My Favorite Proverbs - Lesson 3
I. Re-cap and Introduction
II. Consideration of Today’s Selection of Proverbs
(We’ll pick up with this proverb we didn’t get to last week:
“For the transgressions of a land, its princes are many, but through a person of understanding and knowledge, established order shall long endure.” Proverbs 28:2
I see a lot of wisdom in this proverb about the causes of society’s problems…and possible cures. Without getting too “partisan” in our discussion, let’s talk about it.)
Then, we’ll proceed as follows:
A. “Apples of gold in engravings of silver: a word spoken in the right way. A ring of gold and an ornament of fine gold: a wise man giving a rebuke to a listening ear.” Proverbs 25:11-12
1. Do you memory of a word spoken in the right way? Can you suggest an illustration that shows its value or importance?
2. Think about these two objects of great value: 1) apples of gold in engravings of silver, and 2) a ring of gold and an ornament of fine gold. Compare the two. Which is more valuable?
3. So, literarily, do you get the meaning of the proverb? Explain.
B. “Scornful men inflame a city, but the wise turn away wrath.” Proverbs 29:8
1. We’ll explore the meaning of the Hebrew word, latson, and then address this question: how do scornful men inflame a city?
2. While I won’t ask you to get into who is inflaming our land or how, I will ask this: according to the proverb, what is the work of the wise?
3. Who is doing that work in our land? So, what might be said to be our land’s most serious problem?
C. “Many solicit a ruler’s favor, but judgment for a person comes from God.” Proverbs 29:26
1. What’s the meaning here? Let me put the question differently: what’s the relationship of the second clause to the first?
2. If judgment comes from God, what criteria (based on our study of Proverbs) would we expect to go into that judgment?
3. How might all this affect how we “solicit a ruler’s favor,” or, put another way, get involved in politics?
D. “A woman of valor who can find? Far beyond pearls is her value…She seeks wool and flax, and her hands work willingly. She is like a merchant’s ships; from afar she brings her sustenance.” Proverbs 31:10, 13-14
1. After looking at possible meanings of the Hebrew word for valor, what makes a person of this type more valuable than pearls?
2. What might be extraordinary about the way one “seeks wool and flax?”
3. What is so special about being “like a merchant’s ships?”
E. “She arises while it is yet night, and gives food to her household and a portion to her maidens. She envisions a field and buys it; from the fruit of her handiwork she plants a vineyard…She stretches out her palm to the poor, and extends her hands to the destitute.” Proverbs 31:15-16, 20
1. What impresses you about the woman from what we see in the first sentence?
2. What does it mean to envision a field and buy it and the importance of planting a vineyard from the fruit of her handiwork?
3. How - importantly - do these verses end?
F. “She does not fear snow for her household, for all her household is clothed in scarlet…Strength and majesty are her clothing, and she laughs at future days. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of loving-kindness is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:21, 25-26
1. After reading the first two sentences, what do we think it means, that “she laughs at future days?”
2. What do you make of the fact that the last words of this proverb are the last words of the whole book of Proverbs?