Proverbs Reveals The Value Of Godly Wisdom: Prov 1:20-23
20) Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
21) She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates:
in the city she uttereth her words, [saying],
22) How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity?
and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
23) Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you,
I will make known my words unto you.
Solomon continues to explain his motives in writing the Proverbs by reminding his students of the importance, and value, in the reception of wisdom.
Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
Solomon pictures wisdom as a woman who is calling out an invitation to all that can hear her.
Who is this wisdom? Throughout the book of Proverbs, wisdom is a representation of two related, but different, characters. The one character behind this symbol is the inspired Word of God which gives men wisdom for living.
Secondly, wisdom is also representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself (especially seen in Proverbs 8: and 9:). If we think about it, this is a common concept found in the New Testament description of the Messiah. The title “Word” not only applies to the inspired, written word of God (1 Thess 2:13, Romans 10:17); but also, it applies to the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1-14; 1 John 1:1).
“But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” 1Cor 1:24
In this use of symbolism, we have the written words of wisdom (the Scriptures) inviting mankind to come, hear and follow its teachings. And we also have the Lord Jesus Christ inviting men to come unto Him for spiritual life, spiritual sight and the indwelling Spirit.
As a side note wisdom is said to speak in the New Testament also…
“Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and [some] of them they shall slay and persecute: That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.” Luke 11:49-51
She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates:
Wisdom is crying out in the places of great noise to the great mass of people gathered in the meeting places. She does this in an effort to share with her truthful teachings with as many as possible and to stand in opposition to the false teachings that are in the world.
She also cries out at the gates to the city where the city judges render verdicts and non-citizens enter into the cities walls. She does this in the hope of sharing wisdom with those who hold authority and rule over the people. She also ministers here desiring to reach out to the aliens and strangers that are rejected by many.
We are to follow the example of Christ and proclaim His Word everywhere we come into contact with others…
“Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.” John 18:20
in the city she uttereth her words, [saying], How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
As she spoke in the many varied sections of the city, she attempted to supply the needs of the people by inviting them to meet with her and listen to her words. In this verse, she is addressing three of the greatest hindrances to to receiving her words….
1. Simplicity – gullible, easily misled, – Those who are easily enticed to believe a false message of wisdom.
2. Scorning – to mock, to interpret falsely – Those who reject and ridicule the truth. This can also involve twisting wisdom into teachings of error.
3. Foolishness – to be silly, wrong-headed – Those who do not take their spiritual condition, nor the message of wisdom seriously.
Why do all these attitudes appear in the lives of the lost? It is because they are blinded to the truths of His Word and can only be opened by the gracious intervention of God…
And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed [are] your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. Matt 13:14-16
Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
We can see one of the greatest roles of wisdom… to warn and keep others from making poor harmful choices. She is asking all three of the above groups to accept her correction and change the direction they are headed.
What is the benefit that is awaiting those who follow wisdom’s advice? It is the guarantee that the same spirit of understanding and submission possessed by Christ will flow freely to these people. This will result in their understanding of the truths of wisdom. This is a solemn reminder to both the Old and New Testament believers that the submissive, humble spirit that was exemplified in Christ must be active in the life of the saint for them to come to a full understanding of God’s Word. By sharing in the mind of Christ we share in His truths as well…
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.… For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Cor 2:12-16
This gift is to be given only to those who have submitted themselves to the teachings of wisdom. For those who refuse to turn at wisdom’s reproof, we find that a different spirit would be given to them…
“For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.” Isa 29:10
Wisdom (a symbol of God’s Word and the Lord Himself) issues a call to turn from the ways of the world and come in an attitude of submission and belief. It is only through accepting this invitation that we can receive the spirit (mind, attitude) of wisdom and come to an understanding of the Word. Let us all ask for His gracious intervention in our lives as we seek to submit to His will and increase our faith in Him.
By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.
May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.
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