Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. The last time you dressed up for a costume party, what did you go as? Why that get-up?
2. What character would you like to impersonate the next time you go to a masquerade party?
3. What three one-word titles can you come up with to fit the three main divisions of this chapter? What three summary verses amplify your subject themes?
4. What examples of an “undeserved curse” come to mind (verse 2; see also Numbers 23:8; 2 Samuel 16:5 – 12)?
5. Verses 4 and 5 seem self-contradictory. What is Solomon’s point? What good might result from not arguing with a fool? What bad might come from not arguing? (see note below)
6. To what is a “proverb in the mouth of a fool” compared (verse 9)? Why is this analogy? What would be a modern equivalent?
7. What does verse 10 tell an employer about hiring practices? What general principle is at work here?
8. The “sluggard” has suffered some bad press. How can a sluggard be unfairly compared to:
- a realist (verse 13)
- someone who is not a morning person (verse 14)
- someone who does not like to be hurried or rushed (verse 15)
- someone who sticks to his convictions (verse 16)
9. What is the point of the observations in verses 17 – 28 about mischief-making? Which of the actions described here seem innocent, but are not? What “life principle” is implied by verse 27?
10. How does chapter 26 leave you: uplifted? slapped down? laughing at yourself in a mirror? What lies behind that feeling?
11. Which proverb hits closest to home? How so?
12. Solomon might well say today, “a fool opens mouth and inserts foot” (compare with verses 6 and 7). How might such a fool fit something you’ve done recently?
13. When you meet someone you want to impress, how do you “put your best foot forward”? What about you is considered your best foot?
14. Have you been “cursed” before, as in verse 2? What did it feel like? With this verse in mind, how will you reply next time at work? At home?
15. If a malicious person can disguise himself (verses 24 – 26), how can he be “exposed”?
16. Another question about the sluggard. Consider verses 13 – 16 again. In what areas or circumstances of your life have you been like a sluggard? Why? What can you do to change?
IN TOMORROW’S POST WE WILL CONSIDER FURTHER THE BIBLICAL MEANING OF A “FOOL”.