Wisdom for God s People

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1 UNIT 11 Session 2 Use Week of: 2 Wisdom for God s People BIBLE PASSAGE: Proverbs 1:1-7; 3:1-12; 4:10-19 MAIN POINT: Wisdom is fearing the Lord and obeying His Word. KEY PASSAGE: Proverbs 2:6-7 BIG PICTURE QUESTION: Where does wisdom come from? Wisdom comes from God through His Word. SMALL GROUP OPENING (10 15 MINUTES) PAGE 124 LARGE GROUP BIBLE STUDY (25 30 MINUTES) PAGE 126 SMALL GROUP ACTIVITIES (25 30 MINUTES) PAGE 132 Leader BIBLE STUDY Look both ways before crossing the street. Don t touch the stove; it s hot. Stay in your seat. Young children need to hear these instructions because left to their own devices, most would run into traffic, burn their hands on stove tops, and meander around the dining room. As young children discover the world and begin to understand how it works, they are prone to making foolish decisions. So it is with sinners. On our own, we would trust in ourselves and lean on our own understanding. (See Prov. 3:5) We would turn toward evil, rather than away from it. (See Prov. 3:7) We would 120 Older Kids Leader Guide Unit 11 Session 2

2 despise the Lord s discipline. (See Prov. 3:11.) Our lives would end in destruction. But in His great mercy, God has given to us in His Word the Book of Proverbs. When Solomon became king, God told Solomon he could ask for anything. Solomon asked for wisdom. Wisdom is the knowledge and understanding of what is right, true, honest, and fair. Solomon wrote down many wise sayings in the Book of Proverbs. God empowered Solomon to lead God s people well, and other kings and queens traveled from far away to learn from him. 2 The proverbs teach us that there are two ways to live: a wise way and a foolish way. God made the world and He knows how it works best. He made people and knows the best way for them to live and have joy. Our sin makes us foolish, but wisdom comes from God. Solomon was a wise leader, but more than 900 years later, God provided someone greater than Solomon His Son, Jesus. (See Matt. 12:42.) As you teach, help kids understand that the gospel the good news of what Jesus has done for sinners seems foolish to those who are lost and dying. But it is God s power to us who are being saved (1 Cor. 1:18). Additional resources for each session are available at gospelproject.com. For free training and session-by-session help, visit God All-Wise 121

3 The BIBLE STORY Wisdom for God s People Proverbs 1:1-7; 3:1-12; 4:10-19 When David s son Solomon became king, God told Solomon he could ask for anything he wanted. King Solomon asked God to make him wise, so God gave Solomon wisdom. Solomon s wisdom helped him understand how to make right choices and live in a way that pleased God. Other kings and queens came from far away to learn from Solomon. Solomon wrote down many wise sayings in the Book of Proverbs to help people live wisely. These are some of the words Solomon wrote. These proverbs are good for teaching you wisdom, for giving you understanding, and for leading you to what is right, honest, and fair. There is wisdom for everyone for young people and old people. If you really want to be wise, begin by fearing the Lord. Only foolish people ignore wisdom and instruction. Listen to the things I am teaching you. They will help you live a long life and be successful. Never let go of love and truth. Then you will find favor with God and with man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways and He will guide you on the right path. Do not pretend to know everything. Run to God, and run away from evil. Then you will be healthy and strong. Honor God with everything you have, and give Him the first and the best. You will have more than you need. When God disciplines you, do not hate His instruction. God trains those He loves, like a father trains his son. 122 Older Kids Leader Guide Unit 11 Session 2

4 Listen to my advice. I am teaching you how to be wise. Stay away from people who do evil. Do not act like they do. Evil people are always making trouble. They hurt others and make foolish decisions. But a wise person is like the sun in the morning. They shine brighter throughout the day. A foolish person is like darkness. They can t even see what makes them trip and fall. Christ Connection: Wisdom comes from God. He made the world and knows how it works best. Everyone is born a foolish sinner, but God sent His Son to earth to save us. The Bible says that Jesus is the wisdom of God. Jesus makes us wise and holy. He frees us from sin. (1 Cor. 1:24,30) WANT TO DISCOVER GOD S WORD? GET BIBLE EXPRESS! Invite kids to check out this week s devotionals to discover that wisdom comes from loving God and obeying His Word. God s rules are right, and our hearts are glad when we live by them. (See Ps. 19:8.) Order in bulk, subscribe quarterly, or purchase individually. For more information, check out devotionals. God All-Wise 123

