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Be Wise



Scripture: 1 Kings 3:3–28; Proverbs 2:2–12, 4:1–9, 16:16

Memory verse: Proverbs 16:16
"How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver."


You will need the following materials for this week’s object lesson: three large plastic bags labelled “MYSTERY BAG #1, MYSTERY BAG #2,” and “MYSTERY BAG #3,” the word Wisdom written on a strip of poster board, and word descriptions, objects or pictures of things that are considered valuable by youth (to be placed in Bag 1), those considered valuable by society (to be placed in Bag 2), and those considered valuable by Christians (to be placed in Bag 3).

Examples of things youth and society value may include power, talent, importance, beauty, fame, money, gold, silver, cars, and houses. (Include pictures of gold and silver.) Examples of things Christians value may include prayer, peace, joy, love, the Bible, obedience, fellowship, church, and the concept stressed today—wisdom. (Do not put Wisdom in the bag.)

Begin the class by giving the students paper and pencils. Instruct them to list things they think are valuable to youth, to society and to Christians. When they are finished, tell the class you have three mystery bags that contain items that are important to youth, society and Christians. Select a student to open the first mystery bag and display each item in the bag. List each item on the chalkboard as they display it. Then ask the class to suggest other items from the lists they made.

Select another student to open the second mystery bag. Have that student display each item in the bag and list them on the chalkboard. Ask if anyone can suggest other items from their list. Discuss the similarities and differences of the two lists with the class. Consider how much our values are influenced by cultural values. Unless we know that some of culture’s values are wrong and resist them, we accept them as our own.

Ask the students if they know what things are valued by Christians. List their responses on the chalkboard. Then select a student to open the last mystery bag and hold up each item. List any items not already on the chalkboard. Then point out that all of these are vitally important to Christians, but there is another item that God wants Christians to have. Hold up the strip of poster board on which you have printed the word Wisdom. Also hold up the pictures of gold and silver from bag #2. Explain that King Solomon said a great deal about wisdom. In the Book of Proverbs, many times he wrote that wisdom is to be preferred even more than gold and silver. This week’s lesson will describe the importance God places on wisdom and explain how to get that wisdom.

Hearing God’s Word

(Open your Bible to the main passage in 1 Kings 3.) If you could have anything you wanted, what one thing would you ask for? During Bible times, a man was given a choice like this. King Solomon, the third king of Israel, loved God. He did his best to keep God’s commandments and to please God. Then one night God appeared to King Solomon in a dream. God said He would give Solomon anything he desired.

Solomon’s Choice

That would be a hard choice to make. Do you think so?

Ask: “What do you think Solomon requested?” (Allow responses.)

Solomon had been king for only a short time. He felt very unsure of himself. He told God he felt like a little child facing such a huge responsibility. “Give me an understanding mind so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between what is right and what is wrong” (1 Kings 3:9 The Living Bible).

At that time a king acted as a judge. He had to make decisions about problems people brought to him. That was a great responsibility, and Solomon wanted wisdom to make the right decisions for the people and be a good ruler.

God was pleased with Solomon’s request. Solomon had not asked for something selfish, but for something good that would benefit others. So God promised to make Solomon wise. Do you know what else God promised him? (Instruct the students to read 1 Kings 3:13.) Because Solomon was unselfish, God also gave him riches and fame—a blessing Solomon did not expect.

How do we get wisdom? Solomon got his supernaturally, but that was a rare situation. We can get wisdom by learning what God’s Word says and by practicing it in our lives. Doing what we know is right is wisdom.

A Test of Wisdom

Solomon is famous for a certain case he judged that showed the special wisdom God had given him. Two women came to Solomon to solve a disagreement over a baby. Each woman claimed the baby belonged to her. Solomon had to decide who the real mother was.

Ask: “How would you have solved this case?” (Allow responses.)

Solomon pretended to have the perfect solution. He told his servants to divide the baby in half with a sword. Then each woman would get half of the child.

The first woman pleaded, “Please don’t kill him. Give this woman the baby so he may live.”

The second woman did not care about the baby. “Go ahead,” she said, “Divide the baby. The he will be neither mine nor hers.”

By the women’s responses, Solomon knew that the real mother was the first woman. Her love for the baby made her willing to give him up rather than see him killed.

“Give the baby to the first woman,” Solomon said, “She is the real mother.”

Solomon is often referred to as the wisest man who ever lived. He used the knowledge he had to make right decisions. God inspired him to write down much of his wisdom. We can read his advice in the Book of Proverbs.

One bit of advice Solomon gave was that we should learn as much as possible and try to remember what we are taught. He advised us to listen to what is wise and try to understand it. Some people dislike school and do not try to learn or do well in their classes.

Ask: “Who is hurt most when someone refuses to learn?” (Allow responses.)

The person who refuses to learn hurts himself the most. The more a person knows, the more he will benefit and enjoy his life.

Wisdom and Knowledge

When wisdom and knowledge are put to use, they are valuable to a person. A person can know how to ride a bicycle—that is knowledge. Knowing how to use that knowledge correctly is wisdom. Refusing to ride a bicycle on a busy street or refusing to take a 3-year-old sister for a ride on the bicycle is using that knowledge correctly. That is wisdom. Riding in the street without reflectors at night is an example of not using wisdom. That is not wise. Knowledge without wisdom can be very dangerous.

It takes effort to get knowledge and wisdom. Do you know of any doctors who quit school when they were 15 years old and never went on?

Ask: “Can someone who only graduated from secondary school be a lawyer, dentist, nurse, or other professional worker? Why?” (Allow responses.)

People going into these occupations must gain special knowledge about their work. The way to become knowledgeable about their professions is to study. They must attend at least 4 years of university and, most of the time, even more years of specialized training after that.

Often a person who wants to become a doctor does not have enough money for his training. He must get a job to pay for the cost of going to school or get a scholarship. Then he must attend classes and study hard besides. He must want to be a doctor very much to be willing to work so hard to gain the knowledge he needs. He may not realise it, but he is following Solomon’s advice: Learn and remember. Listen to what is wise and practice it. Search for knowledge and understanding as you would silver or a hidden treasure of gold.

Accepting God’s Word

Proverbs 2:6–9 tells us God helps those who love and obey Him by giving them wisdom to know what is right and what is wrong. He gives His followers direction for making right decisions and leads them in the right course of action. This causes their lives to be great testimonies of God to others.

Wisdom is valuable. Solomon reminds us of this in our memory verse this week. Wisdom is more precious than all the earthly riches we can acquire. Wisdom is important in choosing a career and in getting along with family members.

Easy Access

A new road provides easy access to the Tigre centre of She’ab. The area appears to be a grouping of several villages with a total population of approximately 5,000. Government offices, a new mosque, a main market and school buildings are built of cement blocks and tin roofs. It is a rich farming area with crops of primarily maize and sorghum.

Currently no churches serve the community. A few believers work in the government offices and school. The people are gentle and expressed no suspicion of strangers—a positive factor for presenting the gospel. 

God Keeps His Promises

1. "Everyone (Tigre) who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13),
2. "Whoever (Tigre) believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16),
3. "Whoever (Tigre) believes and is baptized will be saved" (Mark 16:16).

Prayer Promise

"The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does" (Psalm 145:13).

Remember: BE WISE

Memory verse: Proverbs 16:16
"How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver."

1. Wisdom is applying knowledge in real life.
2. Being willing to learn in every area of life is the path to wisdom.
3. All types of success are based on wisdom.

Pray for the Tigre to claim God's promises.

Study 3 | Migrants—Proverbs | africaatts.org/go-teach

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