Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Proverbs 9: 7 - 12

Today’s verses speak of how we should handle scoffers. They also speak of the differences between scoffers and wise men. The Online dictionary defines a "scoffer" as: "someone who jeers or mocks or treats something with contempt," and in this case it would be someone who is treating God's Word and wisdom this way.

Proverbs 9: 7 - 12 (NKJV)
7 “ He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself,
And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.
8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
10 “ The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you.
12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you will bear it alone.”

I found verses 7 & 8 to be very interesting. They tell us NOT to even try to correct scoffers because, apparently it very rarely, if ever, does any good, and all it DOES do is cause arguments that bring “shame” on the person who is trying to help and drives the “scoffer” away from you.

It may even cause him to “hate” you. Worse, if you try to rebuke a “wicked man,” you might even come to bodily harm yourself!

I know that there are people like David Wilkerson, that wrote “The Cross and the Switchblade,” that have been given special grace and power by the Holy Spirit to work with people of this “nature,” but they have received a specific “call” of God. For the average person, I think that we should remember that arguing with someone like these that are mentioned, just causes more problems. I think the best thing we can do is to keep them in prayer, until, or unless they come "seeking"!

The end of verse 8, and all of verse 9 tells us that those that are “seeking” wisdom, or “wise men” react quite differently to rebukes (done properly), instructions, and teaching. THESE type of people will see the wisdom in your “help” and end up loving you, becoming “still wiser” and add to his “learning.”

The principle from Prov. 1:7, which says “7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (NKJV)” is sort of repeated in verse 10 of this chapter, and this verse goes on to say that “the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” As I mentioned when we studied Proverbs 1:7, This is a scripture that is quoted quite often… and we see this one illustrated way too often in our world today… at least the part about “fools.” (For those that weren’t with us at the beginning of our study of this book, I will repeat the paragraph from that study)

The Hebrew words that are translated as “fool” in Proverbs, and often elsewhere in the Old Testament, denote one who is “morally deficient,” which is the ultimate end of those who turn away from seeking to become wise and/or those who reject discipline in their lives. It is easy to see that more and more of our young people are turning away from seeking wisdom from their elders, and are rejecting discipline in their lives. This verse tells us that this is the reason that our country is becoming more and more devoid of morals in so many of our youth.

Verse 11 also repeats a principle that has been put forth in our earlier studies in Proverbs 3:2. It states, again, that having “wisdom” will add to the life that we are given. We also learned in that study, that King Hezekiah DID ADD YEARS (15 to be exact) to his life because he understood God and His principles. (See 2 Kings 20: 1 – 6)

Our last verse today tells us that we can’t “make” anyone else wise… we can only work on making ourselves wise. We can help those who are also searching for wisdom, but it is up to them to seek, search for, ask, and then put the principles into their lives so that they can grow in wisdom. It goes on to say that being a scoffer, will ALSO be up to you and the way you decide to live, and you will have to bear the results of that choice.

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