How Long Will We Reject Wisdom?
Pastor Steve Ellison
As Solomon was assuming the throne after David’s death, the Lord directed Solomon to make a request of Him. Solomon asked for wisdom. God was happy to grant his request. Late in his reign, Solomon wrote many wise sayings which are published in the book of Proverbs. Not all of Proverbs is attributed to Solomon but most of it is. The initial section of Proverbs begins by describing distinct differences between wisdom and foolishness. Folly is pictured as coming in secret, lying in wait. Wisdom is seen as raising her voice, calling out loud in the crowded street.
Proverbs 1:20-33 marks the beginning of Wisdom’s calling out to those who are in desperate need of wisdom. I suggest you read the entire passage now. God asks some interesting questions there, "How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge? The idea seems to be that there are at least three groups of people who are in dire need of wisdom: the simple ones, the mockers, and the fools/sinners. He also gives some wise instruction that if followed will correct the problem: 1:23 "Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. 24 "Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; 25 And you neglected all my counsel And did not want my reproof; 26 I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes. (NASU)
A study of the Hebrew word translated “simple ones” reveals that being dull, naïve, seducible is what is meant. It seems that simple ones are too lazy to put forth the effort to find the truth. The “mockers” appear to be those who scoff, make fun, and laugh in derision at the truth. The mockers are unable to hold their tongues. It is more important to them to be the class clown, the star of the show, to deflect attention away from their mistakes and toward their self-proclaimed wit. The “fools” must be those who have an intellectual understanding but willingly reject the truth. They know what is wise and right, but they consciously choose that which is wrong because they believe they know best. They would like to remain in charge of their own lives. I suspect that if each of us is honest with ourselves that each one of us would have to conclude that we have at one time or another found ourselves in each of these three categories. Please heed the warning. This passage concludes by telling us that we will eat the fruit of it. In other words, we will reap what we sow. Hopefully, we just visited and did not take up residence in any of those places.
As fallen, sinful, selfish, arrogant, corrupted people we engage in all sorts of self-destructive behaviors. Rejecting wisdom is not the least of our problems. It is amazing that we do reject wisdom, but we certainly do. We tend to live our lives with a slothfulness that keeps us bound up in our simple ways. We do tend to be arrogant, sarcastic, mean-spirited people who want to mock everything around us. We do tend to live our lives in ways that indicate that we hate knowledge. We may not plan it, but we knowingly do things that we are fully aware will hurt not only us but also others around us. God asked a really, really good question, “How long?”