A Life or Death Decision
Over the next month, Time With God will be studying the book of Proverbs. Although we will read an entire chapter each day, the study questions in Digging Deeper will focus on select verses addressing a specific topic.
Have you ever received two invitations from different hosts for events that were on the same day and at the same time? I have, and I had to think long and hard about which event I would choose. The invitations were very similar, but based on the host, I tried to imagine which would have the best food, what type of entertainment would be there, and who else would attend. Would it be worth my time, and how would I benefit? I also considered what the consequences would be if I chose the wrong one and I missed out on something life-changing.
- When have you had to make a big decision about two equally enticing offers, and how did you go about choosing which was best for you?
Read the Word
Proverbs 9 (ESV)
9:1 Wisdom has built her house;
she has hewn her seven pillars.
2 She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine;
she has also set her table.
3 She has sent out her young women to call
from the highest places in the town,
4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
To him who lacks sense she says,
5 “Come, eat of my bread
and drink of the wine I have mixed.
6 Leave your simple ways, and live,
and walk in the way of insight.”
7 Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,
and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.
8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
11 For by me your days will be multiplied,
and years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;
if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
13 The woman Folly is loud;
she is seductive and knows nothing.
14 She sits at the door of her house;
she takes a seat on the highest places of the town,
15 calling to those who pass by,
who are going straight on their way,
16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
And to him who lacks sense she says,
17 “Stolen water is sweet,
and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
18 But he does not know that the dead are there,
that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.
(Today’s questions focus on verses 7-12.)
- What is a scoffer (vs. 7)? What happens when you try to deliver truth and wisdom to a scoffer or a wicked person? Who are some examples of scoffers today, and what are their behaviors when reproved? Would those who know you best say you are a scoffer?
- How do wise and righteous people respond to rebuke and instruction, in contrast to the scoffer (vss. 8-9)? Why are the responses so different?
- What is the beginning source of wisdom (vs. 10)? What does verse 10b mean: “and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight”? What are the immediate and eternal benefits of receiving and accepting wisdom (vs. 11)?
- Verses 7-12 sit between enticing invitations of both Wisdom (vss. 1-6) and Folly (vss. 13-18). What are the benefits and consequences of choosing either? Which do you choose and why?
Respond to God
Proverbs 9 presents us with a life or death decision. Will we choose the invitation of godly wisdom and holy righteousness, with an eternal relationship and intimate knowledge of Christ? Or will we choose to be closed-minded and foolish to God’s Word, ignoring his instruction and correction, and giving in to the deadly pleasures of sin? Only we can make the personal choice of how wise or foolish we will be, and we are the sole beneficiary of the consequences of our decision.
- Ask God to help you surrender your heart to the reverence and the knowledge of who he is.
- Pray that you would choose daily to seek wisdom over sin.