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Sabbath School Lessons on Proverbs
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 5: The Blessings of Righteousness *
Introduction: Do you know someone whose life is out of control? To
be truthful, does your life seem to be on the edge of losing control
sometimes? We could all use a little help. Normally, we pray that God
will help us with our problems. But, did you ever consider that God
has already helped us? In Proverbs God gives us His advice for living
a better life. What do you think about people who are too lazy to
read instructions, and instead call to be told what to do? Let's
plunge into our study of God's instructions for living a better life!
- Children and Parents
- Read Proverbs 10:1. Why would Solomon mention the mother
with the foolish son and the father with the wise son?
(The father is proud of his successful son. The mother is
the one who especially suffers when her child makes bad
- Read Proverbs 10:2-6. We have a series of sayings about
the connection between money and righteousness. What
virtues do we find associated with having wealth? (A
connection with God, diligence, and working while the
opportunity presents itself.)
- Which one seems the most important, if you just look
at context? ("Righteous," the religious aspect of
things, is mentioned more often than the other
- Look at Proverbs 10:2-6 again. What defects in character
are associated with poverty? (Theft, covetousness,
laziness, sleeping when you should be working and
- Which seems the most important defect in character,
if you just look at context? (It mentions being
"wicked" twice, but it mentions a form of laziness
twice and illegal behavior twice. Even when being
wicked is mentioned, it is generally defined as some
specific failure in the person's actions. Thus, it
seems that the most important factors leading to
poverty are specific actions (or lack of action).)
- What does this teach us as parents? If we (fathers) want
to be proud of our children and we (mothers) want to avoid
grieving over our children, what should we teach them? (We
need to teach them about the love of God, and we need to
teach them to be diligent.)
- Chattering Fools
- Read Proverbs 10:8-10. Has anyone ever said that you talk
too much? Did they say it because they wanted you to be
silent so they could talk more?
- Our texts refer to "chattering fools" twice. What is
the problem with talking in these verses? (In verse 8
the problem is the fool is talking when he should be
listening to instruction. In verse 10, the fool is
talking when he should be paying closer attention to
the person who is signaling that he intends to cause
- Let's slip down to Proverbs 10:19. Is doing a lot of
talking a problem in itself? Why would the Bible suggest
that many words indicate a problem with character? (If you
always want to be the center of attention, it demonstrates
a character flaw - vanity.)
- Read Proverbs 10:11-14. We have several statements about
the use of our mouths, both good and bad. Why is the mouth
of the righteous "a fountain of life?" (Have you ever been
blessed by the words of someone else? If you have, you
understand how words can give life.)
- Do words only give life to the listener? (Notice that
speaking loving words "covers" wrong actions. This
tells us that those who speak uplifting words also
benefit from those words.)
- What happens to the "chattering fool" who speaks
wicked things? (They suffer violence and ruin, they
create dissensions and they are punished for it.)
- Read Proverbs 10:21. Are good words like food? (They must
be. The idea is that positive words, positive advice, lead
to a better life for those who listen. This is similar to
the prior statement that the right words are a "fountain
of life." "Fools" do not listen, and they die because of
- Read Proverbs 11:12. What about making fun of our
neighbor, or bullying him? (You don't do that if you are a
person who has good judgment and understanding.)
- Read Proverbs 11:22. Beauty is a great advantage in life.
What can spoil beauty? (A lack of discretion in your
words. It destroys your beauty because the "pig" part of
you is what others mostly see.)
- Read Proverbs 11:1-4. Notice that of the four statements,
three have to do with integrity. Is Proverbs 11:2 out of
place? Or, does it also have something to do with
integrity? (Pride is generally a false way of looking at
yourself. If everyone knew everything about you, perhaps
you would be less proud and more humble.)
- Read Proverbs 11:6-7. What are the two problems with ill-gotten wealth? (Your evil desires end up trapping you.
Worse, death ends all hope and pleasure for the wicked.
For the wicked, things did not end up as they planned.)
- Read Proverbs 11:13. Does this mean that secrets are good?
That people of integrity keep secrets? (Apparently, there
are situations in which keeping something confidential is
the right thing to do.)
- Read Proverbs 11:16-17. What other kind of integrity can
we show with our words? (Being kind to others in what we
say. Being kind results in blessings coming our way. Our
kindness is returned with increased respect. On the other
hand, being cruel and ruthless brings trouble and only
temporary, if any, wealth.)
- Read Proverbs 12:20-22. Do you know people who lie to
create trouble? What is the result of this kind of
- What should you do in the face of this kind of evil
behavior? (We should promote peace.)
- Read Proverbs 11:24-25. The world's view of giving is that
when you have given something away, you have lost it. What
does the Bible say about us being generous with our time
and money? (That we have even more!)
- Have you ever tried this? (Recently, I had an unusual
situation arise and my wife and I gave money to help.
Shortly thereafter, I received money in about the
same amount I had given. I recall thinking, "I should
keep this up, give this new money away, and see how
far this goes." But, I fear selfishness got in the
- Read Proverbs 11:27. Have you ever heard someone say, "No
one is friendly at that church?" "Everyone is mean to
me?" What is the source of the problem, according to this
verse? (If you are friendly, people will be friendly to
you. If you are searching for unfriendliness, you will
find that. I practice this (being friendly)all the time
when I'm traveling, and I find that it blesses me in
- Read Proverbs 11:31. Where will the righteous find their
reward? (We look to heaven, but this teaches that the
righteous have a reward here.)
- Will the ungodly and the sinner get what they
deserve? (Yes. They get it during this life.)
- Read Proverbs 12:23. Does this mean that we should be
stingy with our knowledge? If we can help others, why
would it be prudent to withhold our knowledge?
- Read Proverbs 12:15-16 and Proverbs 13:3. Do these
verses cast light on the idea of keeping knowledge to
our self? (I don't think God suggests that we refrain
from helping others with our knowledge. He recommends
generosity in other contexts. I think the counsel is
against bragging about what we know rather than
listening. It is counsel against speaking before
thinking. Sometimes what we know will harm others.)
- Friend, did you notice how much of the advice for better
living that we studied this week has to do with what we
say? Why not ask the Holy Spirit to bring this advice in
Proverbs to your mind at the right time?
- Next week: What You See Is Not What You Get.
* Copr. 2015, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.