Week 49: August 16-21
GodSpeak readings for each day are listed below. Click the link to read the section and/or listen online. A discussion question is listed below for you to use in your GodSpeak group session or for discussion with others who are reading along.
Monday, August 16 Proverbs 1-3 Read & Listen Online (Click “Audio” link to listen)
1. Solomon, inspired by the Holy Spirit, says that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7). What is the “fear of the Lord”? See Ecclesiastes 12:13; Psalm 111:10; Psalm 112:1; 1 Peter 3:15). Nicodemus was a wise man who wanted to be taught by Jesus. Jesus taught him the truth (John 3:11), the essence of which was the Gospel (John 3:16). How is John 3:21 related to the fear of the Lord? How might we show that we fear the Lord? How is this passage related to Christian education?
2. As you read and meditate on Proverbs 2 and 3, remember that the wisdom spoken of here is wisdom from God (Proverbs 2:6) and wisdom that fears the Lord (Proverbs 1:7). It is wisdom that proceeds from faith in Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). Make a list of the blessings that Solomon says such Godly wisdom brings to people. How does Godly wisdom protect a person? Identify and discuss several things that a person with Godly wisdom will do. Pray that you can live a life that exhibits Godly wisdom.
Tuesday, August 17 Proverbs 4 Read & Listen Online (Click “Audio” link to listen)
3. In Proverbs 4 Solomon says that his father, David, taught him something important that he now wanted his own children to really absorb (Proverbs 4:3–4). What was this important bit of “sound learning” (Proverbs 4:2)? See Proverbs 4: 14, 23, 27. What experiences did David have that would make this message so important to him that he would want Solomon to really remember it? See 1 Samuel 16:7, 12; 1 Samuel 18:1–4, 17–19; 1 Samuel 23:1–5; 1 Samuel 24:3-7; 2 Samuel 11:1-5, 14; 2 Samuel 13:22. How is Solomon’s message applicable to us today? When we fall, what is the Lord’s Word to us through Peter, another who failed in this respect (1 Peter 2:24)?
Wednesday, August 18 Proverbs 5-6 Read & Listen Online (Click “Audio” link to listen)
4. Continuing his message from Proverbs 4, in Proverbs 5 and 6 Solomon amplifies the message he evidently received from his father David: Do not become involved in adultery. David knew from his own experience the damage that adultery could do. What are some of the damages adultery brings? See Probers 5:9-12; Proverbs 6:25-29, 32. By God’s grace, Solomon says, “Rejoice in the wife of your youth” (Proverbs 5:18). God does not want the wonderful gift of our sexuality and our sexual relationship with our spouses ruined by illicit and adulterous relationships. How does God describe the close relationships he does want us to have (Ephesians 5:22–32)? Pray that all marriages and all sexual relationships may reflect the love that God has for His church.
Thursday, August 19 Proverbs 7 Read & Listen Online (Click “Audio” link to listen)
5. In Proverbs 7 Solomon further describes both the cunning ways in which Satan works to tempt us and the damage to lives that he causes. And Satan works this way with every sin, not just adultery. Perhaps members of your group have experienced these kinds of satanic attacks in their own lives or know of people who have. What happens when we are seduced with Satan’s smooth talk (Proverbs 7:21)? God, in Christ Jesus, has already provided a rescue. Solomon points us in the right direction (Proverbs 3:5–6; 6:3). What does the Lord promise through Isaiah (Isaiah 1:18) and through Hosea, who himself had to deal with an adulterous wife and adulterous Israel (Hosea 13:4, 14; 14:4)? How does Paul describe God’s action on our behalf when we are alienated from Him (Colossians 1;21-22)? Rejoice with your group in the bountiful mercy of our God who forgives all our sins. You may want to use the words of the Advent song, “O Bride of Christ, Rejoice” (LW 20).
Friday, August 20 Proverbs 8 Read & Listen Online (Click “Audio” link to listen)
6. Some commentators consider Proverbs 8:22–31 to be the most significant portion of the book because it speaks of wisdom as being an aspect of God’s nature and as participating in the creation of the world (Proverbs 8:27, 30). How is John’s description of Jesus, the Word, similar to this description of wisdom in Proverbs? See especially Proverbs 8:23 and John 1:1; Proverbs 8:30 and John 1:18. Paul speaks of Jesus as “the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24). How is Christ the “wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:20–31)? Following your discussion, praise Jesus using the words of verses 5 and 6 of the hymn “one Thing’s Needful” (LW 277) and pray its petition “Through all my life’s pilgrimage, guard and uphold me, In loving forgiveness, O Jesus, enfold me.”
Saturday, August 21 Proverbs 9 Read & Listen Online (Click “Audio” link to listen)
7. Solomon concludes this first section of Proverbs by placing Wisdom (Proverbs 9:1–12) and Folly (Proverbs 9:13–18) and their messages side by side in order to compare and contrast them. Folly tries to imitate Wisdom in order to gain more followers. Explain some of the similarities between the two? Then explain the differences. Summarize Wisdom’s message.
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