haters gonna hateWisdom” is portrayed in the opening verses of chapter 9 as a wealthy hostess inviting men to a banquet.  Wisdom’s invitation was to all who would hear and accept her invitation to turn from the path of the foolish and “go in the way of understanding” (Proverbs 9:7).

A trilogy of personalities is found in today’s devotional study from Proverbs 9:7-8.   Two have no interest in accepting Wisdom’s invitation, while a third loves instruction and readily receives the correction of godly wisdom.

Proverbs 9:7-8 – He that reproveth [correct; punish; chasten] a scorner [mocker; scoffer] getteth [take away; receive] to himself shame [confusion; reproach; disgrace]: and he that rebuketh [reproves; corrects; judges] a wicked [ungodly; immoral; guilty] man getteth himself a blot [blemish; stain]. 8 Reprove [rebuke; correct; chasten; judge] not a scorner [mocker; scoffer], lest he hate [set against as an enemy] thee: rebuke [reprove; correct; judge] a wise man [one abiding in the will of God], and he will love [beloved friend; affection] thee.”truth sounds like hate

The scorner mocks those who confront him in his sin and is an equal opportunity antagonist.  In his youth, he rails against parents who engage him in a battle of wills [a war godly parents best not lose].   In his teens and young adult years, he disdains authorities that correct and confront his sin (9:8).   As an adult; the scorner is hopeless if he fails to learn the anger, frustration, and shaming he heaps on those who care for his soul are the seeds of his destruction!

Like the scorner, the wicked have no desire or appetite for Truth.  He is hardened in his sin and treats as an enemy any who dares confront him in the way.  Unlike the flagrant scorner, the wicked attack the character of the righteous with subtle lies, insinuations, and slander [“a blot”].

wise manThe third personality in our trilogy is the wise man.  He is known for his response to correction and rebuke. Unlike the scorner who disdains correction and the wicked who hates rebuke, a wise man hears, heeds, and loves instruction.

Warning: There is a price paid by those who dare raise their voice against the sinful ways of the scorner and the wicked.  Too many parents have abdicated their responsibility to instruct their children in the pursuit of being their friends.  Too many pastors endeavor to be popular and accepted when their congregation needs a man who is faithful and true (2 Timothy 4:2).

Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith