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BIBLE STUDY: Jesus Christ our wisdom

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 Gospel Project curriculum.

Bible Passage: 1 Kings 1–3

Discussion Questions:
— Why is it important to walk in God’s ways?
— Why is it sometimes difficult to ask God for things?
— Where do you need God’s wisdom in your life right now? Pray now and ask Him for what you need.

Food for Thought:

You’re next in line for the crown. You’re about to be the leader of a nation that is finally settling into peace and prosperity. Your father is one of the greatest leaders of all time, but you’re young, inexperienced and naive. Your brothers want your position; your father’s generals are nervous about your leadership skill. The expectations over you are higher than they have ever been for anyone in your position. How will you possibly meet and even exceed those expectations? Welcome to the first days of the reign of King Solomon, son of David.

If we found ourselves in such a position, hopefully, we would have the humility and wisdom to ask God for the wisdom to fulfill the role He had placed us in. This was the conclusion Solomon came to when faced with the task before him. Yet on this occasion, God came to Solomon with His aid seemingly in the form of a blank check: ”What should I give you?” (1 Kings 3:5).

Who among us would hear that open invitation and not begin to ponder all the possibilities? Long life, riches, and death to enemies were a few of the options the Lord identified after the fact. No doubt we could think of a few more. We often have the tendency of turning God’s gracious gifts into opportunities for selfishness, temptation and sin.

But Solomon, at this young stage in his life, heeded the instructions of his father David (1 Kings 2:1-4) and turned his attention away from his pleasure to his need. Solomon focused his eyes not on himself but on his God. Solomon took his thoughts captive so he could see clearly the godly purpose for which he was raised, honoring the Lord God as he led and ruled righteously over God’s people. To this end, he humbly asked the Lord for wisdom and he received it (1 Kings 3:10-14).

We can see in Solomon at this point an example to follow for all the varied circumstances of our lives. But even more so, here he illustrates for us what our salvation entails. If we recognize our shortcomings, namely our sin and falling short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23), then we have a choice to make. We can choose to look to ourselves for our future and surely fail, or humbly ask God for His help.

What we need is His Wisdom, which is personified in Jesus Christ, the greater Solomon (Matthew 12:42) and the very wisdom of God for our salvation from sin and death to eternal life (1 Corinthians 1:30).

The Gospel Project
The Gospel Project is a chronological, Christ-centered study for kids, students and adults. The Bible is not a collection of stories. It is one story of God’s plan to rescue His people from sin and death. It is the story of redemption, the gospel message of Jesus Christ. More information can be found at Lifeway.com/gospelproject.

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