Sunday, February 26, 2012

On 3-4-12 Proverbs 8:22-35 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Wisdom’s Part in Creation aka Wisdom’s Origin.

Wisdom’s Part in Creation
Wisdom’s Origin
Proverbs 8:22-35
International Sunday School Lesson
March 4, 2012

Jed Greenough

Do not be confused by the translation you might be using today.  Depending on which one you are using you may jump to a conclusion that would be in error!!

Yes, I know the wording could draw you to make a conclusion but your intuition is worth following to its end because what you do see is in fact wisdom and it isn’t debatable that its attributes are the same as some of Christ’s.  If we are to use the NIV translation, please notice in our first verse today that it is wisdom that was brought forth as the first of His works.  Now if we go to John 1 starting with the first verse we read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.”  Christ is not a created being; He created all things and if using this translation that would include wisdom.

But it is fascinating isn’t it to think about wisdom being created just like the earth and sky and man?  Wisdom would then be similar to us in that it also was chosen before the creation of the world.  Pretty cool I think, but…I think the translation is wrong!  Most other Bible translations say to the effect that “the Lord possessed me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old.”  It gives a different meaning doesn’t it and can you really ever imagine God without wisdom?

So what can we draw from this Proverb?  Well let’s begin by again looking at this quote from Ephesians 1:4, “For he chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.”  Further we read according to this proverb that God possessed wisdom before creation so it seems to me that wisdom is the place we should start as well.

In order to gain wisdom we know from the scripture that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom but what do we do after that?  Quite simply we do what we are doing today, study His word.  Proverbs 8:5a says, “You who are foolish, gain understanding.”  If we gain understanding by reading His word we see the things that we are to do and the things that we are not to do.  Back in Ephesians again as it says beginning in 4:24, “to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteous ness and holiness.”  And it goes on to tell us to put off falsehood, anger, stealing, unwholesome talk, bitterness, anger and there is more.  As we seek to grow in our wisdom we see that some of the things we need to improve in such as building others up, speaking things that will benefit the listener, to be kind and compassionate, forgiving and loving and there is again, more.

We just scratch the surface with these as wisdom is something that once we acquire some we’re not finished.  Instead the more we grow in wisdom by listening to Him through His word the more we understand to stay wise you must stay within that word.

For Discussion:

1.     Reading all of Ephesians is a good place for the Christian to grow in wisdom.
2.     If you wish to understand wisdom in Proverbs a bit more and you can access an NIV Study Bible there is a great outline to be found there: The Wise Man According to Proverbs.
3.     How low must God hold the opposite of wisdom?
4.     God said in Deuteronomy 4:6 in speaking about His decrees and laws, “Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations.”  In doing so they gave a witness.  Discuss how this still can pertain to us today.
5.     Discuss our duty to gain wisdom as Christians as a responsibility to the unsaved.  For a similar meaning read Luke 1:17.
6.     Read 1 Corinthians 1 and 2.
7.     Discuss what Paul said in Ephesians 1:17, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.”
8.     Look at several translations, was Wisdom created by God or not?

Upcoming Adult Sunday School Class Commentaries

3-11-12:  The Word Became Flesh John 1:1-14
3-18-12:  The Wedding at Cana (Water Turned to Wine) John 2:1-12
3-25-12:  God’s Word Saves (Nicodemus Learns of New Birth) John 3:11-21
4-1-12:    Jesus Testifies to the Truth John 18:28-37 or John 18:28-38

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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