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Week 1. Introduction. Don’t just sit there!. We’ll come across this idea later There are four types of people in Proverbs Wise, scorners, fools, simple For now, know that: You’ll have to READ You’ll have to THINK You’ll have to CHANGE … or Proverbs is of little use. What is a proverb?.

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Week 1


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Don’t just sit there!

  • We’ll come across this idea later

    • There are four types of people in Proverbs

    • Wise, scorners, fools, simple

  • For now, know that:

    • You’ll have to READ

    • You’ll have to THINK

    • You’ll have to CHANGE

    • … or Proverbs is of little use.

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What is a proverb?

  • “A ___ and his ___ are soon ______.”

    • Short

    • Memorable

    • They give principles, not promises

    • They don’t explain – they assume

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Hebrew Poetry

  • The genre of the book of Proverbs

    • Based on parallelism

    • Generally, this is: “Idea #1, idea #2”

  • Each proverb takes two thoughts and:

    • Equates them (synonymous  AND)

    • Contrasts them (antithetic  OR)

    • Emphasizes them (synthetic  AND)

    • Illustrates them (comparative  SO)

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Wisdom Personified (8:1-9:12)

  • Depicted as a woman crying out…

    • To all men

    • Especially the simple and the fool

  • Three aspects

    • Her message and words

    • Her qualities

    • Her purpose

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Next week: The Foundation of Wisdom

  • The Purpose of Proverbs (1:1-1:7)

  • Wisdom Personified (8:1-9:12)

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Week 2

The Foundation of Wisdom

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No pain, no gain?

  • Unless you learn from someone else

    • Proverbs is a book of experience

    • You can learn from Solomon’s experience

    • Or you can make your own mistakes

    • Guess which one is more painful?

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Why study Proverbs

  • It’s the word of God

  • It’s a book of Wisdom

    • Rules about living and relating

    • Based on the Law

  • What is wisdom?

    • It’s teachable

    • It’s rooted in fear of God

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Why seek wisdom

  • For skill, knowledge, and correction

  • Four characteristics of Godly wisdom

    • It is rational

    • It is moral

    • It makes distinctions

    • It is impartial

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Four types of people in Proverbs

  • We will see these types over and over

    • The wise – willing to learn & be corrected

    • The scorner – unwilling to be corrected

    • The fool – unwilling to learn

    • The simple – he just plain doesn’t know

  • Keep these types in mind!

    • We’ll be seeing them again and again…

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Next week: The Search for Wisdom

  • Seek Wisdom (1:20-2:22)

  • Keep your Heart (4:23-4:27)

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Week 3

The Search for Wisdom

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Where’s the battle?

  • If it’s between you and the world…

    • You’re going to loose

    • The world is bigger, stronger, nastier

  • It doesn’t have to be that way, though!

    • What if it was “God vs. the world”?

    • Proverbs puts God’s wisdom in our hands

    • Which puts God in our corner!

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How should we seek wisdom?

  • We must be open

    • To God’s truth

    • To God’s correction

  • We must be fearful

    • Of the consequences of refusing

    • Of the consequences of disregarding

    • Of the consequences of ignoring

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Keeping active, keeping fit

  • What to do with wisdom?

    • Receive it

    • Use it

    • Seek it

    • Value it

    • Internalize it

    • Express it

    • Exercise it

    • Contemplate it

    • Stand firm in it

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Pressing toward the mark

  • Covet God’s rewards for wisdom

    • Peace

    • Knowledge

    • Protection

    • Direction

    • Understanding

    • Deliverance

    • Direction

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Next week: The Benefit of Wisdom

  • The Benefit of Wisdom (3:1-3:26)

  • Be Kind to Others (3:27-3:35)

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Week 4

The Benefit of Wisdom

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Worldly wisdom

  • Worldly wisdom vs. Godly wisdom

    • Opposed to one another

    • Man focused vs. God focused

  • What does worldly wisdom get you?

    • Well, a picture’s worth a thousand words…

  • So what does Godly wisdom get you?

    • I’m glad you asked…

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Conditional benefits

  • Some benefits have conditions

    • Obedience to God is a given

    • These must be benefits of exemplary obedience

  • This depends on that

    • Life  study of God’s word

    • Favor  mercy and truth

    • Guidance  eyes on God

    • Health  humility

    • Material blessings  giving to God

    • Relationship with God  accepting correction

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Unconditional benefits

  • Seem to be a byproduct of wisdom

    • Happiness

    • Pleasant life

    • Eternal life

    • World knowledge

    • Safety

    • Peace

    • Absence of fear

    • Confidence

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Kindness to others

  • More conditional promises

    • A set of related conditions and consequences

    • “Do all this… or you’ll get all this!”

  • Do good to others

    • Avoid delay

    • Avoid evil

    • Avoid arguments

    • Avoid envy

  • Consequences

    • Cursed – or blessed

    • Scorned – or favored

    • Shamed – or glorified

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Next week: Godly Labor

  • Avoid Financial Entanglements (6:1-6:5)

  • Do Not Be Lazy (6:6-6:19)

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Week 5

Godly Labor

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Working hard, or hardly working?

