Wisdom Personified (Proverbs 1:20-33)

Wisdom Personified
Proverbs 1:20-33

Wisdom calls (20-21)
Wisdom is available to everyone

20 Wisdom calls aloud outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.

21 She cries out in the chief concourses,
At the openings of the gates in the city
She speaks her words:

Wisdom criticizes (22-27)
                The challenge of wisdom (22-23)
                                Even to the simple, there is still time to listen/change

22 “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning,
And fools hate knowledge.

23 Turn at my rebuke;
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.

                The consequences of ignoring wisdom (24-27)
                                Ignoring wisdom’s instruction described (24-25)

24 Because I have called and you refused,
I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,

25 Because you disdained all my counsel,
And would have none of my rebuke,

                                Ignoring wisdom’s consequences (26-27)

26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your terror comes,

27 When your terror comes like a storm,
And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.

In 1747, the young sailor, John Newton, was serving aboard the Greyhound bound for Liverpool.  He was living an immoral and rebellious life, working on slave trade ships to earn his way.  Suddenly, his vessel was assaulted by a devastating storm.  The onerous words of Proverbs 1:24-26 flashed into Newton’s mind:  “Because I have called and you have refused . . . I also will laugh at your calamity.”  Newton was terrified!  He knew he had treated God shamefully and that he deserved whatever catastrophe awaited him.  Nonetheless, he cried out to God in the midst of the storm and his life was spared.  Newton went on to become a minister in the Church of England and to pen the hymn Amazing Grace
                                                                              As told in The Blackaby Study Bible, Proverbs 1:24-26 note, p. 740

Wisdom defends herself (28-33)
                What they chose (28-30)

28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.

29 Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord,

30 They would have none of my counsel
And despised my every rebuke.

                The consequences of those choices (31-32)

31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
And be filled to the full with their own fancies.

32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them;

                The alternative and its benefits (33)

33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,
And will be secure, without fear of evil.”

Note:  H.A. Ironside's Proverbs and Song of Solomon commentary has a great application of this to the gospel call and the warning of coming final judgment if not heeded (see p. 19 of the commentary from the sample in the Amazon "look inside" link) and also to the Christian who escapes that judgment but whose folly in this life may result in consequences here.  

I want to leave you with an excellent quote from him:
"It is important to remember that the moment a poor sinner trusts the Lord Jesus as his Savior, his responsibility as a criminal having to do with the Judge is over forever.  There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).  But, that very moment, his responsibility as a child having to do with his Father begins; and that Father, without respect of persons, judgeth according to every man's work (1 Peter 1:17).  His new responsibility springs from his new relationship.  Henceforth he is to reckon himself dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 6:11).  If he fails to do this, and allows himself to become indifferent to the will of God, he must know the rod of His discipline." 

May we all choose to walk in wisdom, dear friends.  

Father, I pray, that we, your children, would live according to the wisdom you have laid out before us in Your Word.  I pray that we would walk in the counsel of the godly; those who have walked with God before us and for the sake of those who walk behind us.  Let us live as though wisdom is personified, instructing us, warning us, compelling us and encouraging us.  In Jesus' name, I pray, Amen.

All Scripture is from the New King James Version (NKJV)
The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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