Studies in the Book of Proverbs

(#5) Listen to Wisdom everywhere 1:20-33

Verses 20-21: The word “wisdom” is actually plural, “wisdoms,” but is personified as if a single individual. The Creator, “God,” is also in plural form, but with singular verbs, is spoken of as an individual (Genesis 1:1, 26-27). This may help explain Ephesians 3:10 which says “now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.” God’s wisdom is obvious as if it was “shouted” in public places.

Verses 22-23: “Simple ones” are those who have been duped and deceived into sin, because they have not listened to wise advice. It is the attitude of sinners, some of whom attack wisdom with ignorance and ridicule (“scorners”), some refuse to be corrected (“fools”), throughout the Book of Proverbs. The only way for “sinners/scorners/fools” to be rescued is for them to “turn,” or repent and accept God’s wisdom. This is the theme of the entire Bible, for God “is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Wisdom’s “spirit” (influence or education) will be poured into the gaps of a person’s knowledge by the “words” (revealed through miraculously-inspired writers in the Word of God, Ephesians 3:1-7) “known to you.”

Verses 24-25: This is willful ignorance because: the call is refused, the offered hand is snubbed, the counsel ridiculed, the rebuke is rejected.

Verses 26-27: When the terrible consequences of ignorance, which produce fear and terror, occur, Wisdom will offer rejection in return!

Verses 28-31: Fools who answered Wisdom’s cry with silence, then face consequences of their decisions, Wisdom will answer back with silence! In the absence of Wisdom, people will suffer consequences of their own decisions, and this is God’s rule for life, for Jesus said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:13-14). Sinners, who are punished by their own actions, have no one to blame but themselves! Those who survive their self-induced catastrophes, frequently learn to turn to Wisdom in their future.

Verses 32-33: The Rule of Wisdom is clearly stated in these verses. Jesus will apply this Rule on the Day of Judgment (Matthew 7:21-27).

Thought: In a crumbling society, “the complacency of fools” becomes a damning phrase to all who continue to vote, teach, approve, accept, or allow what has been done to continue to be done!

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