Talks for Growing Christians
Wisdom in Contentment
Lesson Number 21
- The Proverbs are wise advice for everyday living.
- Appreciate the better things!
- In verses 11 and 24, the word “hell” is used. Other translations use the word “sheol.” What are the two meanings given to the words “hell” and “sheol” in the Old Testament? Which meaning is applicable to verses 11 and 24 in this chapter of Proverbs? Which meaning corresponds to the term “hades” used in the New Testament?
- As we have seen in previous chapters of Proverbs, many of Solomon’s wise sayings concerned speech or conversation, the words crossing a person’s lips and coming out of their mouth. Which verses in this lesson (1-15) make reference to this subject? How does Solomon describe the person who speaks positively?
- The proverb in verse 3 is more than a general truth because it is backed up by the rest of Scripture. Identify the characteristic or attribute of God referred to in this verse.
- The terms “hell” and “sheol” refer in some cases to the state of death, and therefore is sometimes translated “the grave.” In other cases, it can refer to the state of conscious existence after death. In this latter sense, it corresponds to the term “hades” in the New Testament, as in the account of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke chapter 16.
- In this lesson, verses 1, 2, 4, 7, and 14 all refer directly to speech. Verses 5 (reproof), 8 (prayer) and 10 (correction and reproof) refer indirectly to speech or conversation. Solomon describes the person who speaks positively as wise (v 2), wholesome (v 4), prudent (v 5), upright (v 8) and as one who has knowledge (v 14).
- The characteristic or attribute of God referred to in verse 3 (“The eyes of the Lord are in every place . . . ”), is omniscience. God knows everything!
- Discuss the impact of verse 16 on believers who live in an affluent society. Consider Christians who live in impoverished conditions. Can they too find themselves in “trouble” because they are not content with “little”?
- Is your speech characteristic of a wise, wholesome, prudent, upright and knowledgeable person? If not, could it be that perversity, foolishness or even wickedness in your heart is producing words that stir up anger, breaks a person’s spirit, or turns away reproof? Take stock of your speech and conversation, examine your heart, and allow the Holy Spirit to control your tongue.
- “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1