Proverbs 2023 Bible Study (Storm Proof)

Proverbs 1:8-33, Preparation Needed


We are in a series called Storm Proof where we are looking at the Proverbs as God’s instructions for being prepared for life’s difficulties before they happen. We noted in our first lesson that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If we want to live skillfully, insightfully, and successfully before God in this world, then the starting point is knowing and submitting to God. We also noted that these first nine chapters are trying to show us why we need God’s wisdom so that we will listen to his proverbial teachings. In our lesson today we are going to look at the rest of Proverbs 1 and notice three preparations needed to be able to live skillfully, insightfully, and successfully before God in the world.

Listen To Your Parents (1:8-9)

In Proverbs 1:8-9 God tells us through Solomon that we need to listen to our parents. We are told to listen to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. The first preparation you need for life is to listen to your parents. Why should we listen to our parents?

First, your parents have experience that you do not have (4:1-3). Unfortunately, we have the default tendency to think that our parents do not understand what we are going through. But a good parent can remember the time of life that you are in and can tap into that understanding so that they can help you. Do not reject what they are telling you. Do not resist their teachings. Do not discard what they say because you think they do not understand. The world has not changed as much as you think.

Second, God says that if you will listen and follow your parents’ teachings, they will be glory for your life. A good parent wants to set their children down the right path. A good parent gives instructions because those instructions are going to help the child have a good life. Verse 9 pictures parental instructions as beautiful jewelry. The idea is that if you will listen to what your parents teach you that it will make your life beautiful.

My wife and I spent the years with our children at home constantly speaking about how we look at the world and what God says about how to live in it. We talked about what was going on so that we can give them a godly foundation. As parents of teenagers and one who is past teenage years, I can tell you that there are times where we had to step into our children’s lives and tell them that what they are doing is not good for them. One of the worst things we can do for our children as parents is defend everything they do. Do not make excuses for your children. Do not ignore what they are doing. Do not think that it will take care of itself. You will notice that the parents are supposed to be giving correction and instruction. Do not excuse your children. Teach your children. Children, do not shrug off those discipline and teaching moments. It is good for you to listen to your parents and obey them. The first preparation for a good life is to listen to what your parents are saying and follow their teachings.

See Evil as a Trap (1:10-19)

The second preparation for a good life is found in verses 10-19. Do not listen to the enticement of sinners. People are going to make offers to you to do the wrong things. You are going to have circles of people in your life who are going to try to tempt you to join them in what they are doing. What they are going to ask you to do will sound fun. It will be enticing. Sin is enticing. But what they are doing is not innocent fun. They are trying to harm people. They are trying to take advantage of people. They are trying to act for selfish gain.

So the direction is given to us to not walk in the way with them. Do not follow their paths. Do not run with them. There are times in your life when you will have to make a decision about your friend group. All of us have those times when we have to decide if we are going to spend our time with this circle of people. This is true when we are in school, but it is also true with our co-workers and neighbors. Our second preparation is to not run with people who are trying to get us to join them in the wrongdoing they are proposing. I watched my daughters have to change friend circles while in high school because they were seeing the direction of their friends’ lives. They were seeing that they were going the wrong way and they were being asked to follow.

Verses 17-19 tell us why we should not run with them. Ultimately, sin is a trap for ourselves. Running with such people will only get you in trouble. You are setting a trap for your own life when you listen to them. You are setting up an ambush for yourself when run with those people. It will take your life away from you if you listen to them. They are not looking out for you. They are not going to care for you when you get caught. They do not care if you get destroyed.

I want to make a point here regarding our families and church at this moment. This is why we need deep relationships in our families and in the church. We need to create such a family relationship in the home that your children are willing to say no to evildoers because they have a relationship with you as their parents. They know they have a safe place at home. They know that you will do something with them that is equal to or better than what their friends are offering. Likewise, we need to create those kinds of relationships in the church. This way we can say no to the temptations from those who are in our lives and spend our time with the people of God instead. We will know that we can reject our worldly friends because we have godly friends as our happy alternatives. Do not make a trap for your life. Do not join those who are doing wrong. Get away from them.

