"Proud," "Haughty," "Scoffer," are his names, Who acts with insolent pride. Proverbs 21:24
Here we have a proverb that gives us a great deal of information about the proud man. There are four terms that are used to describe this proud person. The last of them speaks of the actions of this person - the first threee of the heart or mindset that gives rise to such pride.
The actions of the proud person are said to be those of insolent pride. The word insolent means to presume or to assume that you are right. This person is has presumptuous pride - he is already filled with himself - but to a level where he thinks he is always right and everyone else is always wrong. It can be a frustrating experience to come upon someone like this because they almost never think they are wrong. Everyone else is wrong - and their ideas - their thoughts - their desires are the best. What leads up to a person thinking and reasoning like this? We are told there are three attitudes that bring such a way of living to the forefront of someone's life.
We are told that this person is "proud." The Hebrew word used here is "zed" and it speaks of pride itself. It is the word used most often in the Old Testament to speak of pride. There are three specific aspects of pride that are contained in this word. The first is that of presumption. The proud man presumes always in his own favor. As was said earlier - he thinks he is always right and everyone else is wrong. The is especially the case in regards to authority. The proud man thinks he has all the authority in the world to speak. He is the expert and everyone should listen to his wonderful ideas and thoughts. The second aspect of pride is that it is both rebellious and disobedient. The prideful man sees know reason to obey anyone except himself. Therefore if God's will (or anyone elses for that matter) opposes what he thinks he wants to do - he arrogantly assumes that his will is better and does it in rebellion and willful disobedience to God's. The third aspect to pride here is closely tied to the second - and that is a willful decision to do whatever it wants. The proud man doesn't respond to God - he responds to himself.
Haughty is the second word that is used to speak of the inward working of the proud man. This is the Hebrew word "yawhir" which means to be full of ourselves. The proud man is narcissically self-centered and self-assured at all times. This guys has an ego the size of an entire city - and that ego makes him think that all that matters is what he wants.
The third word used is "scoffer." This is the Hebew word "liyus" which means boast, scorn, mock, or deride another. The proud man mocks everyone else - and all ideas that do not agree with his own. He speaks in contempt of these things - and mocks them mercilessly to make them seek goofy in comparison to his own wonderful thoughts. This is even more so in reference to God and God's Word. He mocks it as an old, outdated book - as ideas that arose from hucksters and charlatans. He has no respect for God or for His Word which reverals God to us.
When these three motivations are put together it leads to a very arrogant proud person to is so prideful that it reeks. It is these things we need to seek to avoid - because as Scripture says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. A wise man recognizes these things in his own life - and then humbles himself for God to do a deep work in his character so that he does not live his life in a sad, unusable prideful way.
Judgments are prepared for scoffers, and blows for the back of fools. Proverbs 19:29
The New Testament reminds us in Romans that if we obey the Law, we will have no fear of judgment or punishment. Thus, the man who is driving the speed limit does not have his heart jump when he sees the speed trap too late on the highway. He has no fear of being caught doing anything wrong - because he's not doing anything wrong. But the scoffer who has no regard for the Law - who actually mocks it and speaks out against it - he has no such peace. The fool who is ignorant of the law and who loves his folly and sin - he too will know no such peace.
We are reminded that judgments are prepared for the scoffers. This refers to the Word of God. The fact that many miss is that God has already pronounced His judgments on those who scoff at His Word. He has given His commandments and also offered His warnings to those who ignore them - and who indeed ignore Him. There is no lack of passages in Scripture to remind us that God will judge the wicked - and that those who reject Jesus Christ face a terrifying specter of God's unreserved wrath. Therefore, if you are a scoffer, you can know exactly what you will get from God for your scoffing.
We are also reminded that there are blows for the backs of fools. The fool is the one who enjoys his folly - and ignores God's Word. He loves his foolishness and will not turn away from it. He has no use for anything that restrains what he wants - what His flesh cries out for each moment of each day. Thus the only way to reach this one and turn him from his way is by blows to the back. This brings howls of protest from those who think any kind of punitive action that involves physical striking as punishment is evil. But the facts tend to speak for themselves. Countries that bring quick judgment to bear on those who disobey the law - are also countries that do not have an abundance of lawless behavior in their country.
