Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. What was your first “real” job? What made it so “real”: money? career advancement? friendships? locale? hard work?
2. What did you do with the money you made: room and board? bills and expenses? car? clothes? fun in the sun?
3. According to Webster, a proverb is a “short, pithy, popular wise saying or precept, often in picturesque language”. How do these proverbs of Solomon fit that definition? How else would you define what you see here?
4. What do you see in this chapter that relates to hard work? What is its reward? Its opposite?
5. What aspects of the “righteous” and “the wicked” are conveyed here by the images of head? memory? mouth (or lips)? wages? desires? destinies?
6. We usually reserve discipline for children or adults who do bad things. What here suggests otherwise (verses 8, 13, 17, 25; see also Hebrews 12:4 – 13)?
7. Literary doublets tell us as much by the converse truth they imply as by the plain truth they affirm (as in verse 19). What is Solomon affirming in this verse? What does the alternative imply? How does this relate to the ‘chattering fool’ (verses 8, 10, 14, 18)?
8. What do you learn in this chapter about the material and spiritual results of righteousness? What is long-term? Immediate? Temporary? How can you “nourish many” (verse 21) with your righteousness?
9. Which proverbs in this chapter have a New Testament ring to them? For example what is the equivalent of James 5:20? Romans 6:23? Matthew 7:24 – 27?
10. Which of these Proverbs would your parents want to read to you? Which of these are written with you in mind?
11. What kind of wages have you been earning lately: joy or grief? life or punishment?
12. When has God’s rod disciplined you? What were the results? Where does it still hurt?
13. Are you desiring what God may grant? Or dreading something else may overtake you (see verse 14)?
14. How do you understand verses 6b and 11b:
- the tongue conceals violence?
- the tongue gets us in trouble?
- the tongue only reflects what enters through the eyes and ears?
15. How can “love cover up all wrongs” (verse 12)? Is love blind, innocent, forgiving or what? How has this happened to you?
16. What storms are passing through you life now? How are you holding up? Where are you seeking refuge? How can your church (or small group) help you?
17. Think about the richest and the poorest people you know. Have stereotypes about wealth and poverty affected your attitude toward them? How?