Proverbs Chapter One: Sobering Warnings That Need to be Heeded

As we approach the end of this first month of the new year, I thought it very appropriate to look at Proverbs chapter one. I can think of no other chapter to better lay out the basic outline for all of 2008 than this chapter. My heart cries out for God’s people to stop and listen to what God in His everlasting wisdom has to say about life and living it His way.
The very purpose of the proverbs is laid out in the opening verses. Reading from the NIV, let’s look at verses 1-7 of chapter one:
“The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
For attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight;
For acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair;
For giving prudence to the simple (those who lack judgment and are immature), knowledge and discretion to the young—
Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—
For understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
More than anything else, the book of Proverbs is in the Bible to give knowledge and discretion to the young. Older people get stuck in their ways of thinking and living and have a difficult time changing. But, younger people are more capable of learning and changing quicker and with less difficulty.
The book of Proverbs is for wisdom, discipline, understanding words of insight, for acquiring a disciplined life and for doing what is right, just and fair. Think about this for a moment; do we not all want these things? Is it not the innermost heart’s desire in all of us to want not only wisdom and understanding, but discipline to do what is right, just and fair in this life? If so, then the wise person must listen and receive their guidance from the wisdom of Proverbs.
Many times in Proverbs, Solomon presents things using a grand analogy. He compares instruction and wisdom to a father and mother giving guidance to their son who is coming of age and getting ready to head out on his own into life. If Proverbs is looked upon from the perspective of imparting parental wisdom, it makes the book much easier to understand.
Verses 10 through 19 present the first of many warnings in Proverbs against various things. Here, the warning is against “enticement” which in today’s world would be very similar to “peer pressure”. It is very difficult to break away from the crowd and not give into the pressure to conform. Strength of character demands standing alone at times. Wisdom dictates doing what is right not what is popular.
“My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.
If they say, “Come along with us; let’s lie in wait for someone’s blood, let’s waylay some harmless soul;
Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave, and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
We will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder;
Throw in your lot with us, and will share a common purse—
My son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths;
For their feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood.
How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds!
These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves!
Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it.”
Those who use physical force to steal from others are committing spiritual suicide. The gang mentality that runs rampant in our cities and even suburbs is perfectly described in these verses. As unbelievably difficult as it is, a wise person HAS to SAY NO and NEVER yields to the pressure to conform.
The remaining verses in this chapter all reflect a general warning against rejecting wisdom. If 13 verses could be placed on television screens today instead of 13 hours of football; Proverbs 1:20-33 would be the verses I would choose out of the entire Bible to lay before people on this day. They are that important and essential to our future well-being, safety and freedom from fear:
“Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares;
At the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech:
“How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?
If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.
But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand,
Since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke,
I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—
When calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me.
Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke,
They will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”
I have studied and worked these verses inside out and upside down for a couple of years now. They are extremely important verses when dealing with “disaster relief”. When people through either their pride or arrogance disregard wisdom’s call in any matter, they are going to suffer the consequences. People who build a beautiful mansion directly on the beach are going to someday face the consequences of their foolishness when a hurricane shows mere mortals who is boss! If have no pity for fools who reject wisdom and defy nature. In my humble opinion; they deserve all the horrible consequences that sweep in with the next calamity.
Wisdom, indeed, does “laugh” at people’s disaster and mocks them when a calamity overtakes them through their foolishness and stubborn refusal to listen to wisdom’s advice. Verse 27 bears repeating for I fear this verse will become the mantra of millions of people very soon. Reading from the Amplified Bible verse 27 again says:
“When your panic comes as a storm and desolation and your calamity comes on as a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.”
A whirlwind is a tornado. I have heard the horror stories of people who lived through hurricane Katrina. Huddled in a corner of a house being blown apart defines panic, distress and anguish. I have personally lived through tornadoes passing directly overhead and felt the change in pressure in my ears, and heard the nails being pulled out of boards and sheets of plywood being ripped off the roof and discarded like cardboard. There is nothing that better describes “panic, distress and anguish” than living through a category 4 hurricane or tornado.
The rejection of wisdom is a very big deal to God. So big, in fact, that He chooses to equate the consequences of rejecting it to the panic and anguish one feels when living through a gigantic storm. Unfortunately, those who have arrogantly refused to listen to God’s warnings dealing with what is coming to this world, will have to endure the consequences of having to live through a time too terrible to describe.
The day of God’s wrath is quickly approaching. God has issued “Wrath Warnings” since the days of the Old Testament prophets. The last thing God wanted in His written Word was the “Wrath Warning” in the book of Revelation. Those who take heed to the warnings and repent will be “saved from the wrath which is to come”. Those who reject the warnings and continue living in sin will certainly be sorry they did.
Well before a severe storm, the National Weather Service issues a “watch”. The purpose of a “watch” is to allow people enough time to prepare for a coming calamity. “Watches” are issued in advance of blizzards, ice storms, dry winds that fan fires, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, tropical storms, hurricanes and even tsunamis. Wisdom dictates taking precautionary measures before an approaching storm. Wise people prepare for a coming weather event and usually survive. Fools disregard the “watches” and usually end up the victims in a disaster.
When a storm is guaranteed to be a reality a “WARNING” is issued. Warnings are not given unless the situation has reached a crisis point. Warnings of all kinds are there for a reason. Only fools disregard warnings out of their arrogance and pride. It is truly amazing to look back on a situation such as Katrina and realize there was ample time for evacuations if people had heeded the “Watch” which was posted well in advance of the event. There was even time to escape once the “WARNING” was issued. For whatever the reason, those who deliberately decided to “ride out the storm” were the causalities of it. Those who properly prepared were the ones who endured the storm and had to deal with only physical damage instead of physical death.
The message of Proverbs chapter one is very sobering. Remember it says that when the horrible calamity strikes THEN those who arrogantly defied wisdom’s call will cry for help. The Bible says that wisdom will not answer. It can’t answer for it is too late. Wisdom cannot help AFTER THE FACT. Wisdom can only provide answers BEFORE hand. When it is rejected and arrogantly discarded when it could have helped; it is of no use after the calamity strikes.
I do not envy what those who hate the true knowledge of God and choose to NOT fear the Lord have to look forward to in 2008 and beyond. Those who will not accept God’s advice written in His Word and those who spurn and flat out reject His rebuke; WILL eat of their own fruit and that fruit will not be good. The waywardness (turning away, backsliding) of the simple (the fools) will kill them. The complacency of fools will destroy them.
In Isaiah 32:6-8 it says:
“For the fool speaks folly, his mind is busy with evil; He practices ungodliness and spreads error concerning the Lord: the hungry he leaves empty and from the thirsty he withholds water.
The scoundrel’s methods are wicked, he makes up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just.
But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.”
In due time everyone will eat the fruit of their decisions in this life, whether good or bad. The fools and scoundrels will eventually receive the reward they are due for their wickedness, folly and selfishness. In due time, he who is noble and listens to the voice of wisdom and does what is right in the sight of the Lord will receive the reward due to them.
Allow me to close with repeating verse 33 from Proverbs chapter One from the Amplified Bible:
“But whoso hearkens to me [wisdom] shall dwell securely and in confident trust and shall be quiet, without fear or dread of evil.”
No matter what the rest of this year brings, it is available to dwell securely and peacefully with no fear or dread of evil. PLEASE allow wisdom to guide and direct you to safety in this upcoming year of potential upheaval especially in the financial realm. God Bless You.

1 Response to “Proverbs Chapter One: Sobering Warnings That Need to be Heeded”

  1. February 25, 2008 at 6:02 am

    To me it is necessary to find

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