A few years ago a young man was caned in Singapore for breaking their law. Our nation was horrified as they considered what was about to happen. But the facts in Singapore stand on their own. The type of lawlessness this young American man embraced was almost non-existent in their culture. Their culture is this way because people see the cost of their actions - in literal blows that will come to them. Therefore they stay away from such behaviors. The cries that such laws and actions increase violence are not founded in fact. The violent societies are those who refuse to bring blows upon the backs of the fools who violate their laws. There is actually LESS violence in societies who punish with physical blows. There is a very real deterrent when you are facing real consequences for your actions.
Our nation has become obsessed with the rights of criminals. We are so concerned about possibly infringing upon their rights that we have forgotten the victims of their actions. In our march toward perfect justice (which does not exist) we have committed the greatest injustice to those injured by scoffers and fools. What needs to happen is for our nation to return to the principles of true justice and righteousness. This will also require us to return to judgments that make a fool pay for his actions. He will no longer be coddled by the justice system, but rather held accountable for choices that have injured and affected others. Maybe then we can move away from our current insanity - and toward a more just and righteous society.
Strike a scoffer and the naive may become shrewd, But reprove one who has understanding and he will gain knowledge. Proverbs 19:25
Punishment and reproof are interesting things. They are necessary in a society for that society not to become completely godless. Without it the wicked will overwhelm everyone else. But from what we learn in today's proverb - there are two ways of receiving discipline and correction. One will stop irreligious men from their godless behavior - but will not change them at all. The other way of receiving correction and discipline is that one that will bless us. It will not just stop outward actions - it will yield to us in ward understanding and knowledge that will help us address our heart issues. In the end, only the second of these two ways to receive correction and discipline will bring about lasting change from God.
The first man, the scoffer, is a fool who delights in his ungodly thoughts and ways. Often men and women like this are at least verbal bullies, if not physical ones as well. The scoffer seeks to trash his enemies - and those who hold to views different than his own. He is especially a bully when it comes to the topic of religion and God. An example of a scoffer in today's world is Bill Mahr. His programs usually include one conservation or Christian whom he does his best to bash and run over rough-shod. He bullies them with half truths and with red herring arguments. Bill Mahr is not interested in truth - or even in truthful debate. He is only interested in airing his own views. Talking to such a man does little or no good. The passage here says that a scoffer needs to be struck to get through to him. Now, in the case of a verbal scoffer, this should not be done - but in the case of a bully things are different. The only way to deal with him is to confront him - and if necessary show him you will stand up to him.
There is a problem though with this - and it is the difference between what the government is to do, and what the church should be doing. The government is to strike scoffers - especially those who scoff at the law. They are to be confronted and punished for scoffing at the law of the land. To chase a rabbit for a moment, this is what should be done with the Occupy Wall Street protestors who are breaking the law. They should be punished to the full extent of the law when they do. The more we let them alone and not confront their disregard for the law - the worse it will eventually be when we do. A bully - whether verbal, physical, or political - MUST be confronted. But . . . the problem is that all that will happen is that the scoffer will be stopped - and the naive will become more shrewd. The scoffer will be stopped in his tracks - and made aware that such scoffing comes with a price. The naive who watch this will become more shrewd in how they live their lives. They see that it will cost them to act or speak this way - and therefore they will not do so outwardly. The shrewdness mentioned here is a shrewdness to avoid consequences - and it will help a society maintain basic order. That being said though, it will not "transform" a society into a better one. That requires a work in the heart. It will require something more than just shrewd living. It requires wise, godly, understanding and knowledge.