5 Small Group OPENING SESSION TITLE: Wisdom for God s People BIBLE PASSAGE: Proverbs 1:1-7; 3:1-12; 4:10-19 MAIN POINT: Wisdom is fearing the Lord and obeying His Word. KEY PASSAGE: Proverbs 2:6-7 BIG PICTURE QUESTION: Where does wisdom come from? Wisdom comes from God through His Word. Welcome time Greet each kid as he or she arrives. Use this time to collect the offering, fill out attendance sheets, and help new kids connect to your group. As kids arrive, lead them to talk about wisdom. What is wisdom? What does a wise person look like? Who is the wisest person you know? Leave It to the Experts activity page, 1 per kid pencils or markers Activity page (5 minutes) Invite kids to complete Leave It to the Experts on the activity page. Guide kids to match each question to the expert who would likely know the best answer. (Answers: money: banker; recipe: chef; light switch: electrician; daffodils: master gardener; law: attorney; stomachache: pediatrician) SAY Great job! All of these people are experts about certain things. Who knows how life works best? Yes, God does! God knows how life works best because He is the Creator of life. In the Bible story today, we will hear some instruction from God about how life works best. 124 Older Kids Leader Guide Unit 11 Session 2

6 Session starter (10 minutes) OPTION 1: Classroom rules Invite kids to help you make a list of existing classroom rules or rules they think would be helpful to enforce in the classroom. As kids make suggestions, list them on a large sheet of paper. Prompt kids to consider why we have rules. Suggest that we might have the rule Be respectful of others because it would not be unusual if someone was disrespectful. And if someone is disrespectful, feelings might get hurt. SAY So why don t we need to have rules like Keep your feet off the ceiling? That s not something we would probably even try to do! We know better. God gives us instructions in the Bible about how to live. He tells us these things because He knows best about how life works. Let s find out more! OPTION 2: Assembly required Form groups of four or five kids. Give each group a variety of pieces from a construction toy system; for example, rods and connectors in several sizes, types, or colors. Challenge kids to work together to build a roller coaster. After several minutes, check their progress. Invite them to share with other groups what they have constructed. SAY Wouldn t this task be a lot easier if you had instructions? Today we are going to hear about some instructions we can find in the Bible. These instructions help us know how to live. LOW PREP large sheet of paper or dry erase board marker various construction toy system pieces Transition to large group God All-Wise 125

7 Large Group LEADER SESSION TITLE: Wisdom for God s People BIBLE PASSAGE: Proverbs 1:1-7; 3:1-12; 4:10-19 MAIN POINT: Wisdom is fearing the Lord and obeying His Word. KEY PASSAGE: Proverbs 2:6-7 BIG PICTURE QUESTION: Where does wisdom come from? Wisdom comes from God through His Word. countdown video Countdown Show the countdown video as your kids arrive, and set it to end as large group time begins. leader attire microphone index cards Giant Timeline or Big Story Circle Introduce the session (1 minute) [Large Group Leader enters enthusiastically, waving at the kids as if greeting a studio audience. Leader holds a stack of index cards in one hand and speaks into a microphone.] LEADER Hello! Welcome back! Nice to see you! Thank you, everyone, for joining us today. I m your host, [your name], and this is Wise Guys! the quiz game show where you gotta use your brain if you want to win the game! Giant timeline (3 minutes) LEADER Who is ready to play? Let s see those hands. Choose two volunteers who raise their hands. Introduce them to the audience and guide them to stand next to the giant timeline. LEADER OK, players. Today s challenge is a tough one. I sure hope you studied! When I count to three, I need you to put your finger on the picture of the Bible 126 Older Kids Leader Guide Unit 11 Session 2

