surpassed anyone who
lived in his day. Moreover, his riches were beyond imagination, and
his fame spread across the face of the earth.
The wisdom God gave Solomon has been preserved in the book of
Proverbs. This collection of God's practical wisdom continues to
inspire believers as much today as it has for thousands of years.
Biblical wisdom is not so much philosophical and theoretical
truth as it is practical advice on how to live successfully in this world.
Those who follow the principles of wisdom will find success in many
areas of life including their family relationships, community experiences,
the worship of the Lord, personal relationships, and business
Our first study investigates some of the goals and aims of wisdom.
If individuals and nations would listen to what wisdom teaches, life
would be very different for us all. If we would learn to seek to follow
the counsel of wisdom, the direction of human history could be
changed and many more people would come to know the Lord.
1. What are some things that cause people to be fearful? What are things that cause us to be in awe and reverence? What is the difference between being scared of something
(filled with fear) and being in awe and amazement (filled
with fear)? 2. Read Proverbs 1:1-19. Wisdom's motto in Proverbs is "the
fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." How does
this motto function as the foundational principle of
Proverbs? What does it mean to walk in the "fear of the Lord"? 3. What is the opposite of fearing the Lord? How does this kind of lifestyle function as a dramatic contrast
to the life of wisdom? 4. What is the purpose of the book of Proverbs, according to
verse 5? What can we do to attain this goal? 5. What benefits can we derive from studying wisdom in the
book of Proverbs, according to verses 2-4 and 6? 6. The fifth commandment says, "Honor your father and
mother" (Exodus 20:12). This command is very similar to
verses 8-9. How far should we take the command to honor
our parents? Should we obey our parents if they call us to do something
that opposes what God teaches in Scripture? Explain your
7. In verses 10-14, What is the "bait" dangled before those
who are enticed to go with the wrong crowd? How has the allurement of the "easy life" led many to fall
into self-destructive crime? 8. How is falling into peer pressure similar to the image of
trapped birds in verses 17-19? Discuss the modern problem of gangs in the cities and what
the Bible would counsel us to do about this problem.
9. Read Proverbs 1:20-33. At the heart of wisdom's appeal in
these verses is the pronouncement of judgment on those
who do not listen to her. What are some of the possible consequences
for those who ignore the counsel of wisdom in
the following areas of life? -Business and the market place
-Government and community leadership
-Our lives and homes
VerseThe fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
-Proverbs 1:7Between Studies Take time to meditate on "the fear of the Lord." Do you live with
an awesome reverence of the God who made you? Take time to read
Isaiah 6:1-7. Ask God to help you have a deep sense of his holiness
and absolute purity. Take time to physically prostrate yourself before
the Lord and kneel before him as you praise him for his holiness,
majesty, and sovereign power.(Continues.)