  • Enthusiasm without ability

    • Think of a little kid with a hammer

    • “Oh, I just need to hit it harder!”

  • How we work

    • Just as important as how hard we work

    • We don’t want to be lazy

    • We certainly don’t want to be ineffective

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Dealing with money

  • Why is money a problem?

    • Timothy 6:10 – “love of money”

  • What are we to do?

    • Avoid financial entanglements

      • With friends

      • With strangers

    • If you can’t avoid, alleviate!

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Alleviating financial problems

  • How to get yourself out of a money jam

    • Don’t get in one in the first place!

  • If you’re already there, though…

    • Be decisive

    • Admit the problem

    • Find the resolution

    • Fulfill your obligation

    • Make every effort to free yourself

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Dealing with work

  • “Go to the ant…”

    • Foresight – thinking about what you’re doing

    • Economy – no wasted effort

    • Industry – enthusiasm and endurance

  • The caution

    • Ignoring the example leads to poverty

    • Poverty leads to perverse wickedness

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Next week: Godly Friends

  • Avoid Bad Company (1:10-1:19)

  • Avoid the Wicked (4:14-4:22)

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Week 6

Godly Friends

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Who influences you?

  • When we’re in a group

    • We do things we otherwise might not

    • There’s a desire to “fit in”

    • Friends can build up or tear down

  • If groups can do dumb things…

    • Then think before you join a group!

    • Make sure they’ll hold you up…

    • Instead of tossing you out the plane.

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What does God say…

  • About who to associate with?

    • Not a whole lot

    • The implication is obvious: other wise men

  • About who to avoid?

    • Certain groups of people (bad company)

    • Certain individuals (the wicked)

    • You have to be concerned about both

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Evil groups: bad company

  • How to identify them?

    • Their words will be enticing

    • The inclination is to spread the blame

  • How to avoid them?

    • Don’t put yourself near them

    • Know about their traps and snares

    • Know their final end – self-destruction

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Evil men: the wicked

  • Compare the two warnings

    • Bad company – keep away

    • Wicked men – keep far away

  • Identifying the wicked

    • Their character betrays them

    • Evil and violence are their pleasure

    • They are the opposite of the wise man

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Next week: Godly Family

  • Stay Faithful in Marriage (5:15-5:23)

  • Wisdom for Women (31:10-31)

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Week 7

Godly Family

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Bliss or bluster?

  • What is a marriage?

    • The most unique relationship

    • Two people who choose one another

  • Why is marriage important?

    • God’s first ordained institution

    • A picture of Christ and the church

  • Why do marriages fail?

    • Bitterness, anger, faithlessness

    • What makes some love, and some leave?

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The blessings of fidelity

  • Proverbs 5:15-23

    • Water: essential for physical life

    • Fidelity: essential for marital life

  • The way to fidelity

    • Rejoice in your relationship

      • Exclusive

      • Permanent

    • Delight in one another

      • Spiritually

      • Physically

      • Emotionally

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The danger of infidelity

  • What infidelity costs you

    • Joy

    • Delight

    • Companionship

  • What infidelity gets you

    • Sin before God

    • Willing entry into self-slavery

    • The character of a great fool

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The Godly woman

  • Psalm 31 woman

    • A picture of a Godly woman

    • Intended as advice for a young man

    • Provides a guide for young women

  • The fortunes of a godly woman

    • She is respected (in and out of the home)

    • She is praised (publicly and privately)

    • She is blessed (spiritually and materially)

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Next week: Ungodly Women

  • Avoid the Strange Woman (5:1-5:14)

  • Avoid the Evil Woman (6:20-6:35)

  • Avoid the Harlot (7:1-7:27)

  • Avoid the Foolish Woman (9:13-18)

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Week 8

Ungodly Women

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Water hazards

  • How do sailors handle reefs and rocks?

    • They know how to recognize them

    • They plan to stay well away from them

    • They stop and turn back if they have to!

  • Sexual immorality

    • Reefs and rocks in the sea of life

    • We must plan to avoid them…

    • … or we will become a warning to others.

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Strange women

  • Who are they?

    • Anyone you should not be with

      • Immoral persons (1 Corinthians 5:9)

      • Unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14)

  • Imagination and reality

    • An illusion of pleasure

    • A reality of pain

      • What you loose: honor, joy, wealth, labor, life

      • What you gain: rebellion and the scorn of God

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Evil women

  • Is there a difference?

    • No – an evil woman is a strange woman

    • You should not be with her, period.

  • What is the danger?

    • The visual aspect of desire

    • We must be careful what we see and show

    • Job 31:1 – “I made a covenant with mine eyes…”

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The foolish woman

  • Her character

    • Vain, empty, noisy

    • Silly, gullible, foolish

    • Also called a harlot (Proverbs 7)

  • Her activity

    • Idle, a busybody

    • Impudent, distracting

  • Her price

    • Innocence, folly, and death

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Next week: Godly Separation

  • About the Godly and the Wicked (10:1-15:33)

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Week 9

Godly Separation

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Standing up and standing out

  • You will conform to the ______

    • TV, Movies, music, reading

    • Work and hobbies

    • Where you live, what you wear

    • Who you hang out with

  • What fills in the blank for you?

