Summary: We need to be aware of how to distinguish scorners & the wicked from those simply ignorant of the way of wisdom. The wise are those who heed wisdom by responding to & learning from rebuke.We need wise counsel to guide us in this difficult but necessary ma
PROVERBS 9: 7-12
CORRECTIONS FOR LIFE
Wisdom has been issuing her invitation and calling us to walk in the way of understanding. She directs her invitation to the simple, the naive, the ignorant, to those who have not already made up their mind. There are others who have accepted the call of the world or folly. We need to be aware of how to distinguish scorners and the wicked from those simply ignorant of the way of wisdom (CIM).
Now Paul was one who had lived ‘ignorantly in unbelief' (l Tim.1:13) but he would heed Jesus' rebuke. His countrymen though scorned the Way, so Paul turned from them (Acts 13:45, 46, 50; 18:6, Mt. 10:14ff). How do you tell the difference between those who might be receptive to the gospel and those whose hearts are too hardened to accept it? It all has to do with being willing to be corrected. The scorners who follow follies invitation are not open to correction. They are mockers unwilling to be corrected and hardened in their pride. But the wise are those who heed wisdom by responding to and learning from rebuke (CIT).
We need wise counsel to guide us in this difficult but necessary matter of reproof. We need to know how and to whom to give correction. But even more, we need to know how to receive it.
Reproofs are like sharp knives, very needful and very useful, but they should not be used by children. The immature handle them rashly and wound both themselves and others. Yet reproofs are often needed, often given, and, often unlovingly not given. When we are in contact with others they see our faults and we see theirs. All men, even the wisest and the best, may at times require reproof, but the administration of it is difficult (Ps. 141:5). Thus we need to learn to be wise concerning reproof.
I. A SCOFFER'S RESPONSE TO CORRECTION, 7-8a.
II. A WISE MAN'S RESPONSE TO CORRECTION, 8b-9.
III. WISDOM'S PREREQUISITE AND REWARD, 10-11.
IV. DIFFERENT RESPONSES LEAD TO DIFFERENT REWARDS, 12.
Verse 7 and the first part of verse 8 enlighten us as to why preachers are so often hated, insulted, and dishonored. "He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself. And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself." (8a) "Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you."
The scoffer [fancies himself a free thinker and] casts off all that attempts to restrain him--be it religion or virtue. A scoffers is one who ridicules, maligns, jeers, disparages, discredits, or depreciates. Scoffers or scorners are self-ignorant, audacious, callous and irreverent. They think of themselves as in the know and are proud of their skill. They take aim at those near them who stand in authority by jabs of wit and ridicule to raise a laugh or sneer against them. They belittle goodness, humility, and integrity.
So the scoffer is paralleled with the wicked or godless man who shuns restraint and sees nothing wrong with passions of malice. He relishes iniquity and is intoxicated with sin's deceitfulness. It is exceeding difficult and costly to teach moral or spiritual wisdom to the scoffers and mockers.