proverbs & ecclesiastes
Wisdom for God’s People – I Kings 4:29-34; Eccl. 7:23-24; I Kings 10:23-11:6; Proverbs & Ecclesiastes
Be certain to read the verses in bold above. These provide insight into Solomon’s thinking and his heart. These verses prove the point of the lesson: the key to being wise is knowing and loving God and obeying Him. He alone is the source of wisdom. He alone can unlock the secrets of knowledge. But, having knowledge is only the beginning of wisdom. To be truly wise, a person must use his knowledge to love and serve God and others. Even a single point of weakness (such as loving other women more than loving and obeying God, as Solomon did) can ruin someone. As wise as Solomon was, he admitted in the Ecclesiastes passage that being wise “was beyond him.” Only Jesus was perfectly wise because He always loved God more than anything else; thus, He obeyed God and followed Him perfectly.
All of us need wisdom to live this life well. There are just too many pitfalls in this life, too many decisions to be made, too many forces in this life trying to trip us up. In James 1:5, God tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” God wants our kids (and us) to ask Him for wisdom. He wants to show us how to live well. Solomon’s proverbs are a starting place for gaining wisdom. God’s Word reveals so many truths about how to live wisely. Ultimately, however, to live wisely, our hearts must be in sync with God’s. We must love, trust and obey Him. We must listen to the voice of his Holy Spirit, which says, “This is the way; walk in it” Isaiah 30:21. When we fail to obey, we must be quick to repent, and get back on the right path. Wise living requires dying to our own desires EVERY day and choosing to live for God instead.
In this lesson, we want to help our kids consider what it means to live wisely. I’m praying many of our kids will desire to live in a way that pleases God. Help kids see that because of our sin, we can never live in perfect wisdom. That’s why we all need Jesus. He is waiting for us to turn to Him. He alone can cleanse our hearts from sin and show us how to live wisely.
Activity – Give Me Some Advice – kids can color picture of Solomon as you discuss “good advice” in the following areas. Kids, you know that Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. He gave wise advice about many different topics. Let’s see how your advice would compare with Solomon’s. I am going to give you a category. Think of some advice you could give someone related to each topic. Then, I will tell you some things Solomon said about the topic. (See attached summary page of verses from Proverbs and Ecclesiastes).
- • • Friends
- • Money
- • Quarreling
• Kinds of people
For each topic, discuss:
- • Do you think what Solomon said is true?
- • Have you ever seen anyone who exemplifies what Solomon described?
- • If you could remember what Solomon said, how could it help you in your life?
- • You would think that as wise as Solomon was, he had a perfect life, but he didn’t! He had a major area of weakness.
- • Read I Kings 10:23-11:6.
- • Do you see an area where Solomon wasn’t wise? He loved women from many other countries more than he loved God.
- • We must make sure that we love God more than anything. We know we love God when we obey Him. If we stop obeying Him, then we know we aren’t loving Him.
- • God created us to love Him with our whole hearts, but Satan is always enticing us to love other things more than we love God. What are some things you are tempted to love more than God?
- • Other things will always disappoint us and will always lead us into trouble.
- • How can we make sure we are loving God the most?
- o Give our hearts to Jesus. Admit that our hearts are sinful and that we need Him to make them clean.
- o Read God’s Word. Learn what pleases God.
- o Do things that please God, not what pleases ourselves.
- o When we mess up, talk to God about it. Tell on yourself to God – that’s called confessing. Ask God to show you what you need to do to make things right.
What did you like about this story? What didn’t you like?
What did you learn about God/Jesus?
- • God is the source of ALL wisdom.
- • God knows about EVERYTHING.
- • God wants His people to be wise, but He loves them even when they’re not wise.
- • God loves us, so He must punish us when we choose foolish things.
- • God wants His people to choose things that bring blessing to Him and to others.
What did you learn about people?
- • People often make foolish choices.
- • People can learn to be wise by giving their hearts to God, reading His Word, and obeying Him.
- • When people mess up, they should repent quickly.
- • People should encourage one another to be wise.
- • People should ask God for all that they need.
What did you learn about yourself?
- • I want to learn to hear God’s voice
- • I want to be wise.
WHY SOLOMON WROTE PROVERBS – Prov. 1:1 - 4 NIrV
- • To teach us wisdom
- • To help us understand wise sayings
- • To help us live wisely
- • To show us what is right, honest and fair
- • To give good sense to young people
- • “Walk with wise people and become wise. A companion of foolish people suffers harm. Prov. 13:20
- • “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Eccl. 4:9, 10
- • “It is better to have respect for the Lord and have little than to be rich and have trouble. Prov. 15:16
- • “Don’t wear yourself out to get rich. Don’t trust how wise you think you are. When you take even a quick look at riches, they are gone. They grow wings and fly away into the sky like an eagle. Prov. 23:4-5
- • “Lazy hands make a man poor, but hands that work hard bring wealth.” Prov. 10:4
- • “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.” Eccl. 5:10
- • “Starting to argue is like making a crack in a dam. So drop the matter before a fight breaks out.” Prov. 17:14
- • “Avoiding a fight brings honor to a person. But every foolish person is quick to argue. Prov. 20:3
KINDS OF PEOPLE - Wise & Foolish
- • “The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.” Prov. 10:8
- • “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.” Prov. 19:20
- • “Foolish people laugh at making things right when they sin. But honest people try to do the right thing.” Prov. 14:9
- • “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” Prov. 29:11
HOW TO LIVE A HAPPY LIFE
- • “I know there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. Prov. 3:12,13