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Bible Study: God’s wisdom or our own?

NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.

Bible Passage: Proverbs 14:8-15

Discussion Questions:
— When have you been fooled by the way something looked on the outside?
— How might people confuse God’s wisdom and foolishness? What makes God’s wisdom superior?

Food for thought:

My family went on a vacation one summer that included a stop at Buckskin Joe’s in Colorado. Buckskin Joe’s was a western movie set that doubled as a theme park. We were all excited about walking the streets as if we were living in the ol’ west. The buildings looked real on the outside, but the inside of some of those buildings were not exactly what we would want if there was a storm.

These buildings are like the things people trust in this world for security; they have visual appeal but fail the storm test.

In Proverbs 14, Solomon used a literary device to emphasize that judgment awaits those who ignore God’s wisdom, and blessing comes to those who follow God’s wisdom. He reminded his readers that relying on human ingenuity will lead to death, just like living in a movie set. Solomon characterized the unwise as living in a house and the wise as living in a tent. Externally, a house appears superior to a tent, but it’s better to have little while living in righteousness than to have much while living in wickedness. Just because something looks good doesn’t mean it is good.

We are reminded of Jesus’ parable of the wise and foolish builders. The foolish man built his house on the sand and it was destroyed. The wise man built his house on the rock and it stood firm. Jesus said that the wise person is the one who hears His teaching and acts on it (Matthew 7:24-27).

Superficial circumstances can mislead us into believing that disobeying God will bring happiness, but discernment shows that only God’s path leads to true joy. The wise will trust what God says is good, not base their decisions on what seems right in their own eyes.

Jesus’ death on the cross looked like a horrible loss, but His was actually the ultimate victory. In His death, burial and resurrection we find forgiveness and the wisdom of God. Since all else is temporal, basing our life on anything else is foolishness.

Explore the Bible
Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/ExploreTheBible.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool or ordered at LifeWay Christian Stores.

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  • Staff/Lifeway Christian Resources