By Scott Chandler
Everyone seems to have that one person in their life. That older man or woman you would go to for advice if you could. They seem to exude the quiet confidence that comes with age and experience. That’s the person you will listen to when you ask a question. This is the person you want to be around, especially when things are getting tough and you need help!
What is it that these people have that we want? What is this invisible force that seems to draw people to their side? It is perfectly described in the 1st chapter of Proverbs. The word is wisdom! After looking at the challenge of Deuteronomy 6, it is impossible not to recognize that we are in desperate need of the wisdom that only God can offer. Here is the main point of the entire book, and that is to teach wisdom to the simple (which is all of us).
Although I was terrible at poetry when I was in school, I love reading the poetry of the Old Testament. Solomon lets wisdom have her own voice at the last part of chapter 1. In this passage, she asks all of us a very challenging question, “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge? (Proverbs 1:22, ESV).
There are two angles we can consider when we reflect on the concept of wisdom and how it affects our lives. There are, and will always be, consequences to the choices we make. First we will focus on the negative side of rejecting the wisdom of God and choosing to remain “simple.”
Wisdom gives a long list of what will happen to those who, by choice, reject her, and she doesn’t mince any words! She will “laugh at your calamity” and “mock when terror strikes you.” (Vs. 26). Although this seems incredibly harsh, we’ve watched this happen over and over in either ourselves or those we love. The sadness that comes from having to live through the consequences of our unwise choices weighs upon us like an anvil on our heart. We mourn how we got there and wish we’d done things differently. It seems that we will not, even cannot, gain the wisdom that others have gained.
But God has good news for us! Although the list of negative consequences of refusing to listen to God is long, listening to Wisdom brings sweet relief and peace to the Christian. She says, “If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you. (Proverbs 1:23), and “But whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” (Proverbs 1:33, ESV).
We do have a responsibility here. God’s word is to be heard and responded to, and those are choices we have to make. And yet, the consequences of these choices are delightful beyond words! To know that the Spirit of God will be poured out to me brings relief from all the pain of my poor choices. And who can’t have that quiet strength from being assured that you will “dwell secure and be at at ease, without dread of disaster?”
We can be that person people look to for advice! No matter your age or stage of life, being at peace with God, yourself, and the future provides the calm perspective we can share with those who crave that same peace. The promise God gives us in Proverbs is available to everyone who desires to draw close to Him. That closeness will forever be on a level we have never experienced before. What a blessed guarantee!