Through the Bible in One Year

Day 4

Proverbs 1:20-23

Today’s highlighted passage comes from the book of Proverbs, which is know for its teaching about wisdom.  And starting with today’s passage and going through Proverbs 1:23 wisdom is personified as a woman who calls out a warning in public.  And those who reject her guidance will suffer disaster, and she offers not only success in practical matters but eternal life as well.

In verse 20-22 we see that wisdom is calling “out in the street; she makes her voice heard in the public square”.  The “public squares” that Solomon is referring to here were the marketplaces where everybody hung out.  Solomon goes on to say that wisdom is trying to cry out “above the commotion”.  This “commotion” is the static or “white noise” that comes from the fallen nature of the world that we live in, because Godly wisdom is not going to be as loud and persistent as the “commotion” you are going to hear from the world.  And lastly in these two verses Solomon says wisdom “speaks at the entrance of the city gates.”  The “city gates” that Solomon is referring to were the places where civic debate and official business were carried.  For us today this would be where you work and the halls of government.  Which means Godly wisdom has a place not only in the places where you hang out, but in the place where you work and more importantly in the hearts of those who govern you here on this earth.

In verses 22-23 we see the beginning of what wisdom is proclaiming at the city gates.  In verse 22 wisdom says this, “How long, inexperienced ones, will you love ignorance?  How long will mockers enjoy mocking and you fools hate knowledge?”  The “inexperienced ones” wisdom is referring to here are naive people, who are usually young and still uncommitted.  They generally lack shrewdness or common sense.  They have neither chosen wisdom nor become entrenched in folly like the mockers, but they are willing to believe anything.  Those who try to remain uncommitted are condemned because they have not set out on the way of righteousness.  They should take warning from those who have chosen the wrong way.

The “mockers” that wisdom is referring to are those who are obnoxiously obstinate in their folly and unwilling to change.  A “mocker” treats righteousness with ridicule and contempt.  They are proud, a source of conflict, and unpopular.  Because they are not open to correction, they unable to learn and are thus condemned.  They are suitable only as a negative example for the inexperienced.  This kind of person could also be described as a “fool”, who along with being obstinately immoral, and perhaps adds a smug overconfidence that increases their pigheadedness.  And it is because they delight in evil conduct, that they are dangerous to be around.

And now we come to verse 23 which says, “If you respond to my warning, then I will pour out my spirit on you and teach you my words.”  This is God’s plea to each and every one of us: God has given us access to all the knowledge we need to stop being “mockers and fools” and all we have to do is tune into the source of that knowledge.  But what is the source of that knowledge?  The source of that knowledge is God and when we tune into the Holy Spirit the commotion of the world begins to fade away.  Which means that we begin to clearly see those we should be listening to and those we should be ignoring, and that is the power of Godly wisdom given through the Holy Spirit.

Tomorrows Bible Reading:

Genesis 11-13, Matthew 5:1-26, Psalm 5:1-12 and Proverbs 1:24-28

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