Summary: Wisdom cries out in the streets and invites us to listen to the Voice that desires to teach, lead, and protect us from those that will try and entice and lure us into destruction.
As we continue our study of Proverbs today we hear a new voice—the voice of Wisdom. Wisdom is presented to us as a person, Lady Wisdom, who calls out at the entrance to the city to all of those who pass by and are heading into dangerous surroundings.
If you will remember our study last week then you will remember the father and mother told their son, “If sinners entice you, do not give in to them.” (Proverbs 1:10 NIV) Mom and Dad know that there are many voices out there on the street, lurking in the halls at their son’s school, in the locker room, on the streets, in his youth group, and elsewhere. The father tells his son that when the voices invite him to do “this” or “that,” things that are contrary to the will and ways of God, things that will lead him astray; he is not to go along with them because it will be a dead end road that ends in destruction.
The voices are not just directed at the young—there are a myriad of voices that are calling to us from every corner. The voices call out to people of every age group, in every race, and in every socio-economic class. Among the chaotic choir of voices, enticing us and trying to lure us into what looks inviting, but is actually a dead end road, there is one voice that cries out with clarity for those who desire to hear—it is the voice of Wisdom. Wisdom is the voice of God. He calls out to us, He desires to teach us, and He wants to protect us from the destruction that comes to those who choose not to listen.
As we begin our study for today we hear Wisdom speak. Isn’t that strange? We think, “Wisdom is not a person. Wisdom doesn’t have a voice.” Oh my friend, but you are wrong. God has a voice and anything He says to us is wisdom. He speaks to us, each of us, inviting us to learn of His ways. Let’s take a look at our Scripture for today and learn another lesson in walking with God, in walking in wisdom. I want to read to you from The Message translation of God’s Word because it so beautifully captures what God is saying to us. Solomon writes,
20Lady Wisdom goes out in the street and shouts. At the town center she makes her speech. 21In the middle of the traffic she takes her stand. At the busiest corner she calls out: 22“Simpletons! How long will you wallow in ignorance? Cynics! How long will you feed your cynicism? Idiots! How long will you refuse to learn? 23About face! I can revise your life. Look, I’m ready to pour out my spirit on you; I’m ready to tell you all I know. 24As it is, I’ve called, but you’ve turned a deaf ear; I’ve reached out to you, but you’ve ignored me. 25“Since you laugh at my counsel and make a joke of my advice, 26How can I take you seriously? I’ll turn the tables and joke about your troubles! 27What if the roof falls in, and your whole life goes to pieces? What if catastrophe strikes and there’s nothing to show for your life but rubble and ashes? 28You’ll need me then. You’ll call for me, but don’t expect an answer. No matter how hard you look, you won’t find me. 29“Because you hated Knowledge and had nothing to do with the Fear-of-GOD, 30Because you wouldn’t take my advice and brushed aside all my offers to train you, 31Well, you’ve made your bed—now lie in it; you wanted your own way—now, how do you like it? 32Don’t you see what happens, you simpletons, you idiots? Carelessness kills; complacency is murder. 33First pay attention to me, and then relax. Now you can take it easy—you’re in good hands.” (Proverbs 1:20-33 The Message)
I want us to notice something about this Scripture we are studying today. For so many folks the Bible is an outdated, antiquated, obsolete collection of stories from long ago. The stories may be entertaining, we might find a nugget of truth that applies to some isolated situation in our life, but when you get right down to it–the Bible was written for an age gone by. If you have been around here any time at all then you know what I believe. I believe that there is no more relevant word for us today, no wiser counsel for us today, than the Word of God. It is more relevant than any wisdom offered in our day. Its advice is more powerful than Dr. Phil, Oprah, and Dr. Laura combined. Now, you can make that statement about anything, but in the words of that great American theologian, Jerry McGuire, “show me the money!” Don’t tell me that God’s Word is true, show me its validity, show me its applicability, show me its relevancy for my life. Thanks for the invitation…here we go.