Prophecy Study 2
The Beginning of Wisdom
In our last lesson we learned about the war in heaven and the fall of Lucifer. In heaven his name was Lucifer, but once fallen his name became Satan, or the devil or also “that old serpent”. Isaiah 14:12, Revelation 12:7-12, Ezekiel 28:13-18.
We then learned that Satan is cast down and is angry because he knows he has a short time. Revelation 12:12. When Satan saw he was cast out of heaven, he began to persecute. Rev12:13
Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Our study today is about wisdom. As we study the Bible, we cannot help but notice that there is history in there, stories of morality, prophecy and warnings, promises to us from God and miracles performed.
With so many important things included in this important book, we need wisdom and understanding .
James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
Read Proverbs 1:7. What is wisdom? What is “the fear of the Lord”?
How do these two concepts relate to each other?
“Wisdom” here is defined as a religious experience. It is related to the fear of the Lord. This important concept of the Hebrew religion is key to Proverbs. Not only does it occur repeatedly, but it also frames
the entire book (Prov. 1:7, 31:30). The fear of the Lord has nothing to do with the superstitious and childish fear of divine punishment. Instead, it should be understood as the acute consciousness of God’s personal presence at all times and everywhere. The fear of the Lord had characterized the people’s reaction to God’s revelation at Sinai (Exod. 19:16, 20:20), just as it explained their commitment to be faithful and to love God in response to His covenant with them (Deut. 10:12).
Basically, to fear God means to be faithful to God and to love Him. The phrase “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of . . . wisdom” means that wisdom originates in this “fear.” The Hebrew word for “beginning” (reshit) points to the first word introducing the Creation story (Gen. 1:1). The first lesson of wisdom, then, deals with understanding that God is our Creator, the One who gives us life and breath, and that He is always present—a God of love, and justice, and redemption (John 3:16, Ps. 89:14, Heb. 9:12).
We are told to love God and also to fear Him. How do these two concepts relate to your own experience with the Lord?
Proverbs 1:8–19. What two contrasting ways of “education” are presented in these verses? What’s the basic message here, not just for parents, but for everyone who fears the Lord?
Education is, first of all, a family matter, and true education comes, first and foremost, from the parents. In these verses, this education is called “instruction” and even “law.” The Hebrew word for law, torah, means “direction.” The parents are to point their children in the right direction. In contrast, the other type of “education” is not identified, not given a name. It is simply acknowledged as the voice of sinners, which leads in the wrong direction.
Also, the words “my son,” not to be taken in a gender exclusive sense, are repeated many times, emphasizing parental instruction. Each parent—“your father,” “your mother” (NKJV)—is clearly identified in the singular and is personally involved, while the other camp is an anonymous plural, “sinners.”
The best argument on behalf of family education is its results. These are the inner qualities of character, which are like ornaments on the head and around the neck. In the Middle Eastern culture, precious collars and bracelets were passed on from parents to children as a heritage of value. Education matters more, though, than material riches. The time spent with our children will be of much greater value for them than the time spent at our businesses. Also, the reference to the neck and the head, which is the individual’s face, suggests that education will shape his or her personality. In the way of fools or sinners, only the feet (Prov. 1:15) are mentioned, as if the wayward son had lost his identity.
How can we learn to resist the temptations that culture, society, friends, or even family might throw our way?
The Call of Wisdom
Read Proverbs 1:20, 21. How is wisdom presented here? What are we being told?
While the sinners “lie in wait” and “lurk secretly” (Prov. 1:11, 18,NKJV), wisdom “calls aloud outside” (vs. 20, NKJV), “cries out in the chief concourses” (vs. 21, NKJV), and “speaks her words” (vs. 21, NKJV). Wisdom is here personified, and her offer is given to the man and the woman on the street. It is for everyone in the real business of life. Amid the noise and rancor of so many products and so many sellers, the call of wisdom must be loud; otherwise, she would not be heard against the clamor of so many other voices.
Read Proverbs 1:22–32. What is the result of rejecting wisdom?
The reason that people reject wisdom has nothing to do with wisdom itself and everything to do with the character of those who reject her. These are described as arrogant and disdainful (Prov. 1:25; compare vs. 30), as if they know better. The implication is that wisdom is for the naive and the simple. And yet those who reject wisdom are simple and naive; they are fools who “hate knowledge” (Prov. 1:22, NKJV; compare vs. 29).
Those who reject wisdom will reap the fruit of their rejection. Having refused to choose the fear of the Lord, they will have to be content with themselves: they will be “full with their own fancies” (Prov. 1:31, NKJV). When we reject wisdom from above, we often end up with the fables and lies that we fabricate for ourselves, or the fables and lies that others fabricate for us and that we so readily accept. In this way, we replace God with idols. Ironically, those who despise religion, mocking those they judge as simple and naive, often are superstitious in their own way, placing value on the most fleeting and useless of things that, in the end, can never satisfy the most basic needs of the heart.
Read Proverbs 1:33. Given the context in what came before, what promise and hope are found here for us? How is this promise manifested in our own experience?
Next week Tuesday Study “Daily Deployment, The Armor of God.” Ephesians 6