The Benefits of Wisdom


Sunday School Lesson for January 1, 2004


Background Passage: Proverbs 1:20-3:8


Focal Teaching Passages: Proverbs 2:1-6; 3:1-8


Wisdom’s Source (2:1-6)


Verses 1-4

The second chapter begins with a listing of the responsibilities of the “son” in regard to the acquisition of wisdom. We will see that even though wisdom is God’s gift to His children (2:6), there are specific things that each believer must do in order to set the stage for its reception and cultivation. Note that the structure of this section is in “If . . . .Then” form (cf. 2:1, 5).  This indicates that a choice is being set before the son. He can either “go the way of Wisdom and find life, true love, and most importantly God, or he can turn his back on her and find only bitterness, isolation, and death” [Garrett, 74]. There are profound consequences for one’s choice.


The one who would desire wisdom must:







Verses 5-6

The promise contained in this section is that when (“if”) one fulfils the obligations associated with spiritual wisdom, God (“then”) will move to grant it in abundant measures.  The true seeker of wisdom will, with God’s help:




In verse 6, yet another promise is provided to the seeker of wisdom. This declaration supplies us with the true source for all wisdom and knowledge.  It is the “Lord” alone who “gives wisdom.” It is from “His mouth” that both “knowledge and understanding” spring forth. When His children cry out for wisdom, God hears and faithfully answers their pleas (cf. James 1:5).  





One: We have learned so far that wisdom has its source in God alone. More specifically, it comes only in a relationship to Him that is based upon trust, faith, and submission to His Word. To apply this point, think specifically about the connection between . . .






Two: To stress and apply this point further, reflect upon the fact that this passage teaches by implication that wisdom does not come to those who are passive; to those who sit and wait for it. Rather, it comes to those who are active in seeking and praying for it and conforming their lives to God’s Word.



Wisdom’s Rewards (3:1-8)


This passage presents the blessings or rewards associated with Godly wisdom. However, like the previous passage, it also lays out the specific responsibilities borne by the seeker of wisdom. Another way to view these verses is to see them as setting forth the wonderful benefits of trusting fully in the Lord [David Atkinson, The Message of Proverbs, BST, 63]. Indeed, the person who is wise in the eyes of God is the one who readily relies upon His goodness, mercy, and providential care.


Verses 1, 3, 5, 6a, 7

Here we find the requirements for those who would become wise. As you reflect upon this list, make note of the fact that the book of Proverbs presupposes that one’s devotion to wisdom is inseparable from his devotion to God [Garrett, 79]. Those who remain wholly committed to God and His Word will find true wisdom.









Verses 2, 4, 6b, 8

Now the rewards of the life of wisdom are enumerated:






It is to say that spiritual, emotional and bodily well-being are all bound up together: we human beings are psychosomatic-spiritual unities. It is also to say that walking in God’s way is to walk the way of wholeness for the whole of our being [64].





One:  Think about some of the practical ways you can encourage your students to place more of their trust in the Lord.  As the passage suggests, this may be accomplished by relying less on other things. 


Two:  In the light of verse 6, how would you counsel someone who was seeking to “know God’s will” for their life? That is, how can a person find meaning, direction, and purpose?


Three:  If “peace” (v. 2), “healing” (v. 8), and “refreshment” (v. 8) are the benefits of wisdom, what can we say about those whose lives are constantly in turmoil and disarray?