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Proverbs 1:20-23 1
20 Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; 21 on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: 22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? 23 Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings.

PieChartBackground

Proverbs are seen as the wisdom of King Solomon, the person with the most wisdom that has ever lived. They are not rules but practical, God-inspired guidelines for life. He ruled the nation of Israel for 40 years, bringing peace and wealth to the nation. Solomon’s workmen built palaces, and the great temple. During his reign, the people of Israel learned arts, sciences and music.

When he was young, Solomon obeyed God. He asked God for wisdom, and God gave it to him (1 Kings 3:9, 12). Other rulers, including the queen of Sheba, visited Solomon (1 Kings 10:1-13). She asked him many questions. His answers showed great knowledge of many subjects. He taught about plants, animals and fish. Solomon learned much and wrote 3000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:29-34). Solomon also wrote Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon.

Biblical Truth

In this part of Proverb 1, we hear from a woman called Wisdom. The woman in our proverb is upset, and she is angry. This is why she shouts. Her children are not obeying her. They refuse her advice. She walks through the streets and she complains to everyone. She even goes to the city gate, the place in ancient times where you could find the judges. She wants to obtain a judgment against her children. They are simple, evil and foolish (verse 22).

Items for Discussion

  • When children do not behave (listen to the parents rules), what does society tell us we should do?
  • What happens when bad behavior is ignored?
  • Why would God be remiss if He did not hold bad behavior to account?
  • In our society today, what constitutes bad behavior in God’s eyes?
  • Can you think of any examples where ignoring bad behavior (of people, companies, countries, etc.) has been an effective strategy for seeking change and compliance to society’s norms and God’s Laws?

 

Matthew 4:23; 9:35
4:23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 9:35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.

Background

Matthew, who was a tax collector before his conversion, was considered a Jewish Christian, writing especially for the Jews. It is believed that Matthew collected those teaching of Jesus that He taught in the Hebrew language along with most of Jesus’ other teachings. Matthew did not write first. He had the benefit of Mark’s Gospel. The Christian church placed Matthew’s book first in the Bible because Matthew often refers to the Old Testament and, therefore, believed it to be a bridge between the Old and New Testament writings.

Biblical Truth

Jews typically met at synagogues so it was a logical place for Jesus to go to teach. It is here, from chapter 4 to chapter 9 that we see the details of Jesus’ ministry. Matthew repeats the words in 9:35 that he wrote in Matthew 4:23. From the end of chapter 4 to the end of chapter 9. The news that Jesus could heal people spread quickly. And people with all kinds of illness came long distances to get His help, even from foreign countries. Many other people came just to listen to him. They wanted to see Him heal people. And they wanted to hear what He was teaching.

Items for Discussion

  • Can you summarize what Jesus’ ministry was about?
  • How would you describe responsible behavior in God’s kingdom?
  • If Jesus was teaching us about what His father, God, wants from each of us, what do you think God’s response will be if we do not listen?
  • How do we learn what God wants us to do (how to behave)?

Discussion Challenge

  • We have a responsibility in the Church to teach Christ’s teachings – How can each member help in that goal?

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
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