Here is where the work of God, His Spirit, and His Word come into play. When we come to Christ we leave our basic foolishness and begin to walk in understanding. We grasp in that wonderful redemptive moment that there is more to life than just what we are currently wanting - there is God and His will. His will is always best. The wise man is one who does not need to be struck - just reproved. Words alone will do the job for him. He hears godly reproof - and honestly at times - even the ungodly kind. He hears and listens - then takes to heart what has been said. He is called a man of understanding, which means that he has taken the time to think and to ponder more than just his own throughts and desires. When he hears he learns and gains knowledge. This kind of knowledge helps him to deal with situations wisely - and without need for bullying with words or in any other way. The state may be able to keep the peace by dealing with scoffers and helping others to make more shrewd choices, but to bring about real change in a man's heart requires a work of God. This work will bring peace to more than just an outward situation - it will bring peace to a man's heart. And that peace will spread and last for more than just as long as it takes the police to leave. This peace is internal and will last for entire generational cycles. It is a peace and stability not based on the strength and numbers of law enforcement present on the street, but based in what rules in our hearts.
Though He scoffs at the scoffers, Yet He gives grace to the afflicted. Proverbs 3:34
How does God respond to those who scoff at Him? The first half of our proverb for today reveals that to us - then shares some very wonderful news with us about how the Lord responds to those who are afflicted.
God is a God of grace and mercy - but He is not happy with those who mock and scoff at Him and His Word. Here in Proverbs 3:34
we find a strong statement about how God reacts to the ones who are scoffing at Him. We read that God responds with scoffing toward them. The "scoffer" is one who mocks God. He derides the Lord and holds Him in utter contempt - even boasting against the Lord. What God promises to these who mock Him is mocking in return. The difference here is that the human who is insane enough to mock God, does nothing to God by His mocking. He is powerless to have any affect on God's glory or anything to do with God. On the other hand - God's mocking and utter contempt comes with an eternity of consequences - literally! The mocker who thinks himself so powerful has less effect than a flea has as it crashes into an aircraft carrier as it speeds through the ocean. So the one hurt by these actions is the mocker himself - whose mocking is only storing up wrath for himself when God ultimately comes to humble the arrogant.
The promise though is not just scoffing to the scoffer - but also grace to the afflicted. The word afflicted here is the Hebrew word "anaw" which has a much wider range than just the afflicted. It means one who is poor, oppressed, afflicted, and humble. This "afflicted one" is not proud, haughty, self-advancing, or self-assertive when it comes to standing before God. He is humble. He puts himself intentionally in a low and meek position. He does not view himself in comparison to men - either presently or in the past. He takes a good look at God and does the only wise thing a man can do - he chooses humility. One Hebrew commentary even suggests the idea of affliction here is that of self-affliction. He sees who he truly is in the sight of God - and chooses to humble himself in the dust before a God whose glory and majesty dwarfs him in a way that cannot be expressed in human language. Yet this humbling of himself is what makes him a candidate for God's grace. God looks at this humilty and desires to bless him. This is nothing more than the promise in James, "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." That is pretty much what the writer is saying to us here. May God see us remove ourselves from among the scoffers - and align ourselves with every haste to the ones who humble themselves and give God glory!
"How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge? Proverbs 1:22
If they only knew . . . this is the way that a lot of statements begin about those who reject Biblical truth and the Biblical world view. But this statement assumes that the only problem that is present is a lack of information - a lack of education. Yet today's proverb seems to present a different picture. There are those who even if educated would persist in their worldview and ignorance. Could it actually be that there is a deeper problem in the human race than a lack of education?
Three descriptions are given here about how people view their world. The first is the person who is naive. According to what is written in this proverb, the naive ones actually love their naivete. They enjoy their simple-mindedness. The word used here is "pethi" which means to be naive. The picture that this paints for us though is of someone who is very open minded. In fact to them the greatest character trait that you can have is to be as open-minded as possible. The root for this word means to be wide open and spacious. It refers to someone whose mind is as wide open as can be - to everything - to every view that is out there. The only thing this person cannot tolerate is a view that is considered narrow in its focus. The naive person thinks that everyone would be able to get along - if we would all just accept each others views as equally valid. This is the case even when the views in question are diametrically opposed to each other. This is the post-modernist whose most valued idea is tolerance. They love their open-mindedness so much that they will pretty much gut the real truth of any position so that everyone can have their opinion, be right for themselves, and never a threat to each other.
