The Gathering – youth group handout

The Gathering

The God Who is Unfathomably Wise[1] (Part Dos of Dos)

First Things: Last week we learned… The God who made all things gives us wisdom-teaching to show us about His wise character, and how to live well in His world He made. The good news is that we can’t and don’t chose the narrow path every time, but Christ did so that through Him we would have the favor of God, walking in His paths.

1. In Proverbs 1:1-7, why did Solomon write the book / to whom? What makes him qualified to yak like this (should we listen)? Ecclesiastes (1:1-3, 2:1-11) says all under the sun does not satisfy – so where do we look for satisfaction, identity, a sense of who we are?

2. What is wisdom? Wisdom is fearing the LORD, being teachable, and having skill in godly living.[2] There is a judge to whom we will give account.

3. According to v7, how do we get it? What is the fear of God / what does it NOT mean to fear God? Kicked dog v. matchlessly holy God and our judge and our only hope.

4. Another "Wisdom Book" – Job: Job’s friends – "God is both Sovereign and perfectly just so your suffering is because of some hidden sin"; mono-wise view of God; answer from God: have you ever designed a snow flake? God is not easily figured out in 50 words or less. Another mono-wise view: why sin and suffering? God is either sovereign and bad (doesn’t want to stop suffering) OR He is not sovereign and good (can’t stop evil but would like to); Punchline: God is BOTH sovereign and good!

Evil and suffering. Christianity teaches the existence of an all-powerful, all-good and loving God. But how can that belief be reconciled with the horrors that occur daily? If there is a God, he must be either all-powerful but not good enough to want an end to evil and suffering, or he’s all-good but not powerful enough to bring an end to evil and suffering. Either way the God of the Bible couldn’t exist. For many people, this is not only an intellectual conundrum but also an intensely personal problem. Their own personal lives are marred by tragedy, abuse, and injustice. Brief response: If God himself has suffered our suffering isn’t senseless. First, if you have a God great and transcendent enough to be mad at because he hasn’t stopped evil and suffering in the world, then you have to (at the same moment) have a God great and transcendent enough to have good reasons for allowing it to continue that you can’t know. (You can’t have it both ways.) Second, though we don’t know the reasons why he allows it to continue, he can’t be indifferent or un-caring, because the Christian God (unlike the gods of all the other religions) takes our misery and suffering so seriously that he is willing to get involved with it himself. On the cross, Jesus suffered with us.[3]

5. God’s wisdom is smarter than us: just because I can’t think of a good reason why God would allow that, does not mean that there is not a perfectly good reason.

6. Wisdom incarnate will come: Matt 12:42- Christ is OUR wisdom – 1 Cor 1:30

7. Let’s summarize: Solomon was the smartest and reminds us there is a Judge – he points us to Christ who IS wisdom, walked perfectly wise for us who believe, and who’s wisdom is above our thinking (i.e. Job). We pursue wisdom for the sole purpose of knowing God and enjoying Him forever!

[1] Material based largely on the sermon series by D.A. Carson, The God Who is There; http://www.monergism.com for mp3 disk

[1] http://www.capitolhillbaptist.org, Pastor Mark Dever’s materials on OT Survey SS Class

[1] Tim Keller, DECONSTRUCTING DEFEATER BELIEFS: Leading the Secular to Christ, article, http://www.redeemer2.com/

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