1My son, if you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
2making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;
3yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
4if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
5then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
6For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
8guarding the paths of justice
and watching over the way of his saints.
9Then you will understand righteousness and justice
and equity, every good path;
10for wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11discretion will watch over you,
understanding will guard you,
12delivering you from the way of evil,
from men of perverted speech,
13who forsake the paths of uprightness
to walk in the ways of darkness,
14who rejoice in doing evil
and delight in the perverseness of evil,
15men whose paths are crooked,
and who are devious in their ways. (Proverbs 2:1-15)
Each new year many attempt to wise up, making resolutions about things like eating, exercise, budgeting. Did you know that the Bible addresses these sorts of everyday practical matters? In fact, it does so better than any other source because it gets beneath them to the source of everyday practical wisdom: God himself.
While diet books and exercise blogs say If you will eat more vegetables and walk 30 minutes per day, then you will become healthy and fit; the Bible says If you will receive God’s words, then you will fear and understand him, which will enable you to live wisely.
- Have you made any New Year Resolutions? Why or why not?
- Read verses 1-4 together. Then re-read verses 1-2. What are ways in which we can receive God’s words or reject them? What are ways in which we can treasure up his commandments or neglect them? How about you? Do you tend to receive and treasure his words or reject and neglect them?
- Read verse 3. How can we call out and raise our voice for insight and understanding? Do you tend to go to God first for wisdom and understanding or other sources? To what other sources to you tend to call out for insight and understanding?
- Read verse 4? What are some ways we can seek and search for understanding? Do you tend to do these things? Why or why not?
- Read verses 5-8 together. Then re-read verse 5. How do verses 1-4 lead to verse 5? In other words, why does receiving God’s words lead to fearing him? Why does calling out for insight lead to understanding him? How do verses 6-8 help explain this connection between verses 1-4 and verse 5?
- Read verses 9-15. Then re-read verse 9. Are the benefits listed in verse 5 and the benefits listed in verse 9 connected? How might verse 5 lead to verse 9?
- One at a time, share with the group an area or issue in your life in which you need wisdom, insight and understanding. Work together to think of relevant scriptures that might help, then call out to God for insight in prayer together over each issue.