The writer asks, "How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?" The fact is that all views can't get along with each other. There has to eventually be a right and a wrong. There are some worldviews that are just flat out wrong. Look at Mao in China. To say that his view of communism, which was responsible for the murder of over 50 million people is ludicris! To say that Hitler's position is equally valid with that of Mother Theresa is insane. Yet the naive want everyone's view to be equally valid. They love their naivete so much that they will frontal lobotomize themselves when it comes to thinking to have every view just as valid. Europe took this view as Hitler rose to power - and each and every step along the way, Hitler took advantage of it to Blitzkrieg his way accross most of northern Europe. He wouldn't have been stopped except that at some point the naive ones realized that their open-mindedness could not fit him and his views of the world.
The second group are the scoffers. These are the ones who scoff and mock at the things of God. They belittle them as subpar thinking and subpar reasoning. They don't know how to build up - just tear down. They love their own scoffing, delighting in it every step of the way. They see it as a great thing when someone denigrates Christ, the Bible, or the church in some way. But their scoffing becomes such a lifestyle that they can offer nothing positive in reply. They only become bitter, self-centered critics who have nothing to offer anyone - except a constant cry to destroy and level anything related to God.
The third group are the fools. These are the spiritual dullards and dupes who don't want to be bothered by the facts. According to this passage they hate knowledge. This word speaks of knowledge, knwoing, learning, discernment, and insight. They do not want God's wisdom in their lives and will reject it when it is offered.
Now here is the amazing thing about this passage. None of these three types can have their lack of wisdom repaired by education alone. Their problem is not a lack of information. It is that they don't want the information. They enjoy their simple-mindedness, their scoffing, and their foolish worldview. They need something more than just information and knowledge. They need a change in their heart as a result of a work of God's Spirit in their minds. How do I know this? Because of the very next verse in chapter 1. These three groups are encouraged to "turn to God's reproof. They will have to see their views as wrong, and be willing to turn from them to God's correction. They need the Holy Spirit to be poured out upon them where they will then be able to receive the words that are spoken to them. Their problem is a heart level problem - not just an education level one. They delight in their views - and reject anything that would threaten them. Until there is a heart change - there will be no embracing of any kind of educational outreach to them.
This is actually the view of classic Christianity. The problem with mankind is not just one of proper education. We can educate someone for decades and unless there is a heart change wrought by the grace of God, they will continue to reject the truth. As Romans chapter one puts it, God's wrath is revealed against the unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness. They want their sin. They want their foolishness. They want their unrighteous ways. No amount of education that leaves their hearts unregenerated will do them any good whatsoever. There must be repentance and a change initiated and completed by the work of God's Holy Spirit. If that does not happen - they will simply continue to reject the truth and embrace their unrighteousness - whether it is dressed up as naivete, scoffing, or foolishness. What we see here is that only the grace of God can take a man and change him from a fool into a wise man. Oh, that we would pray that God's grace would touch the hearts of men to convert them from darkness to light - and from the foolishness of this world to the wisdom of God.
When the scoffer is punished, the naive becomes wise; But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge. The righteous one considers the house of the wicked, Turning the wicked to ruin. Proverbs 21:11-12
says, "Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil." Punishment is not just for the one who does the evil deed. Society at large also receives instruction when punishment is handed out for crimes and evil deeds that are done. Today's proverb helps us understand this.
The scoffer is the first person we see in this proverb. We see him being punished for something he has done. It is important to see that while others are instructed and given wisdom from this punishment, the scoffer is not one of them. A scoffer is incorrigible in his evil. He mocks God and does not care or concern himself with wisdom. He himself is the beginning and end of what little wisdom he desires. When this scoffer eventually breaks laws in his quest to poison society against God, he receives the punishment due for his crime. It is sad to see though that by the end of this proverb - and even the following verse - the scoffer learns nothing. He will continue in his scoffing behind bars - living to curse God and in so doing - have a curse upon his own life as he continues in his patterns of self-destruction.
