Proverbs 1:8-33 - Heeding Wisdom's Call pt I

Dr. Steve Viars October 20, 2001 Proverbs 1:8-33


- Today we’re launching into a study of the book of Proverbs itself.
- we’ve been ramping up for the last month…today’s the big day [the grand opening, so to speak]

- studying the book of Proverbs is both helpful and challenging.
1)  It is helpful because practically every sentence has immediate application.
- cf. reading Proverbs 28 this week as a family…regarding current events, the statements take your breath away.
2)  It is difficult [if not impossible to try to outline the book verse by verse].
- in most cases, the verses are not intended to fit together…
- there are exceptions, but many of the Proverbs are stand alone statements…
- it is opposite of studying the apostle Paul, where you have one sentence that might go on verse after verse, in some cases filling entire chapters of Scripture.
- when that is the case, outlining the flow of thought is critical….
- it’s just not the same when we study the book of Proverbs…
- because of that, we’ve tried to think through the best and most helpful way to present the material---feel free to give input on our methodology as we move along in the study.

- this morning we’d like to work on chapter one—we’ve titled these verses…
Heeding Wisdom’s Call

[much of what we’re going to be doing today is based on chapter two of Warren Wiersbe’s book, Be Skillful.


- Dr. Wiersbe makes this helpful comment at the beginning of his discussion – “The first nine chapters present two women—wisdom and folly personified—as they seek to win the attention and obedience of people in the city streets and squares”

- That is one of the things we’re going to see about the book of Proverbs—it is incredibly creative in the way God’s truth is presented.
- I always chuckle when I hear people refer to persons living in the past as existing in backward cultures….when we read the Psalms, or the Proverbs, or really any segment of God’s Word and then compare it to the kinds of things written today…you have to ask, who’s really more advanced?

- read 1:8-33


I.  The Voice of Instruction [vv. 8-10, 15-19]

- the reason we’re dividing the verses this way is because verses 11-14 are an example given by the father of what the voice of temptation sounds like—we’ll treat those verses separately in a moment.

A.  The parent’s teaching – vv 8-10

- INPUT – what stands out about verses 8-9?
[both parents involved in teaching, dad leading]

- INPUT – Does this remind you of any passages of Scripture?
[Deut. 6, Psalm 128]

- INPUT – How is this emphasis different than our world’s view of whose responsibility it is to raise children?  [cf. school administrator who kept speaking about “our kids”]

- INPUT – What is the point of verse 9?  What is the father saying about the effect his instruction can have on his son?
- cf. Titus 2:10, I Peter 3:3-4

B.  The parent’s challenge – vv 15-17

- it is interesting that the father wastes little time before getting to the issue of temptation, and equipping his child to handle it.

- he makes two very important points to his child about temptation:

1.  Choose your friends wisely.

- cf. Psa. 1;1, II Cor. 6:14-18

- INPUT – Practical ways a parent can help a young person make wise decisions about friendships?

2.  Don’t play with temptation.

- verse 17 emphasizes how sin is like a trap.
- it might seem funny, something you can entertain or play with, but it will trap you.
- Wiersbe – “Birds don’t take bait when they can plainly see the trap, and people ought to be smarter than birds.”

- INPUT – Categories of behavior in which this is true?

- INPUT – How does our world often present a different view?

C.  The parent’s warning – vv 18-19

- INPUT – How would you summarize the point of verses 18-19?  What point is the parent trying to get across?

- INPUT – Why is it so difficult for young people to get this point?  What ways have you found to be especially effective in communicating it?

II.  The Voice of Temptation – vv. 11-14

- we said earlier that we were going to treat these verses separately because the father converts to the first person.
- INPUT – Why would he be using this teaching method?  [he wants his child to understand “what temptation sounds like”.]

- Temptation is illustrated as having a threefold approach in this passage…

- [Marty – could do a neighbor nudge and encourage folks to summarize temptation’s three-fold approach in verses 11-14.  Feel free to teach it in whatever way suits you best]

A.  Join us as we take advantage of the weak.

- [point out that this often starts in school when the weakest/ poorest/ least intelligent/ glamorous are selected by the others and picked on.  The message, stated or unstated, is very similar to what we’re reading in these verses]

- INPUT - How can we teach our children to protect the weak instead of exploiting them?

B.  We will profit materially from these pursuits.

- INPUT – How does this fit in with what we discussed last week regarding worship and obedience?

C.  We will share with you.

- cf. v. 14

- INPUT – How do these kinds of relationships often turn out?  We need to teach our children that if our friends will bad-mouth the one person who doesn’t happen to be present at the time, they will badmouth them when they aren’t around.


III.  The Voice of Salvation – vv 20-33

A.  How does wisdom speak?

- v. 20 – in clear tones, wisdom is calling out for people to listen.
- we need to ask ourselves, and our children…what voices have your allegiance?

B.  Where does wisdom speak?

- v. 20 – in the crowded streets, the marketplace, public places
- INPUT – What is the implication here for evangelism?

- Wiersbe – “The message of God’s truth is made for the marketplace, not the ivory tower.”

C.  To whom does wisdom speak?

1.  the simple

- people who believe anything but examine nothing [cf. 14:15]

2.  the scorners

- think they know everything and laugh at what is important

3.  fools

- people who are ignorant of truth because they are dull and stubborn

INPUT – How can this information be helpful to us?

D.  What does wisdom say?

1.  brings an indictment

- cf. v. 22

2.  issues an invitation

- cf. v 23





Dr. Steve Viars


Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation


B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video