Turning Away From Wisdom
Speaker: Rev. Scott Strickman
Sermon Series: An Invitation to Wisdom: Proverbs 1-9
Proverbs 1:20-33 (ESV)
20 Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
in the markets she raises her voice;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you turn at my reproof,
behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I have called and you refused to listen,
have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
25 because you have ignored all my counsel
and would have none of my reproof,
26 I also 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 distress and anguish come upon you.
28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge
and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30 would have none of my counsel
and despised all my reproof,
31 therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way,
and have their fill of their own devices.
32 For the simple are killed by their turning away,
and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33 but whoever listens to me will dwell secure
and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”
How long will you push wisdom away (v22)? We will reflect on why we are vulnerable to living a foolish life.
1) What do you delight in?
v22 “how long will scoffers delight in their scoffing?”
vv24-31 “because I have called and you refused… I will mock… they shall… have the fill of their own devices”
2) What do you hate?
v22 “how long will… fools hate knowledge?”
v29-30 “because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord… despised all my reproof…”
3) What do you love?
v22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?”
v32 “the simple are killed by their turning away”
v23 “If your turn… I will pour out my spirit… make my words known to you”
v33 “whoever listens to me… will be at ease, without dread of disaster”
Questions for Reflection
How do you respond to reproof or correction? What factors increase the likelihood of having a productive response? What factors influence problematic responses?
What kinds of problematic behaviors or people are you drawn to? Under what kinds of circumstances do you gravitate towards a social environment you otherwise wouldn’t choose? What kinds of thoughts or feelings are present when you make bad choices?
Do you have a sense of humor? Do you ever laugh when something doesn’t go well for you? Are you prone to joining in with those who ridicule? What kind of joking draws you in, and what do you push away?
What feelings move you to action? Where is anger in your list of top factors that motivate you to act? How well contained is your anger?
What factors make change hard? Why is it hard to grow?
Is it fair that wisdom responds to those who reject her in the ways they have behaved towards her? What is wisdom conveying in her warning? Do you believe that what we do comes back to us? How does that work?
What does it look like to turn to wisdom and receive from her? How do we do it?
Does God’s patience, open invitation, and constant pursuit of you help you trust Him? Do you believe that God has your best interest in view? How does listening to what God says (in the Bible) play into this?
How can you find delight in God and His ways? What does a joyful pursuit of God entail? How does the love of God and the fear of God work together in this?
Prayer of Confession
God of patience and grace, forgive us for ignoring your constant invitations; forgive us for being drawn to cynicism, anger, mockery, hostility; forgive us for not dealing with our own flaws, and instead projecting them on to you or others. Forgive us for rejecting wisdom. We turn to you now, asking that you pour your spirit into us and make your words known to us. Heal us, guide us, protect us, teach us. Amen.