But there is help for others in seeing this fool's punishment. The naive or simpleton watches and learns wisdom. This is not the typical word for wisdom here, but is the Hebrew "sakal," which means to be prudent, show discernment, and to be instructed in a way to go. The naive watch the actions of the scoffer receive their due punishment and consider his end. As a result they learn not to walk in those ways - if only to avoid the punishment. The truly wise man though watches and receives real instruction - and as a result receives knowledge as well. Knowledge is "daath" which means a knowing that gives him practical wisdom and knowledge as to how to walk each day.
The righteous is the last type of person who watches the punishment of the wicked. He looks and considers not just this one action that is receiving punishment, but he looks at the entire life of the scoffer. He considers his entire house (family, business, children, etc.). The Hebrew here is a little difficult to translate - and here is it rendered "turning the wicked to ruin." That gives the idea that the righteous man is out to destroy the wicked here. The Amplified Bible though, gives the best sense of the Hebrew here when it translates this passage, "The [uncompromisingly] righteous man considers well the house of the wicked—how the wicked are cast down to ruin."
The righteous man can and should work to make sure that the laws of the land reflect the laws of God. In that way he does work to see the house of the wicked turned to ruin. That is what is ultimately best for a society. But what is being communicated here is that what the righteous man does is note that the entire household of the wicked comes to ruin because of his ungodly behavior and his attitude of scoffing at God.
When we watch the demise of the wicked on television and in the news we need to receive instruction from it. Our hearts should not be drawn to such stories for the juicy gossip content. That is the attitude of the world, who learns very little from such things. We should watch and grieve the destruction from the standpoint of seeing that a lifestyle of arrogant scoffing and derision of God leads to destruction. We should also receive the instruction that God means for us to receive. Honoring and glorifying God is the wise man's lifestyle. As the house of the wicked crashes to the ground we should remember that Jesus Himself taught us that the foundation of a man's house - whether it is founded on obedience to God's Word or not - will be the deciding factor on whether it stands or falls.
A scoffer does not love one who reproves him, He will not go to the wise. Proverbs 15:12
Why is it that even when there is wise and godly counsel available, people do not take advantage of it? A southern saying that I heard a while back may help us on this situation. The reason a scoffer does not go to a wise man is the same reason a criminal does not hang out with the police.
The proverb here tells us that a scoffer does not love someone who corrects or reproves him. The scoffer is the one who mocks the things of God. He makes fun of God's commandments and laws - and derides God Himself. He does this because he does not believe and because in his infinite arrogance he prefers his limited little pea-brain's ability to think - rather than the mind of the infinite God as it is revealed in the pages of Scripture. But he is not content to just reject the things of God - he scoffs at them - and seeks to get others to reject them as well. He is the "anti-evangelist" if you will - or at least an evangelist for his own foolish thinking.
What is fascinating about the scoffer is that we read that he doesn't love anyone who reproves him. He is filled with pride and arrogance and therefore always thinks that he is right. In his own mind he is irreproveable - beyond correction. In this way it is only fitting that the one who thinks there is no God would consider his own wisdom and counsel very god-like. He is a god unto himself - and resents it when someone would deign to question his omniscience.
There is a consequence to this arrogant man's rejection of reproof. As a result of it, he will not go to the wise. He rejects them - and their much needed counsel. This is a sad state of affairs because they could greatly use wise counsel. Thus this arrogant scoffer will remain a law unto himself - an island of self-sought, self-taught, self-exalting wisdom - that is nothing more than foolishness and arrogance disguising itself as sage counsel.
This is why the wise man needs to embrace and welcome correction and reproof. Please do not misunderstand me - these things are seldom pleasant when they come. In fact they can be very difficult to hear as they are spoken to us. That is why I am grateful that Scripture tells me that discipline is not pleasant, but painful when it arrives. But I am also counselled in James and in Hebrews that when received it will bear fruit - creating a harvest of righteousness, truth, wisdom, and understanding when I welcome it and learn from it. Remember that the next time God in His love allows correction and rebuke to come into your life. Don't be like the scoffing fool who does not love the ones who reprove him. Be like the godly man who turns his ear to wise and godly rebuke. It will help open our ear to wisdom itself, and will bless us by turning us from unwise, arrogant, and unprofitable ways.