8 story that tells about a king who asked God to give him wisdom! 1 2 3! Go! Allow players to respond. They should point to the story Solomon Asked for Wisdom. LEADER That s fantastic! Thank you. Have a seat. [Point to today s Bible story picture.] Remember, Solomon was the son of King David. God told Solomon he could ask for anything, and God would give it to him. Does anyone remember what Solomon asked for? (Solomon asked God for wisdom to lead God s people.) Absolutely. Today s Bible story is called Wisdom for God s People. Were are going to take a look at some of the wisdom God gave Solomon. Big picture question (1 minute) LEADER Before we get started, let s review our big picture question. Where does wisdom come from? Any ideas? [Allow kids to respond.] Wisdom comes from God through His Word. Let s say that all together. I ll ask the question, and you answer. Where does wisdom come from? Wisdom comes from God through His Word. Tell the Bible story (10 minutes) Open your Bible to the Book of Proverbs. Tell the Bible story in your own words, or show the Bible story video Wisdom for God s People. LEADER Solomon wrote down many wise sayings in the Book of Proverbs. God gave Solomon wisdom, and Solomon was the wisest man around! Other kings and queens traveled from far away to learn from him. Bibles Wisdom for God s People video Big Picture Question Poster Bible Story Picture Poster God All-Wise 127

9 Note: Explain that to fear the Lord means to respect Him and realize how awesome He is. These wise sayings are helpful to us. They teach us how to be wise; help us understand the world; and lead us to what is right, honest, and fair. Solomon wrote that if you want to become wise, begin by fearing the Lord. Do not ignore His wisdom and instruction. Wisdom is fearing the Lord and obeying His Word. The proverbs tell us to trust in the Lord with all our heart. We should not trust in ourselves or our own understanding. Why? Well, who knows how the world works best? God! He created everything! Without God s instruction, we are foolish. God gives us wisdom. Where does wisdom come from? Wisdom comes from God through His Word. Everyone is born a foolish sinner, but God sent His Son to earth to save us. The Bible says that Jesus is the wisdom of God. Tip: Provide I m a Christian Now for new Christians to take home and complete with their families. The Gospel: God s Plan for Me (optional) Help kids turn in the Bible to 1 Corinthians 1:30. Call on one kid to read the verse aloud. LEADER Because of what God has done, those who trust in Jesus belong to Him. Jesus makes us right with God. He makes us wise and holy, and He sets us free from the power of sin. Use Scripture and the guide provided with this session to explain to boys and girls how to become a Christian. Assign individuals to meet with kids who have more questions. Encourage boys and girls to ask their parents, small group leaders, or other Christian adults any questions they may have about becoming a Christian. 128 Older Kids Leader Guide Unit 11 Session 2

10 Key passage (5 minutes) Show the slide or poster of the key passage, Proverbs 2:6-7. Lead the boys and girls to read the verse. LEADER Who wrote down the wise sayings in the Book of Proverbs? (Solomon) That s right! And where does wisdom come from? Wisdom comes from God through His Word. Great job. Let s practice saying our key passage together. Review the hand motions for the phrases of the key passage. For example: Point to head For the Lord gives wisdom; Point to mouth from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. Stand up tall with hands on hips He stores up success for the upright; Hold arms vertically in front of body like a shield He is a shield for those who live with integrity. Guide kids to read the key passage several times as they do the motions. Then sing The Lord Gives Wisdom. Key Passage Poster The Lord Gives Wisdom song Note: You may choose to adjust the motions based on your preferred Bible translation. Discussion starter video (4 minutes) LEADER Have any of you ever thought you were doing something wise, only to find out you were being foolish? Check out this video. Show the Unit 11, Session 2 discussion starter video. Guide kids to discuss where wisdom comes from. Can anyone be truly wise without God? LEADER Wisdom is fearing the Lord and obeying His instruction. God knows how the world works best; He created everything! God gives us instructions in the Bible. Apart from Him, we are naturally foolish. Unit 11, Session 2 discussion starter video God All-Wise 129

