Proverbs 1:20-33

In Proverbs 1:20-33 Solomon reminds us that wisdom is around and seeks someone to listen.  “Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?”  Wisdom is available, but often ignored.  Wisdom will help anyone who listens and gives attention to that voice.  We have to choose who and what we’ll listen to, but if we focus on the voice of wisdom, it will guide us to a fantastic outcome.  When we follow other voices, we end up say off track.

Wisdom, portrayed here by Solomon as a woman, first offers help to the ‘simple’ or those who are untrained and susceptible to wrong voices.  They are filled with foolish ignorance, but can quickly be moved to a great outcome if they listen and follow wisdom.  Scoffers have a different issue.  They boastfully reject wisdom wanting to do things their way as they believe they are smarter than everyone else. Yet wisdom offers hope for all if we are willing to turn and change our ways. “If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.”  Another word for this is repentance, where we admit our error and change direction, turning drastically from the course we are on to God’s path.

But the human condition often causes us to ignore reproof and wisdom.  “Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you, when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.”  Wisdom offers rebuke that must be listened to.  If it isn’t, there will be pain and suffering.  Right will win out, but as that happens there will likely be a price to pay for ignoring wisdom and the reproof that comes with it when we are not following it.

God isn’t about to be mocked.  When we reject wisdom, there is no plan B except to receive the outcome of that rejection which is reproof and correction.  “Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices.” How we respond to God’s wisdom is a choice.  We either choose to listen and accept it, or we choose to hear and reject.  The outcomes are very different.  We reap what we sow when it comes to wisdom in our life.  If we accept and follow it, we have a great outcome.  If we insist on our own ways, we will suffer those consequences.

If we listen and receive wisdom, we’ll be secure and without fear of evil.  Anxiety is gone because we are depending on God’s wisdom which is truth and always happens.  If we don’t, the picture is much less promising.  Destruction is an outcome that we have chosen to take.  We don’t have to live on the wrong side of wisdom.  We merely need to choose it.  “For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them; but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”  We then can experience the goodness of God’s plan and economy as we dwell in Him and His presence.

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