What is this?
These Sabbath School lesson outlines aid Sabbath School teachers & members in their weekly study
& preparation for Sabbath School classes.
Join the Discussion
Use the form at the bottom of the page to share with other readers your thoughts about this lesson.
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.
What about Ellen White?
to learn why I generally do not cite Ellen G. White in the lessons.
Looking for old Sabbath School lessons?
Sabbath School lesson study outlines from previous quarters are saved in the Sabbath School lesson archive
Got questions or comments?
Go to our contact form
and drop us a note.
SabbathSchoolLessons.com operates like grace: it is free, but not without cost.
We're counting on your ongoing financial support to help us continue providing these
lessons to Sabbath School teachers and members around the world. You may cancel your monthly contribution at any time.
Get these Sabbath School lessons by e-mail! Subscribe to the Bible Study of the Week mailing list:
Subscribe in a reader
Lesson 8: Words of Wisdom *
Introduction: "Miscellaneous maxims" is how one Bible commentator
referred to a portion of our study this week. That brought a grin to
my face, because our readings in Proverbs this week seem disjointed
and repetitious. Repetitious is good - at least for me. I need to
have things repeated to get them to stick in my mind. In my law
school classes, I teach some of the Proverbs we will study today.
Even though I teach them, I need to remind myself about them - which
is the advantage of miscellaneous repetitive maxims! Just last week I
had a difference of opinion with one of my bosses. I thought he was
wrong, but the Proverb came to mind about avoiding the wrath of the
king. Let's dive into the Bible and read about the wrath of the king
and other instructions for a more successful life!
- King's Wrath
- Read Proverbs 20:2 and Proverbs 19:12. Who is a "king" in
your life? (People who are in authority over us.)
- How would you like to stand by a lion while it is
roaring? (That would be unpleasant, to say nothing
about being frightening.)
- When you think about "dew on the grass" what kind of
feelings come to mind? (Pleasant feelings. Relaxed
- Did you notice that both of these proverbs start with
the same phrase, but they end with different
warnings? One gives the positive side of having a
good relationship with the king, and the other warns
of what? (Death.)
- Read Proverbs 20:3. Consider quarrels with those in
authority over you. What is the reason that you might want
to argue? (Pride of opinion is a major reason. When your
pride causes you to argue with your boss, then "death" of
your job may well follow.)
- Are there instances when arguing with your boss is
the right idea? (I'm not sure that arguing is ever
useful, although a humble boss will be open to good
ideas. But, there are times when the requirements of
honesty, integrity and justice require us to raise
our voice. We just need to understand that it might
cost us our job.)
- Read Proverbs 21:1. What is the best way to deal with
disagreements with your boss? (We should not quarrel,
instead we should pray to God. The boss is our supervisor,
but God is the supervisor of the boss (the king). God can
direct the king's heart in the way God chooses.)
- Read Proverbs 21:2. We discussed that our pride might be
the source of our disagreement with the "king." What is
the problem with dealing with our own pride? (We are
unlikely to be able to see our own pride. We might claim
the dispute is over honesty, integrity or justice, but
maybe we have simply deceived ourselves.)
- Read Proverbs 21:4. What does our pride have to do with
the way we see things? (This is another reason why we
cannot trust our own opinion when pride is involved. Our
pride is "the lamp." We see things through our pride -
and the result is distortion and sin.)
- What should we do if we cannot trust our self
(because of pride) in dealing with those in authority
over us? (Read Proverbs 20:18. We must talk to others
whose wisdom we trust.)
- Read Proverbs 20:8. "Winnow" is a term used in separating
the wheat from the chaff. How can the king "winnow" with
his "eyes?" (An alert king understands what is going on.
Thus, if the authorities in your life are alert, they will
realize when you are suggesting the right course of
action, and when it is just your pride that is speaking.)
- What should you do if the authority in your life is
evil? (I would change jobs when I had the
- Read Proverbs 20:4. What is the failure of the sluggard
here? Is he not working at all? (No. It seems that he is
not working carefully. He is plowing at the wrong time.)
- Why does he look for a harvest when he plowed at the
wrong time? (He looks because he expects something.)
- We have read before about sluggards who are lazy and
sleeping. But, this seems to be a different aspect of
being a sluggard. What is this "sluggard's" problem?
(This sluggard has not learned his trade. He is not
reading the instructions, paying attention, or doing
his best to be excellent.)
- Read Proverbs 22:13. What is the failure of the sluggard
here? (He is afraid of everything! He imagines problems to
make excuses for not working.)
- Read Proverbs 20:5. Have you improperly called someone
- What is the caution here? (People are complex. We
need to get to know them before we can reach proper
conclusions about them.)
- Read Proverbs 20:6 and Proverbs 20:9. Are we all sluggards
when it comes to sin?
- Read Proverbs 20:7. Apparently not everyone is a sluggard
when it comes to sin! Read Isaiah 64:6. How do you
reconcile these two texts? ( Isaiah 64:6 is in accord with
Proverbs 20:6 and Proverbs 20:9. I think Proverbs 20:7 is
our goal. The payoff is that we will bless our children
with our correct behavior.)
- Read Proverbs 20:16. Poverty can come from being lazy, but
it can also result from being foolish. What is the first
problem described here? (This person agreed to be
responsible for a stranger. The Proverb says that if you
are so foolish as to do that, then it is proper to take
your property to teach you a lesson.)
- Look at the second half of Proverbs 20:16. How does a
"wayward woman" fit into this lesson on foolishness?
(You should also take the property of someone who is
so foolish as to agree to be responsible for a woman
with whom the foolish person has a romantic link.)
- An old friend, who I have not seen for years,
recently began serving a prison sentence. One reason
he went to prison was that a prostitute threatened to
go to his wife unless my friend gave the prostitute
money. The friend got the police to threaten the
prostitute - and apparently that was one main reason
he is in prison. If I have the facts right, it seems
no one has "clean hands" in this situation. What do
you think is the lesson that Proverbs 20:16 suggests?
(Sexual sins end up costing you more than your
reputation. They harm you in other ways.)
- Read Proverbs 21:17. What is another way in which we can
be a sluggard? (Spending too much time on pleasure.)
- Is rest wrong? (Hardly. God would not have commanded
rest ( Mark 2:27) if it were wrong. The problem comes
in "loving" pleasure - taking it to an extreme.)
- Read Proverbs 22:1. My friend has just lost his good name,
and being a sluggard is the path to a bad name. Why is a
good name better than wealth? (What is the purpose of
wealth? Why do people want to be rich? In part it is so
that people will respect them. People will admire them. A
good name gives you respect and admiration.)
- Right Result
- Read Proverbs 22:5. What does it mean to "guard your
soul?" (Be careful about your thoughts and what influences
your thoughts. Sin starts in the mind. If you want to
avoid "thorns and snares," keep watch over your thoughts.)
- Read Proverbs 22:6. What role do parents play in the
success of their children? (Teach your child to love God
and God's wisdom, and it will pay off later.)
- Read Proverbs 22:10. Early on in my church work, I tried
to mollify those members who were critical of the church.
Was that the right approach? (As this text suggests, I
later learned to move the mockers along. They need to be
in a different church.)
- Read Proverbs 22:29. What is the result of seeking
- Friend, if you are careful in your dealings with those in
authority, if you are diligent in your work, if you seek
excellence and are careful about your thoughts, your life
will be better! Why not commit to that today?
- Next week: Words of Truth.
* 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.