Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. When do you break into melody to yourself?
- with the radio
- in the shower
- after church
2. As for your ability to sing, are you a Johnny one-note, a joyful noise or a one-man barbershop quartet?
3. What song is part of your bedtime ritual or teaching method with your children?
4. If you were put to mood music to the reading of this chapter, would it be classical, upbeat or just old-fashioned? In a major or minor key?
5. What might the righteous person of verse 6 choose to sing about?
6. What else marks the righteous (verses 2, 7, 16, 27)? What notes would they be singing?
7. Verses 8, 9, 11, 20, and 22 again raise the twin issues of anger and fools. How do you deal with the temperament of a fool? What hope does Solomon offer here?
8. Who are “stiff-necked” folk (verse 1)? How and when do you think such irrevocable destruction occurs?
9. What is the result of dishonesty in leadership (verse 12)? Are “fleas” (verse 12) more powerful than “rebukes” (verse 1) or “mere words” (verse 19)? Why might that be?
10. Of what value is a “revelation” (verse 18)? Why is that? What incident in Israel’s early history might be in mind here? What is significant about this convergence of law, the prophets and wisdom literature in one verse?
11. Which proverb in this chapter penetrates an area of your life?
12. If “mere words” (verse 19) or “rebukes” (verse 1) are not enough to correct someone, but only make one “stiff-necked” (verse 2), what else is needed? What does this say about nagging spouses? Stem-winding preachers? Self-help books? The Bible itself? Why are flesh and blood examples and multimedia more forceful than mere words?
13. These proverbs seem to suggest that lasting change is not externally imposed but internally motivated. When is “leaving a child to himself” (verse 15) a healthy corrective? And when is that too permissive?
14. If “from the Lord” we get justice (verse 26), what does this say about courts of appeal (civil and church)? Does one judicial process exclude the other? Or reflect the other? How will you handle your next disagreement with someone with regard to the truth?
15. What threats do righteous people face (verse 10)? What threats do you fear most?