Talks for Growing Christians
Wisdom in Humility
Lesson Number 27
- The Proverbs are wise advice for everyday living.
- The higher you fly, the harder you fall!
- In the general truths given to us in verses 1 and 2 of chapter 18, what are the characteristics likely to be found in a person who is concerned primarily about himself?
- Is the proverb in verse 4 an example of Hebrew antithetic parallelism or synthetic parallelism? Explain.
- What are three kinds of towers that were built during Old Testament times? What was the purpose of each kind of tower? Which type of tower is most likely referred to in verse 10?
- In verses 1 and 2 of this lesson, the characteristics of a person who has “his own” things primarily in mind, are likely to include isolation which allows him to think only of himself, a ranting against judgments based on wisdom, an aversion to gaining true understanding and a delight in expressing his own thoughts.
- Some translators consider the proverb in verse 4 to be antithetic parallelism, that is, the second line of the proverb contrasts with the first. Others consider the proverb to be synthetic parallelism, where the second line is a continuation of the thought of the first line. In the first case, the words of the person without wisdom would be obscure and hidden, in contrast to the words of wisdom being likened to a continuous flow of refreshing, clear water. In the second case, the deep waters would refer to a profound and inexhaustible supply of wise words, and as a continuation of this thought, the source of an unending flow of wisdom.
- Watch towers were built in the vineyards to guard against thieves or destructive animals and to protect the harvested grapes. Defensive towers were built along the walls of a city as an integral part of the city’s defenses, as well as at the gate or gates of the city. In addition, strong, solitary towers were constructed nearer the center of the city, both for defensive purposes and as a place of refuge for the citizens of the city in the event of an attack. It is this last type of tower that is most likely referred to in verse 10.
- Discuss the pronounced trend in our society for people to think of their material possessions as their ultimate protection and security. Consider the possibility of this trend being a reality among believers. Discuss the futility of this way of thinking, especially as it relates to the unstable conditions of the world’s financial systems today.
- Are your own desires your primary concern rather than the desires and needs of others? Do you experience delight in talking about your own interests, ideas and experiences rather than joy in listening to the wise words and concerns of those around you? Be honest in your self-examination in this area of haughtiness and humility and be willing to honor the observations of your Christian friends. Remember, “Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility.”
- “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his own esteem.” Proverbs 18:10, 11