Get Wisdom (1:20-33)

The third life preparation God gives is he tells us to get wisdom. But God shows us this in a beautiful way. Wisdom is pictured as a woman who is calling for people to listen to her. You will notice the first picture is that the wisdom is not hidden (1:20-21). She is in the markets, the noisy streets, and the city gates calling out for people to listen. The wisdom is accessible. But notice what her message is in verses 22-23. She basically asks why we are ignoring her. How long will you want to stay inexperienced and simpleminded in life? How long will you hate wisdom and knowledge? If you will just listen, she will give you her thoughts and make her teachings known to you. Imagine the scene that is being presented. Wisdom is walking around with a megaphone asking people who wants to have a skillful life, an insightful life, and a successful life. But people are not responding. You see this in verse 24. I have called and you refused to listen. I extended my hand and no one paid attention.

Now I want us to notice what God tells us will happen if we do not make preparations to have wisdom directing our lives. Look at verses 26-27. Wisdom will laugh at your calamity and mock when disaster overtakes you like a tornado. I want you to notice that God says life is going to hit you hard. No one gets through life without major distresses, calamities, and anguish. You will notice that wisdom says that she told you that you should get her before it is too late. Now when trouble strikes, they will call to me. But notice wisdom says that she will not answer. People will search for her but will not find her. The reason why is because they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord (1:29). They were not interested in her counsel and rejected all her correction (1:30).

This is an important picture to understand. God tells us that his teachings are like insurance. Insurance companies do not give out insurance when there is a named storm in the ocean. It is too late. Insurance companies do not give out fire insurance while your house is on fire. It is too late. Insurance companies do not give out health insurance after you are diagnosed with sickness. It is a preexisting condition. It is too late. In the same way, it is too late find wisdom when disaster hits. You must have wisdom in place before disaster strikes for it to be useful and helpful.

But too often this is what we do with God and his word. We ignore him and we ignore his teachings. Then something bad happens and we run to the Bible thinking we are going to find help now. We must be seeking wisdom from the start so that it is in place to help us when disaster strikes. This is an important truth God is teaching us. Ignoring God now will head to future failure. Trouble is going to come and you are going to make the wrong decisions. Hardships are going to push you the wrong way when they come because you did not have God’s wisdom placed firmly as the foundation of your life.

So the bad news is in verses 30-32. Since we would not accept wisdom’s counsel and direction, we will eat the fruit of our decisions. We will deal with the consequences of not having wisdom as the foundation for our lives. The point is that we would get wisdom before this happens. God is trying to get us prepared for the storms. Now I hope we are hearing something that God is telling us. Listening to him has far more valuable than simply going to heaven when we die. God’s wisdom and God’s word are given to us for our protection, security, and ease for this life. You see this emphasized in verse 33. The wisdom of God will keep us from so many life problems. Listening to God’s word will give us ease and peace when calamity strikes. Looking to God is what keeps us free from worry when life gets flipped upside down. God does not want us to have the reap the consequences of our decisions. So he is giving us the insight and guidance we need to avoid life’s traps. But if we will not seek him now, then we are going to make bad decisions and then will reap the consequences for what we did.

The Message

You will notice that the message of Proverbs 1 really boils down to a very important question. Who are you listening to in your life? Whose guidance do you follow? God begins by saying that your first preparation for life is by listening to the instructions of your parents. If you will listen to their correction, discipline, and instruction then it will beautify your life. They are the first influencers and teachers in your life.

Second, do not listen to any circle of friends or influencers in your life that are tempting you to do wrong. We will have many who will entice us to do what is wrong. Do not follow them. Do not join with them. It is a trap for your life. You can ruin your life by listening to the wrong people and following the wrong path that they are on.

Third, seek God’s wisdom for your life now. Do not wait. It is too late if you wait. God’s wisdom is your insurance for life. You need it applied to your life now so that you can have security, help, and hope when calamity strikes. Please think about verses 24-25 and ask if this is us. God cried out for us to listen but we refused to learn his wisdom. We neglected his counsel and would not accept his instruction and this is why we are where we are in life. Now is the time to restart with God and listen to him. Start making preparations because the next storm is coming and this time you can be ready because this time the fear of the Lord is now your foundation.

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