Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 17:10: “Rebuke is more effective for a wise man Than a hundred blows on a fool.”
The “wise” will take the “rebuke” to heart, while “a hundred blows” only hurt the outside of “a fool.” No one can beat some sense into one who doesn’t want to learn! When David sinned, the Prophet said, “You are the man,” and David said, “I have sinned against the LORD” (2 Samuel 12:1-7, 13-14). After Peter’s denial of Jesus, “the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ So Peter went out and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:61-62). The “wise” will need a word or a look to learn better, so discipline should be aimed at teaching how to focus on the lesson at hand.
In Egypt, by the end of the 7th plague, “when Pharaoh saw that the rain, the hail, and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet more; and he hardened his heart, he and his servants. So the heart of Pharaoh was hard; neither would he let the children of Israel go, as the LORD had spoken by Moses” (Exodus 9:34-35). Pharaoh’s “hundred blows” cost him his firstborn, his people, and his army! Many people, it seems, have to learn about sin the hard way, from painful failures with: relationships, jobs, drugs, perversion, money, or church. Other proverbs describe this school of hard knocks: “Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And beatings for the backs of fools” (Proverbs 19:29); “Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, As do stripes the inner depths of the heart” (Proverbs 20:30); “But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, And a good blessing will come upon them” (Proverbs 24:25); “Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold Is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear” (Proverbs 25:12); “A whip for the horse, A bridle for the donkey, And a rod for the fool’s back” (Proverbs 26:3); “Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, Yet his foolishness will not depart from him” (Proverbs 27:22); “He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Proverbs 29:1). Solomon will later say, “It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise Than for a man to hear the song of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:5). Fools may not learn from “beatings,” “blows that hurt,” “a rod,” “often rebuke,” or being ground down like a blender. A wise person would not want to stay close to those who have to learn the hard way!
Don’t go to the wrong school! “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version,unless otherwise noted.