    • If it the world, or the Bible?

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Godly communication

  • The righteous man

    • Sure in his speech

    • Blessings and life

    • Protected and prospered

  • The wicked man

    • Violence and perversity

    • Pride and provocation

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Godly correction

  • The righteous man

    • Concerned with correction

    • On course and intelligent

    • Humility and honor

  • The wicked man

    • Wandering and ignorant

    • Hubris and humiliation

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Godly certainty

  • The righteous man

    • Knows what fear of God brings

    • Extension and confidence

    • Life and satisfaction

  • The wicked man

    • Condemnation and extermination

    • Striving and death

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Next week: Godly Attitude

  • About Godly Living (16:1-22:16)

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Week 10

Godly Attitude

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What’s at your core?

  • A pearl is beautiful…

    • … to us – but not to the oyster!

    • Life can be very different from another POV

  • Out attitude affects others profoundly

    • We can be soothing, or irritating

    • We can be gloomy, or grinning

    • We can be angry, or amiable

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Prepare your heart

  • First step

    • “I want to have the right attitude.”

  • How God prepares you

    • His purpose is perfection

    • His counsel is for consolation

    • His chastisement is for correction

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Prepare your spirit

  • Second step

    • “I will have the right attitude.”

  • How you prepare yourself

    • Be humble

    • Be in control

    • Be convicted

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Prepare your soul

  • Third step

    • “I will learn to have a right attitude.”

  • Seeking proper attitude

    • Prefer solutions over sacrifice

    • Prefer wisdom over wealth

    • Prefer reputation over riches

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Next week: Godly Emotions

  • About Life’s Situations (22:17-24:34)

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Week 11

Godly Emotions

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‘You’re one in a million!’

  • There are two ways to read that

    • You’re unique

    • You’re common

  • Both are true

    • Everybody is different

    • But there are a lot of ways we are similar

    • Emotions are the common denominator

  • What are good/bad emotions? Why?

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  • An overdeveloped sense of self

    • Rooted in pride

    • Results in insecurity

    • Removes our reward

  • Warning signs

    • Lack of fear

    • Love of schadenfrude

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  • Unhealthy concern over earthly possessions

    • Rooted in pride

    • Seek the eternal, not the material

  • Warning signs

    • Easy gain

    • Deceptive gain

    • Overwhelming opportunity

    • Temporary treasure

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  • A hot displeasure

    • Rooted in pride (Do you see a pattern here?)

    • Happens when our self-worth is attacked

  • Warning Signs

    • Forget where real worth comes from

    • Associating with angry people

    • Acting to gain revenge

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Next week: Godly Relationships

  • About Relationships (25:1-26:28)

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Week 12

Godly Relationships

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‘You are the weakest link!’

  • No man is an island

    • We all relate to other people

    • We all have other people relating to us

  • Regardless of other people…

    • We all relate to God in some way

    • That is the main relationship

    • It is demonstrated in our earthly relations

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Good and bad relationships

  • Good relationships

    • Pleasing to God

    • Profitable to us and others

  • Bad relationships

    • Displeasing to God

    • Destructive to us and others

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Good relationships

  • Reasonable

    • Willing to give and take advice

    • Friends who want resolution, not restitution

  • Faithful

    • Honest and willing to serve

    • Christ is our ideal and example

  • Patient

    • Characteristic of sacrificial love

    • God’s patience with us is our ideal

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Bad relationships

  • Without conviction

    • Given over to appetites and passions

    • Directionless and defenseless

  • Without faith

    • You cannot take confidence in them

    • They will betray your trust

  • Without truth

    • Foolish, conceited persons

    • Liars, flatterers, gossips

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Next week: Godly Deeds

  • About Activities (27:1-29:27)

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Week 13

Godly Deeds

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‘I will break you.’

  • That’s the attitude of the world

    • “It’s a dog eat dog world!”

    • “You’ve got to step on some fingers…”

  • Those who want to see us fail

    • How can we prepare for their attack?

    • What can we do to disappoint them?

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  • Doctrine – teaching what’s right

  • Fear of God

    • Results in wisdom

    • Leads to certainty

  • Focus on self

    • Results in ignorance

    • Leads to uncertainty

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  • Reproof – telling you it’s not right

    • Censer, admonish, convict, reprove

    • A true sign of love and respect

  • Proper rebuke

    • Always based on scripture

    • Done out of love

    • Done privately

    • Reserved for the wise

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  • Correction – how to make it right

    • You know where you want to be

    • Now, how will you get there?

  • This is the whole point of Proverbs!

    • The wise man will walk in God’s way

    • The wise man will plan

      • To do good

      • To avoid evil

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  • Instruction – how to keep it right

    • The idea is one of profitable discussion

    • The implication is a discussion about God

  • Characteristics

    • Based on Scripture

    • Repeated exploration and discovery

    • An encouragement to those involved

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What to do with what you know…

  • Ecclesiastes 12:13 – “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

  • James 4:17 – “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”