Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wisdom - What Is It and What Can It Do For Me? - Youth Sunday School Lesson

Needed: Bibles

Authorship of Proverbs: The Book of Proverbs is a collection of wise sayings, most of which were originally written by King Solomon.  They were then supplemented with the later teachings of King Lemuel and an individual named Agur, both of whom are unknown to us except by their contributions to Proverbs.  King Hezekiah is accredited with compiling and editing the book.

What is wisdom? What does it mean to be wise?
Knowing what is right. Doing what is right. Understanding how things work.

Proverbs 9:10 - The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 

What is the fear of the Lord?  Why does wisdom have to start with the fear of the Lord?
Fearing God is recognizing His awesome power and perfection.  We acknowledge that God exists, that He knows how life should be (He created it), and that He has the right to impose standards on us and punish those who do not obey His standards. To avoid punishment, we obey Him. But in obeying God, we also come to realize what God already knows. That going against the way things were created to be leads to trouble. (Give examples of sin/bad choices and show how they illustrate wisdom. Smoking is unwise and leads to health problems because our bodies were not created to inhale it, nor drinking to excess or doing drugs. That’s why God says not to do it. Having sex outside of marriage leads to unwanted pregnancies, stds, broken hearts. Gossiping about someone leads to hurt feelings and broken relationships. The person who fears God and obeys Him avoids all these things. They are wise because they know and do what is right.

Proverbs 8:1-21, 32-36 - Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? 2 On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; 3 beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, she cries aloud: 4 "To you, O men, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. 5 You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain understanding. 6 Listen, for I have worthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. 7 My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. 8 All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. 9 To the discerning all of them are right; they are faultless to those who have knowledge. 10 Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, 11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. 12 "I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. 13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. 14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power. 15 By me kings reign and rulers make laws that are just; 16 by me princes govern, and all nobles who rule on earth. 17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. 18 With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. 19 My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver. 20 I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, 21 bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full. 32Now then, my sons, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. 33 Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. 34 Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. 35 For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD. 36 But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death.
What are the characteristics of wisdom?  What is it like? (bold italics)

What does having wisdom do for you? (bold underline)

How does having wisdom give us wealth? Being hard-working versus lazy, making good decisions about what to spend money on rather than being impulsive, wasteful, or frivolous (cigarettes and beer, cable, name-brand)

What happens when we don’t listen to wisdom? (underline) Negative consequences because we are not acting in accordance with how God designed life to be.

Proverbs 3:13-26 - Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, 14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed. 19 By wisdom the LORD laid the earth's foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; 20 by his knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew. 21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; 22 they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. 23 Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; 24 when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, 26 for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.

More positive results (bold italics)

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