Gracefully Truthful

Digging Deeper,Encourage,God,Humility,Kingdom,Life,Love,Scripture,Significance,Truth,Wisdom

Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Proverbs 1:20-33

20 Wisdom calls out in the street; she makes her voice heard in the public squares. 21 She cries out above the commotion; she speaks at the entrance of the city gates: 22 “How long, inexperienced ones, will you love ignorance? How long will you mockers enjoy mocking and you fools hate knowledge? 23 If you respond to my warning, then I will pour out my spirit on you and teach you my words. 24 Since I called out and you refused, extended my hand and no one paid attention, 25 since you neglected all my counsel and did not accept my correction, 26 I, in turn, will laugh at your calamity. I will mock when terror strikes you, 27 when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when trouble and stress overcome you. 28 Then they will call me, but I won’t answer; they will search for me, but won’t find me. 29 Because they hated knowledge, didn’t choose to fear the Lord, 30 were not interested in my counsel, and rejected all my correction, 31 they will eat the fruit of their way and be glutted with their own schemes. 32 For the apostasy of the inexperienced will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. 33 But whoever listens to me will live securely and be undisturbed by the dread of danger.

The Original Intent

1) Is the personification of Wisdom as a woman significant to the passage? (verses 20-21)

The majority of Proverbs is authored by King Solomon, the son of King David, who admirably asked the Lord for wisdom to lead his kingdom rather than asking for personal fame, wealth, or power. (2 Chronicles 1:1-12) As God often does, He rewarded the king’s request by giving him more than he sought. It was Solomon’s wisdom that brought him much recognition, wealth, and success. He penned many words of wisdom that were not recorded in Scripture but were known throughout the world. (1 Kings 4:29-34)

We are not told specifically why Proverbs personifies the quality of wisdom as a woman. The Hebrew word for wisdom is the feminine noun hakmot, leading some scholars to believe that Wisdom personified would naturally be translated “she.” It is difficult to know whether the feminine grammar structure of the word itself influenced his choice or not. What is obvious is that wisdom was so important to Solomon that he intentionally utilized the literary device of personification to elevate it to human form.

In personifying wisdom, he communicated the value of wisdom through a vivid illustration. Although I usually encourage digging into the context of a verse or passage, the book of Proverbs is one of a few unique books in Scripture which provides very little context. It is made up of independent, often witty, observations from its author about how the world operates, and offers practical and prudent solutions for life issues. “The word ‘proverb’ means ‘to be like,’ thus Proverbs is a book of comparisons between common, concrete images and life’s most profound truths.” (bible-studys.org) Personifying Wisdom captivates the reader and intensifies the wise instructions and important warnings from Solomon.

The Everyday Application

1) Is the personification of Wisdom as a woman significant to the passage? (verses 20-21)

Solomon is painting a picture for his son. Throughout Proverbs, Solomon warns his son of the two kinds of women, the virtuous kind and the wicked, seductive kind. This ‘woman’ (Wisdom) is the feminine personification of godly wisdom. Solomon, the man of wisdom, offers his son what had become so valuable to him through God’s provision.

Solomon understood the value and significance of a woman. Painting wisdom as a woman would likely be compelling to the young man, not necessarily in a sexual way but in a tender and nurturing way. (Proverbs 1:8-9) In portraying wisdom as an elegant lady, Solomon sets the scene for his instruction to his son. Lady

Wisdom provides a better choice for us too. She provides the pathway to a better life. Friend, putting ourselves in the center of our world will not bring us peace. The fruit of the righteous person is demonstrated by our desire for and pursuit of wisdom. She calls out to us, “Seek wisdom and let your gentleness and humility be known to all!”. (James 3:13-18)

The Original Intent

2) To whom does Wisdom speak and why must she loudly cry out? (verses 21-24)

Solomon reminds his son of the enticement and secrecy of sin (verses 10-11) and instructs him to instead heed the voice of Wisdom (verse 21) above the noise.

