The Ways of Wisdom

August 15-19


The Way of Wisdom is Family

Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend, to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words. – Proverbs 7:4-5 (ESV)

A little boy was in a heated argument with his sister about who was going to get the last brownie. His mother overheard the loud discussion in their kitchen and came in to resolve the conflict. Her two children were obviously very distraught about getting that final treat. Sensing the need to teach a deeper truth, the mom asked her children that ever-relevant question: “What would Jesus do?” The older sibling immediately answered, “That’s easy, Jesus would just break the brownie and make five thousand more!”

The author of Proverbs used the picture of a tender and close family relationship to illustrate the place of wisdom in our lives. Bridges writes, “Let wisdom be the object of tender affection, as a sister or kinsman.”  This is the picture of the close attachment we are to maintain with wisdom and understanding. Be in continual contact with them even as you frequently get in touch with your relative or close friend.


Pastor Jim kicked off our new series on wisdom this past Sunday. Wisdom is the ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge. Note that it is not enough to have knowledge but it must work itself out in wise living. Can you think of a time when you knew the right thing to do but didn’t act in wisdom by doing the right thing?


Thank God for the gift of wisdom. Ask God to help you develop a close and consistent relationship with wisdom in your life.


The Way of Wisdom Protects You From Sin

Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend,  to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words. – Proverbs 7:4-5 (ESV)

The Mighty Ducks was the story of a pee-wee hockey team. Their goalie, whose name was Goldberg, was afraid of the puck and anytime it would come at him he would run away. So the coach duct-taped him to the goal and had the rest of the team shoot on him at will. Once he learned that his equipment protected him from the puck, he was no longer afraid of it.

Proverbs 7:5 teaches us that wisdom can be trusted to protect us from sin. Wisdom is the exercise of sound judgment either in avoiding evils or attempting good. One commentator wrote, “Man must have the object of his delight. If wisdom is not loved, lust will be indulged. The Bible, therefore, not merely read but cherished, proves a sacred exorcist to expel the power of evil.” A close relationship with wisdom will keep you from a close relationship with someone or something you should not be close to.


When can you recall making a difficult decision that was wise and kept you from trouble? List ways wisdom is currently protecting you.


Thank God for His divine wisdom and protection in your life. Ask God to show you areas of your life where your unwise choices may be exposing you to harm


The Way of Wisdom is Calling

Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; – Proverbs 8:1-2 (ESV)

Imagine you’ve just received two invitations to dine at different restaurants. The first is from the best restaurant in town—outstanding food, great atmosphere, fantastic service. The second is from a dingy dive almost shut down by the health inspector with a reputation for surly staff. Which invitation will you accept? Yet between the contrasting invitations of wisdom and foolishness in Proverbs, we too often make the wrong choice. As if Wisdom’s invitation wasn’t attractive enough, there is a stark contrast between wisdom and folly. (Our Daily Bread)

In Proverbs 8:1-2, wisdom goes to the highest place and to the busiest intersections and invites all who will to make wise decisions. Wisdom invites us to hear excellent things and to do the right things. The invitation of foolishness doesn’t even compare to the invitation to come and take part in the very best that God has to offer us.


What are your most favorite and least favorite restaurants in town and why? Proverbs assumes if you were invited to both you would choose the best restaurant. Why do you think we choose foolishness over wisdom at times?


Thank God for offering you the gift of wisdom. Pray God to give you the strength and wisdom to resist the offers of foolishness.


The Way of Wisdom is Valuable

Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver. – Proverbs 8:18-19 (ESV)

One day, a man walks into a dentist’s office and asks how much it will cost to extract wisdom teeth. “Eighty dollars,” the dentist says. “That’s a ridiculous amount,” the man says. “Isn’t there a cheaper way?” “Well,” the dentist says, “if you don’t use an anesthetic, I can knock it down to $60.” “That’s still too expensive,” the man says. “Okay,” says the dentist. “If I save on anesthesia and simply rip the teeth out with a pair of pliers, I could get away with charging $20.” “Nope,” moans the man, “it’s still too much.” “Hm,” says the dentist, scratching his head. “If I let one of my students do it for the experience, I suppose I could charge you just $10.” “Marvelous,” says the man, “book my wife for next Tuesday!”

Wisdom has great value. Shortcuts to wisdom come with a cost and aren’t worth it. This supremely valuable treasure isn’t locked in a bank vault. She isn’t hidden or mysterious—wisdom is out there and available for all who will hear and respond. “Those who seek me find me.” Wisdom may sometimes put a man in the way of obtaining wealth, but no amount of wealth can ever buy wisdom. True wisdom will lead you to the paths of duty, honor, and integrity.


What has been one of the most foolish choices you have ever made? What did it cost you? What is one of the wisest decisions you ever made? What did you gain from it?


Praise God for the value that you gain in following Him. Ask God to help you realize the profit that comes from godly wisdom.


The Way of Wisdom is a Solid Foundation

Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars. – Proverbs 9:1 (ESV)

One danger of secret sin is that a person cannot commit it without its being eventually betrayed into a public sin. If a person commits one sin, it is like the melting of the lower glacier in the Alps, the others must follow in time. As certainly as you heap one stone on the landmark today, the next day you will cast another, until the heap, stone by stone, becomes an actual pyramid. See the coral insect at work, you cannot guess where it will create its pile. It will not build its rock as high as you please; it will not stop until an island is created. Sin cannot be held in with bit and bridle; it must be mortified. — Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Wisdom is described as a house in Proverbs 9. Here wisdom has furnished her house and built her dwelling. Seven pillars represent a perfectly built house. God is the builder of His people and the foundation is deep, broad, wide, and altogether sufficient for the purposes of human salvation. When we make wise choices we are building a solid foundation that will endure the storms and trials of life.


How have you seen unwise choices tear down people’s homes and families? How have you seen wise choices build a solid family?


Praise God for the stability that comes with godly wisdom. Ask God to help your family build a firm foundation.