Reading today’s proverb, Proverbs 22:10, prompts me to ask: “What can you teach a scorner?”
My answer – Nothing! Absolutely nothing!
Solomon’s assessment agrees with mine own when it comes to dealing with a scorner. In two earlier proverbs, the king writes:
Proverbs 9:7-8 – “He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame [trouble; disgrace; abuse] …8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee [see you as an enemy]: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.”
Who is the scorner? By definition, he is a man or woman who disdains the Truth and the bearers of truth. He resents rebuke and despises any who would correct him. A scorner has a calloused heart and his manner is often subtle, but contentious and quarrelsome.
Because you can neither teach nor correct a scorner without inviting his abuse and hatred, what must one do when confronting him?
Some might suggest we reason with him. Others, that we would be patient, loving and forgiving. Let us set aside our opinions and go to the final authority on dealing with a scorner—the Word of God.
Proverbs 22:10 – “Cast out [drive out; expel; put away] the scorner [mocker; scoffer; mock at sin and judgment, i.e. consequences of sin], and contention [strife; discord] shall go out [depart; come to an end]; yea, strife [judgment] and reproach [shame; confusion; disgrace; dishonor] shall cease [desist; fail; stop].”
Solomon’s advice, inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16-17) is simple and direct—Drive the scorner out!
Notice the twofold benefit for heeding Solomon’s advise to confront the scorner and drive him out of your fellowship—“… contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.”
Too many pastors, church leaders and Christians are unwilling to accept the reality that their failure to confront a scorner is not only a dereliction of duty; it also allows the infestation of a spiritual cancer that will potentially destroy a church fellowship. I have known good people who take the side of a scorner, sympathize with his cry and fail to support those tasked with the burden and responsibility of dealing with him biblically.
I part with another of Solomon’s proverbs stating the responsibility and benefit of addressing the scorner:
Proverbs 19:25 – “Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.”
Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith