Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. If money and time were no object, what would you do for “peace and quiet”?
2. From this chapter, do you get the idea the author was . . .
- poor but peaceful?
- rich and resentful?
- young and restless?
- a grief-stricken parent?
- a proud grandparent?
3. With the resources you actually have, what gives you “peace and quiet”?
4. What conflict management ideas do you see in verses 1, 4, 9, 11, 14, 17 and 19? What insight do you get from these images?
- dry crust vs feasting
- malicious tongue
- repeating an offense
- breaching a dam
- building a high gate
5. In what sense is verse 2 true? How did this come true for Solomon’s servant and son (see 1 Kings 11:28ff)?
6. In what sense is verse 22 true (see Proverbs 15:13, 30)? What about the grief-stricken “father of a fool” (verses 21 and 25)? How does he get a cheerful heart (see James 1:2ff)?
7. What principles for justice and justification do you see in this chapter (verses 8, 13, 15, 23, 26)? In what ways are “bribes”, “floggings” and “paying back evil for good” practiced today? How does the Lord deal with the perpetrators and victims of injustice? How should we?
8. If the Lord detests the injustice of acquitting the guilty, why does He acquit you of your sin (see Romans 3:26, Romans 4:5)? How does God remain just in doing that?
9. With what crucible has the Lord been testing your heart: a rebellious child? the loss of a job? a relationship ended? How do you know it is the Lord’s testing you and not you falling into temptation (see James 1:3, 12 – 15)? Can you think of a self-administered lab test for your heart-felt motives?
10. What recent crucible experience tried your true friends? How has a test separated your close friends? Which “brother” (or sister) proved in adversity to love you at all times?
11. When you are wrong, how do you like to be corrected: 100 lashes with a tongue, whip or wet noodle? On the other hand, what kind of correction only provokes you or stiffens your neck? Why?
12. When corrected by the Lord, how does it feel? Are you ever in His doghouse very long? What does it take to get you back on the “path of righteousness”?
13. Money talks (verse 8). How have you seen this work in your life with friends? With parents? At school? At work?
14. In what ways can you identify with the author’s experience of family strife (verse 1), grief (verses 21 and 25), disgrace (verse 2) and pride (verse 6)?