-Wisdom’s invitation is extended out to all naïve and those lacking understanding to turn in here, eat the food of wisdom, drink the wine she has mixed, forsake all folly, live, and proceed in the way of true understanding. Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars (biblical number for completeness and perfection, wisdom lacks nothing), she has prepared the food, she has mixed the wine, she has set her table, she has sent out her maidens, and she has called out from the tops of the heights of the city with this invitation to attain life and grow (Proverbs 9:1-6).
-Solomon now has some practical advice on the theme of scoffers, mockers, and people who ridicule. He states, “He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself (generally speaking), and he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, reprove a wise man and he will love you.” The wisdom of the wise increases as they receive instruction humbly. The righteous love to gain new understanding. In fact, they are lifetime learners. Then, the king repeats his theme on the fear of God, this time referring to it as the beginning of wisdom. He also claims that “the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” By wisdom, days will be multiplied and years of life added. Individual responsibility is next addressed. If one is wise, he/she is wise for himself/herself. And, if one is a scoffer, that person alone bears the guilt of it (Proverbs 9:7-12).
-Solomon now returns to the issue of the woman entrenched in sinful folly and her seductive ways with the naïve and senseless young men. Solomon describes these types of women again as boisterous, naïve, knowing nothing, idle, scheming, and provocative. She spins her web of deceit and lures in the unsuspecting by saying, “Stolen water is sweet; and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” However, the ignorant young man does not know that the dead are in her lair, and that her guests are in the depths of Sheol (Proverbs 9:13-18). In other words, he goes headlong into disaster, which Solomon is trying to avert with his audience.
-*Application* By now we should be getting the point and accepting the invitation into more and more wisdom. I have found through experience, in this area of reproving a scoffer, that what is said is so accurate. We have to understand who we are dealing with in people as to whether they can handle a rebuke or not. Blessed is the person who can take reproof and love as a more knowledgeable, wiser, individual. We have to learn that to correct a scoffer will entail persecution, belittlement, gossip, slander, and insults. That’s just the way it is. In our slang of today, “You can’t hate on the haters.”
Verse to Memorize: Proverbs 9:7-8, 10