Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Here true wisdom is the revealing of the mind of God. Wisdom is shouting out to humanity and humanity seems to pay her no mind. But the real question is are you hearing and responding to wisdom's call?

PROVERBS 1:20-23


Wisdom is depicted as a beautiful and noble queen standing in the crowded plaza of humanity. There she lifts up her lovely and authoritative voice to those passing by.

The personification here of wisdom was meant to give some kind of tangibleness to what could be an abstract concept. Thank God that we today have a better understanding of wisdom than personification in language. In Jesus Christ, we have wisdom personified in human flesh and manifesting the infinite intelligence of love and truth.

Here true wisdom is the revealing of the mind of God. Wisdom is shouting out to humanity and humanity seems to pay her no mind. But the real question is are you hearing and responding to wisdom's call?




In verse 20 we learn that God's wisdom is shouting out in the market place of humanity. "Wisdom shouts in the streets, she lifts her voice in the square;" The voice of wisdom in the world earnestly desires to be heard. Wisdom shouts and "lifts up her voice." The communications of heaven to humanity are not distant utterances, but plain truth expressed loudly in the work-a-day world.

Wisdom is even crying out through nature, through the story of past ages, through conscience, through reason, through the Bible, even through life itself--to be heard. God is earnest in attempting to communicate to men. For "the whole earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord."

Have you noticed how life so impacts us, sometimes even vehemently striking us, trying to wake us up to the eternal reality? Wisdom is trying to get our attention, trying to awaken us from our deafness and deadness.

In verse 21 we find that wisdom teaches her ways in the public courts, squares and streets of life. "At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the gates in the city, she utters her sayings:"

In daily life all kinds of voices are making their loud clamor to get our attention. Advertisers for products of worldly pleasure, flash their neon lights. TV images twirl their spell and the radio songs lull us down their avenues strewn with human wreckage. Yet God says wisdom is "at the head of the noisy street," it has the priority place in its cry to an uncertain, mixed up world, crying out to be heard.

All these phases emphasize wisdom's full blown public search. The streets and square were chief places of public discourse and official business transactions. It was the custom of the past to hold discussions and court at the city gate in the open air. People respected for their learning and wisdom would collect in such places to speak and listen.

We, as the church today, must add our voice, our voices, to the shout of wisdom and herald the call of God as a light house sends forth light so that truth can shine forth to awaken and give hope to those lives headed for destruction against the sharp rocks of foolishness. No matter who people are, no matter where people are, they need to hear wisdom's call and they hear it better when its personified, when the voice has human flesh wrapped around it. God wants His gospel in the market place. Those striving for success there must hear your voice and see your action supplementing the voice of wisdom and actions of wisdom.

We find in Colossians 2:3 that wisdom is incarnated in the person of Jesus Christ, because in Him are hidden all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom. To know what to think, how to act, what to say in any situation, simply ask WWJD [what would Jesus do]. Though Jesus is the manifestation of wisdom, in Proverbs wisdom is represented as a woman calling aloud in the streets. This literary device is personification which is used to make wisdom come alive for us. Wisdom is not a separate being; it is the mind of God revealed. By reading about Jesus Christ's earthly ministry, we can see wisdom in action. In order to understand how to become wise, we can listen to wisdom calling and instructing us in the book of Proverbs. [For New Testament calls to wisdom, see 2 Timothy 1:7 and James 1 :5.] Make sure you don't reject God's offer of wisdom to you. [Jon Courson. Application Com. OT. Vol. 2. Nelson. Nashville. 2006. p 180.]


In verse 22 wisdom makes a special appeal to those who have been rejecting her words and ways. "How long, 0 naive ones will you love simplicity? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing, And fools hate knowledge?

Wisdom is crying out asking "how long" will you ignore me? How long will you refuse me? Note again the urgency with which all three groups are addressed. Wisdom bids them not to delay in their complacency but come to God. "How long" is the cry. Do you not realize how brief life is? How urgently you need the touch of spiritual transformation. Do they not know that the Spirit of God will not always strive with man (1 Thess. 4: 19; Gen. 6: 13).

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