11 God, Give Us Wisdom! song Sing (4 minutes) LEADER God can make foolish people wise. Let s sing and ask Him to give us wisdom. Sing together God, Give Us Wisdom! Pray (2 minutes) Allow kids to share prayer requests. Invite kids to pray before dismissing to small groups. LEADER Lord God, You tell us in the Bible that if we lack wisdom, we can ask You for it and You will give it to us! Father, please give us wisdom! Help us to understand Your Word. Help us to obey Your instructions and to trust in You. We love You! Amen. Dismiss to small groups 130 Older Kids Leader Guide Unit 11 Session 2

12 The Gospel: God s Plan for Me Ask kids if they have ever heard the word gospel. Clarify that the word gospel means good news. It is the message about Christ, the kingdom of God, and salvation. Use the following guide to share the gospel with kids. God rules. Explain to kids that the Bible tells us God created everything, and He is in charge of everything. Invite a volunteer to read Genesis 1:1 from the Bible. Read Revelation 4:11 or Colossians 1:16-17 aloud and explain what these verses mean. We sinned. Tell kids that since the time of Adam and Eve, everyone has chosen to disobey God. (Romans 3:23) The Bible calls this sin. Because God is holy, God cannot be around sin. Sin separates us from God and deserves God s punishment of death. (Romans 6:23) God provided. Choose a child to read John 3:16 aloud. Say that God sent His Son, Jesus, the perfect solution to our sin problem, to rescue us from the punishment we deserve. It s something we, as sinners, could never earn on our own. Jesus alone saves us. Read and explain Ephesians 2:8-9. Jesus gives. Share with kids that Jesus lived a perfect life, died on the cross for our sins, and rose again. Because Jesus gave up His life for us, we can be welcomed into God s family for eternity. This is the best gift ever! Read Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; or 1 Peter 3:18. We respond. Tell kids that they can respond to Jesus. Read Romans 10:9-10,13. Review these aspects of our response: Believe in your heart that Jesus alone saves you through what He s already done on the cross. Repent, turning from self and sin to Jesus. Tell God and others that your faith is in Jesus. Offer to talk with any child who is interested in responding to Jesus. God All-Wise 131

13 Small Group LEADER SESSION TITLE: Wisdom for God s People BIBLE PASSAGE: Proverbs 1:1-7; 3:1-12; 4:10-19 MAIN POINT: Wisdom is fearing the Lord and obeying His Word. KEY PASSAGE: Proverbs 2:6-7 BIG PICTURE QUESTION: Where does wisdom come from? Wisdom comes from God through His Word. Key Passage Poster craft sticks marker key word posters (optional) Bibles, 1 per kid Main Point Poster Key passage activity (5 minutes) Show the key passage poster and lead kids to read it aloud together. If your group made posters for key words during the first session, ask four volunteers to hold up the posters as kids say the key passage. Remove the key passage poster and challenge kids to say Proverbs 2:6-7 using only the key words as prompts. Write words or phrases of the key passage on separate craft sticks. Prepare a few additional sticks containing words or phrases that do not belong. Mix up the sticks and distribute them to the kids. Challenge them arrange the sticks in order. Point out that some of the sticks contain words that do not belong. Kids should identify those sticks and set them aside. SAY The Lord gives wisdom! Can anyone tell me what wisdom is? Wisdom is fearing the Lord and obeying His Word. Bible story review & Bible skills (10 minutes) Instruct kids to open their Bibles to the Book of Proverbs. Tell them that Proverbs is located after the Book of Psalms, which is in the middle of the Bible. 132 Older Kids Leader Guide Unit 11 Session 2

