“Wisdom” 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.”
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 own destruction!
The wicked, like the scorner, has no desire or appetite for Truth. He is hardened in his sin and treats as an enemy any who dare 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”].
The third personality in our trilogy is the wise man. He is known by 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 child in pursuit of being their friend. Too many pastor’s 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