Why Not Listen?
By Jerry Moffitt
In Proverbs 1:3033 Solomon has Wisdom say, "They would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies. For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil."
Sin often carries its own punishment. And they are blameworthy who seek not wisdom, for to choose not to seek wisdom is a choice itself. Ignorance is zesty foolishness fresh off the vine.
Humans are often not aware how hostile an environment it is in which they live. There is the needless pain and suffering of this life lurking, ready to strike. And worse, that which will close the door to the next life lulls the ignorant into complacency, or sometimes seduces flames of thoughts into raging lust. Friend, without wisdom the king in Jerusalem speaks the truth to you. You are nothing but a dead man. You will be slain, then destroyed. He who sits with his back to wisdom, sits facing away, only a coffin between himself and the fire. Young person, observe your professors in school and remember the Japanese proverb: "Learning without wisdom is a load of books on an ass's back." Not all learned men are wise men.
In verse 33 Solomon says, "But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil." Wisdom shows us God's way. Christ is wisdom from God (1 Cor. 1:30). God created the universe, and for man God is the only One to bring us through to timelessness and bliss, with safety and security, and lack of fear. Out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding which will see to it that God protects us (Psa. 55:22; Psa. 34:7; Psa. 84:11). So it is a principle of God written with a pen of steel on a plaque of bronze, "The fear of the wicked will come upon him, and the desire of the righteous will be granted" (Prov. 10:24).
The way of safety is the way of duty. The way of virtue is to do, but the way to do right is to be. The way to "be" is in God's mouth. The King says, "For Jehovah giveth wisdom; out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding" (Psa. 2:6). The apostle Paul said, "Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work" (2 Tim. 3:1617).
With all simple instruction around us, it has still come true: "His own iniquities shall take the wicked, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sin. He shall die for lack of instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray" (Prov. 5:2223).
There is the story of a young boy remembering a conversation with a teacher years past. On the way to school each day as he passed the instructor's house he saw the instructor at the table with the lamp on, busily studying. Finally he asked, "Why do you study so hard? You teach the same courses each year."
The old man replied. "Son, I would just rather teach out of a running stream than a stagnant pond." We preachers might all listen to that.
(Editor's note: God gives wisdom, and we are taught to pray for it (James 1:5), but we must also study (2 Tim 2:15). To have wisdom requires more than prayer and desire, just as we must contribute the sweat of our face to have bread, though we pray for it. Bread does not come by prayer alone. Those who think wisdom comes by an unconscious process of assimilation will have a rude awakening. Those who think the Holy Spirit gives them wisdom by an unconscious thought transference do not need Bibles, or the agony of research. Furthermore their understanding must be perfect, for the Holy Spirit is deity - H. A. (Buster) Dobbs.)