14 SAY Did you know that King Solomon collected 3,000 proverbs? [See 1 Kings 4:32.] Some of these wise sayings are here for us to read. Can anyone tell me why these proverbs are helpful to us? [Invite kids to respond.] These proverbs help us know how life works best. They are good for teaching us wisdom; for giving us understanding; and for leading us to what is right, honest, and fair. Where does wisdom come from? Wisdom comes from God through His Word. Wisdom is fearing the Lord and obeying His Word. Let s explore some proverbs now. Form three groups of kids. Give each team a piece of paper and a pencil. Designate one kid in each group to be the writer. The writer should record the group s assignment: Group 1: Proverbs 13:20 Group 2: Proverbs 14:16 Group 3: Proverbs 15:20 Instruct kids to find the reference in the Bible and read it together as a group. Groups should talk about how the proverb might be useful in their own lives. After a couple of minutes, call on groups to explain what their proverb says about people who are wise. What does it say about people who are foolish? Clarify as needed: Prov. 13:20 Spending time with wise people will make you wise. Spending time with foolish people will get you into trouble. Prov. 14:16 The wise are careful and avoid evil. Fools are careless and easily angered. Prov. 15:20 A wise son makes his father glad. A foolish son dislikes his mother. Option: Retell or review the Bible story using the bolded text of the Bible story script. God All-Wise 133

15 LOW PREP Option: Review the gospel with boys and girls. Explain that kids are welcome to speak with you or another teacher if they have questions. Activity choice (10 minutes) OPTION 1: Wise man says Invite kids to play an active game. Explain that kids should listen to your words. If the words describe someone who is foolish, they should stand in place and cross their arms. If the words describe someone who is wise, they should jump up and down. Read the following statements one at a time, allowing kids to respond accordingly: 1. I will listen and learn. (wise, Prov. 1:5) 2. I ignore instruction. (foolish, Prov. 1:7) 3. I trust in the Lord with all my heart. (wise, Prov. 3:5) 4. I trust in myself. (foolish, Prov. 3:5) 5. I plan evil against my neighbor. (foolish, Prov. 3:29) 6. I am slow to get angry. (wise, Prov. 14:29) 7. I m happy when my enemy falls. (foolish, Prov. 24:17) 8. I am prideful. (foolish, Prov. 24:23) 9. I am humble. (wise, Prov. 24:23) SAY Great job! You were able to detect the wise and foolish statements. Wisdom is fearing the Lord and obeying His Word. We can trust that God s instructions for us are best because He knows how the world works best. He created everything! You know, the Bible says that the gospel the good news of what Jesus has done for sinners seems foolish to those who are lost and dying (1 Cor. 1:18). Some people hear that Jesus came to save people from sin, and they don t believe it! They think it is foolish. But for everyone who hears the gospel and trusts in Jesus, the gospel is God s power. It is a gift of grace to be received with gladness. 134 Older Kids Leader Guide Unit 11 Session 2

16 OPTION 2: Illustrate proverbs Print and cut apart the proverbs strips. Make copies if necessary to provide one strip per every two kids. Instruct each kid to find a partner. Give each pair a proverbs strip, a piece of construction paper, and markers or crayons. Invite partners to work together to find and read their proverb and then draw a picture to show what it is about. As kids work, remind them that the Book of Proverbs contains wise sayings. Wisdom helps us know how life works best. Encourage kids to share their drawings. SAY Wisdom is fearing the Lord and obeying His Word. The proverbs help us become wise and live according to God s plan. Proverbs Strips printable Bibles markers or crayons construction paper Journal and prayer (5 minutes) Distribute pencils and journal pages. SAY Where does wisdom come from? Wisdom comes from God through His Word. [Hold up a Bible.] This the Bible is God s Word. Solomon wrote down many wise sayings in the Book of Proverbs. Write on your journal page some words of wisdom you have learned from the Bible. If kids struggle to think of something they learned, encourage them to review the Bible story printed on the journal page. Kids may also browse the Book of Proverbs for a wise saying and copy it onto their journal page. If time remains, allow kids to complete Correct the Proverbs on the activity page. Kids should look up each reference in the Bible and correct the proverbs to match God s Word. Then lead kids in prayer, thanking God for giving us wise instruction and sending Jesus to save us from our sin and foolishness. pencils Journal Page Bibles Correct the Proverbs activity page, 1 per kid Tip: Give parents this week s Big Picture Cards for Families to allow families to interact with the biblical content at home. God All-Wise 135