Summary: The wise Father tells His children how to find quality in life by following wisdom.
The Key to a Fulfilling Life
Instructions are not always for the wise, or smart, or even reasonable.
My nine favorite instructions are as follows:
On Sears hair dryer: Do not use while sleeping.
On a bag of Fritos: You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside.
On Marks and Spencer Bread Pudding: Product will be hot after heating.
On packaging for a Rowenta iron: Do not iron clothes on body.
On Nytol Sleep Aid: Warning: May cause drowsiness.
On some brands of Christmas lights: For indoor or outdoor use only.
On a child's Superman costume: Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.
In a microwave oven manual: Do not use for drying pets.
On a package of almonds: May contain some nut products.
The scary thing about these warning is that there is some reason they were written.
The key to a fulfilling life in Proverbs contains some warnings and some promises. Before we begin, I want to address one thing that we must remember throughout.
Wisdom is not obtained by simple human effort alone.
I. The Desire for Wisdom.
Pro 1:20-21 Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; 21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
Proverbs will reveal to us that there are different calls from the world, the street, the market and the gates. The voices are loud and many.
There are voices calling from every direction (expound): Lust, drugs and alcohol to stop the pain, following the crowd, gain power, achieve value and significance in the eyes of others, valuing man above God (Romans 1).
Yet, He promises that if one wants wisdom, to know God's way, God's voice can be heard anywhere and every where.
II. The Resistance to Wisdom.
Pro 1:22-23 "How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge? 23 If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.
Why would one desire to remain simple? Why would one be content to be a scoffer and a fool? What joy is there in resisting wisdom? The simple, yet profound, answer is "pride".
"It is much easier for a person to remain where they are than to change. Water that does not move becomes stagnant and begins to smell. Where there is no growth there is decay. Muscles of the body – if they are not used will decline in power and in strength. Spiritual growth is to be our constant goal. Wisdom offers the opportunity to grow." Tom Shepard.
To some, being a simple scoffer and fool is preferred to ever admitting error. Pro 9:8 "Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you." Pro 15:32 "Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence."
You see, Proverbs 21:2 says, "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart." We justify our actions. God does not buy our justifications, but instead calls for repentance and correction.
We have to be teachable. Proverbs 12:1 says, "Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid." That is why wisdom cries, "turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you."
Verse 23 reminds us that it does take effort to grow. We must turn. Turn means to repent. 2Ch 7:14 "...if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
III. The Results of Foolishness.
Pro 1:24-28 Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, 25 because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you, 27 when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. 28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
First, if we are resistant to God's correction, we invite calamity. I used to believe that calamity meant comedy, at least for others. However, it means disaster, misfortune, and tragedy. But somebody is laughing.
I hate being the butt of a joke. Yet, when I resist God's correction, turn from His way and wisdom, I am the butt of a joke that goes throughout all of His creation. I hate being that.