ONLY FOOLS DESPISE WISDOM AND INSTRUCTION!
“Wisdom cries aloud in the street; in the markets she raises her voice; on top of the walls she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: “How long oh simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will the scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge? Give heed to my reproof; behold I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make my words known to you!” – Proverbs 1 v 20-23 (RSV)
I’m not the first and I won’t be the last to garner wisdom from the book of Proverbs in the scriptures. If you are going to look for WISDOM there seems to be no better place to look than to the words of the wisest man who ever lived King Solomon! In the months of June and July I am going to take a whistle stop tour of the book of Proverbs and share the insights I gain in it’s pages.
When I walked away from my local church over twenty years ago after spending many hundreds of hours involved in the leadership and outreach of the church I had a thought. Wouldn’t be great to get away from the interpretations that I had explained to me in Bible School and Sunday by Sunday in Church and finally read the scriptures for myself and see what they said to me, without any outside influences.
This is my second attempt at such an exercise, in the first I looked at the words of Jesus as recorded in the New Testament, that remains an incomplete project, maybe I will return to it after I complete my work with Proverbs. It seemed right to take on such a project as I have been copying and pasting old articles here on my website since the beginning of January and it is time for something new from me.
The purpose of Proverbs
CHAPTER ONE as you would expect is a scene setter for the rest of the book, but is still full of insights. KING SOLOMON says he has written this book so that we may know wisdom and instruction and understand words of insight (verse 2) and receive instruction in wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity (verse 3).
Maybe you’ve never read this book before or studied it; my insights on the book may be different to yours and that is ok by me. This is my website and so I am sharing what insights I find in the book and if they help you that is wonderful. If however all I do is point you in the direction of seeking out wisdom from the pages of Proverbs for yourself, then I am a happy man. The wisdom and instructions it contains will help you live a happier and more fulfilled life, of that I am sure!
Warnings against violence
In verses ten to nineteen of this first chapter we are told that however easy it may seem to use force to get what you want in this life, we must not “make haste to shed blood” to get what we want (verse sixteen). A challenging image is given, that the ones who are trapped by the nets that were meant to ambush their prey, are those who set them (verse eighteen). Jesus himself said: “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword!”
So if we want to get anywhere in this life through setting up a scheme that will hurt others to enable us to get what we want, then it will end up harming us! Wisdom says don’t get involved with those who want to get rich in this way. Tricking others is not the way to make a fortune, just to loose one! Do everything you do with an open heart is how I understand what is being said here. Be ethical, be honest, go for win/win every time!
Warning against neglect of wisdom
In my opening quote we are reminded that wisdom isn’t hidden from us, it is much more likely that we don’t hear it through choice. We prefer to do things our own way, to “make our own mistakes in life.” I will admit to having said “If you are going to make a mistake, make a big one; because you’ll learn a lot more a lot quicker, than if you only make small mistakes!” However, it is always worth listening to wisdom, it can save you such a lot of heartache! Listen to those who have been there and made mistakes, gain wisdom from their errors and as a result you will make less of your own mistakes.
Verse twenty-two challenges us all “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?” I didn’t know! It wasn’t my fault! I couldn’t help it! Are all the excuses of those who prefer to not to take responsibility for their own lives. As the chapter goes on, it really mocks those who choose not to listen to the wisdom that is available, wisdom that eagerly wants itself to be known. It gets worse, wisdom says that those of us who refuse to listen and later call out for it’s help will be ignored; there is an urgency we should therefore feel in seeking out wisdom, don’t you think?
“The complacency of fools, destroys them” says verse thirty two! As always those with scripture we come to words of comfort at the end of the chapter, when we are told those who “listen to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of evil (verse thirty-three)! It seems like this journey I am about to make through the book of Proverbs will be of some benefit to us all!
Love and light to you from Andrew 🙂 ♥