Lord, deflect my heart, my mind, my will from false choices. Help me to hear and heed Your call!
Read Proverbs 1:20–33
20 Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,
she raises her voice in the public square;
21 on top of the wall she cries out,
at the city gate she makes her speech:
22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?
23 Repent at my rebuke!
Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,
I will make known to you my teachings.
24 But since you refuse to listen when I call
and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand,
25 since you disregard all my advice
and do not accept my rebuke,
26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you;
I will mock when calamity overtakes you—
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
they will look for me but will not find me,
29 since they hated knowledge
and did not choose to fear the Lord.
30 Since they would not accept my advice
and spurned my rebuke,
31 they will eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
When we get into trouble for violating God’s instructions for life, we have also violated God’s wisdom for our life.
The rejected choice appears in verse 29, and the tragic result appears in verse 32. The path that looked so enticing tumbles over a cliff. Lady Wisdom is outside like a street preacher in the public square and at the busy crossroads with her appeal and her demand. Perhaps today she would appear
on the British political discussion TV program, Question Time; she would post her opinions on Facebook, with the risk of being insulted or trolled. She raises her voice without mincing her words, but notice what she offers! “Look! I am pouring out my spirit to you!” (23b, literally). True wisdom (above all, Jesus himself, 1 Cor. 1:30), offers heartfelt, uncontaminated truth. Is this what my friends, my employees, and my enemies recognize as habitually coming out of my mouth?
The call to repentance (turning back) is refused by those who are old enough to know better. Observe the spirit of their actions by noting the verbs which describe them. Their foolishness is a settled attitude, and it will be met finally with well-deserved derision. I contemplate the unanswered prayers and “the incontestable fitness of the disaster” (Derek Kidner, Proverbs, 60). One day the world’s wrongs will be righted, tyrants will be toppled, the world’s upside-down-ness will be turned on its head, and laughter and songs will break out. Wisdom has stretched out her hand (24b) (the ultimate invitation is the stretched-out arms of Jesus on the cross), but if her invitation is spurned, the wayward will choke on their own chosen
They will experience the full force of justified wrath—the wrath of the Lamb, incomparably described in Revelation (Rev. 6:16). In case verse 33 should sound out of place in such a context, I repeat it as if I were a refugee, a migrant, a starving nomad, a lamb in the midst of a dangerous wolf-world (John 10:27–29). “For a healthy religion, we need the concept of a God who is unalterably opposed to evil and who takes action…” (L. Morris, New Dictionary of Theology, 732).
Wisdom equals knowledge plus experience. Consider the major choices in your life when you apply God’s wisdom to your situation.
Lord, help me to know what I do not know and to understand what biblical wisdom tries to teach me.
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