Wisdom has nothing to hide as she cries out “at the entrance of the city gates.” She is calling those who love their ignorance to pay attention to her, but they are content to continue in foolish ways rather than do the hard work required to gain knowledge. If we were looking down on the crowd, we would see chaos and disorder.

Solomon has observed the battle that raged between Wisdom and her mockers as he ruled his kingdom. He has seen the devastation foolishness creates (verses 27-28) and wants his son to pay attention to the threat. “The greatest tragedy is that there’s so much noise that people can’t hear the things they really need to hear. God is trying to get through to them with the voice of wisdom, but all they hear are the confused communications clutter, foolish voices that lead them farther away from the truth.” (Warren Wiersbe biblegateway.com)

The Everyday Application

2) To whom does Wisdom speak and why must she loudly cry out? (verses 21-24)

As I write this study, many are reflecting on the year 2020. It seemed to be a year of confusion and chaos, but Wisdom shouts to us above the chaos. She calls the righteous to hear and heed her instruction and warnings. Make no mistake, it is the Lord Who is behind her voice!

Until we exchange our identity for Christ’s, we limit our lives to the brokenness of the world. This exchange happens through our surrendering ourselves to God and receiving His forgiveness and righteousness.  (1 John 2:28-3:3) Sister, our identity with Christ encompasses all the abundance of being a beloved daughter of God.  In Christ we have been given all wisdom!

Solomon chose wisdom and became rich. When we choose Christ, we also become rich. Wisdom is calling out through the person of Jesus Christ, “I want their hearts to be encouraged and joined together in love, so that they may have all the riches of complete understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery—Christ. In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:2-3)

The Original Intent

3) What warning does Wisdom give to those in the downward spiral toward apostasy? (verses 28-32)

Apostasy
 is defined by Merriam-Webster as “1: an act of refusing to continue to follow, obey, or recognize a religious faith 2: abandonment of a previous loyalty. (merriam-webster.com) It is clear from the passage that people have a choice about which way they will go. Their chaotic lives are, to a great extent, the consequence of their intentional decision to refuse Wisdom’s call. It is not fate that has brought about this foolishness. The mockers enjoyed their condition and rejected Wisdom’s counsel and correction as she calls them to fear the Lord. (verses 29-30)

The apostle Paul tells us in the New Testament that God will give the wicked what they desire. (Romans 1:24-25) It is important to note that those who hated knowledge received the “fruit of their way … and their own schemes”. (verse 31) Wisdom is not laughing (verse 26) at the fool’s calamity as some hard-hearted scoffer who does not sympathize with human misery. Wisdom is not the mocker!

We once again see the comparison Proverbs often uses. Laughter reveals the absurdity of choosing an unwise way of living that leads to destruction rather than receiving the security that Wisdom offers, which leads to life. (verse 33)

The Everyday Application

3) What warning does Wisdom give to those in the downward spiral toward apostasy? (verses 28-32)

Whether we decide to accept or reject the knowledge of God, our choice determines our future. Choosing the path of self-centered living only leads to destruction.

We may be the smartest woman in our circle. We may be the most confident. We may believe the lie of our adversary (1 Peter 5:6-8) that tells us exalting ourselves is the way to happiness. Yet, the wisest man who ever lived would urge us to resist this way of thinking.

Although being confident, smart, and powerful are not evil in themselves, they are not the source of contentment and tranquility, my sweet sister. “But whoever listens to me will live securely and be undisturbed by the dread of danger.” (verse 33) What a beautiful description of the peace that comes from listening to Wisdom. Humbling ourselves before the Lord is the beginning of a life of abundance and satisfaction. (1 Corinthians 1:30-31) As we look to the future, dread will not be a part of our vocabulary. And as we seek wisdom, we receive all the rest of the promises that are ours as we hide ourselves in God through our Savior Jesus Christ. (Colossians 3:3)

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Correction,Counsel,forgiveness,Fruit,King Solomon,Most Confident,Proverbs,questions,righteous
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