The eye that mocks a father And scorns a mother, The ravens of the valley will pick it out, And the young eagles will eat it. Proverbs 30:17This proverb is one of those that seems a little harsh when you first read it - especially if you've ever been disrespectful to your parents. Your average kid might say, "You mean to say that if I scorn my parents, I'm doomed to have scavenger birds peck
my eye out and eat it?" Since we know that not every rebellious child and teenager has had his eyes destroyed by a flock of ravens and eagles - we know that this passage has more to teach us than just a scary warning that probably would not work on kids anyway. But just what is this proverb trying to show us?
The key comes in understanding why a bird - especially a scavenger would have any interest in an animal's eyes. You see both of the birds mentioned in this passage are scavengers. That means that they both eat dead things. But one practice that ravens have as they approach carrion is that they need to be sure it is dead. That can mean the difference in having a meal and being one to the raven. Therefore when a raven suspects an animal to be dead - he goes straight for the eye. The raven lands near the animal and sees if the animal makes any movements. Then when the raven detects that things are clear for the most part - he subjects the animal to the ultimate test as to whether it is alive or dead. He pecks at the animal's eye. If an animal does not move to protect the eye, it is dead. As the raven picks out the eye of the animal - it assures him that the animal is dead. Often early in the meal that follows, a larger predator - which is where the young eagle comes in - will arrive and take over the meal from the raven, who wisely knows when he is outmatched.
Now, let's take what we've learned from nature - and apply it to what is said in this passage. When a young person feels his oats enough to begin mocking his own father and mother it is a very dangerous sign. The reference to the raven and the young eagle is not a direct threat - but rather a reminder. He is spiritually dead. This is not so much a threat of future aviary retribution - but of the spiritual reality of where this young man or woman is. God promises us that the one who honors his mother and father will live long on the earth. Great blessing is in store for the child who learns about respect, honor, and submission in subjection to his parents. These are vital lessons to learn if he or she is going to be successful in life - and after life is over. These come through properly relating to one's parents. If we don't learn them in the home - we will face learning them out in the world where the cost to learn them is far higher than it is with mom and dad.
One last thing that we need to note here is that we are not talking about open rebellion here - but the "eye" that mocks father and mother. This is as much a look as it is an action. I remember my mother telling me not to look at her in that tone of voice. It was a little bit of a joke - but not really. She knew, and so did my father, when my eyes were revealing what was really going on in my heart. The eyes are the window to the soul - and reveal much of what is truly going on in our hearts. Thus we need to be careful to not only watch our words concerning our parents, but also the way our eyes function as well. Quite often we might be obeying in our outward members - but our eyes reveal another story altogether. Remember then, that when the scavengers come looking for the dead - they come looking for those who are dead in their eyes. When a wise man seeks to determine whether someone is spiritually alive or dead - he can learn much in how a person treats their parents.
Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out, Even strife and dishonor will cease. Proverbs 22:10How do you get rid of strife and contention in a group? That is what God wants us to be instructed in today in Proverbs. He is about to tell us about the horrific fellow known as the "scoffer." Wherever this man is - there is trouble and strife about to break loose. When we learn how to identify and rid ourselves of him and his ilk, we will find that the dishonor and disunity will go away as well.
The word scoffer refers to someone who loves to mock, scorn, deride with great contempt to anyone but himself. The scoffer loves to express his utter contempt with someone with whom he disagrees. He knows nothing of positive criticism - he only knows of mocking and seeking to scorn his enemies. It is not enough for him to merely disagree - he must do it in the most disagreeable way possible! He knows only how to show complete and absolute contempt toward those he finds in his philosophical crosshairs.
A wise man knows that mocking his detractors will usually yield him some serious enemies. Very rarely does this tactic yield converts to his way of thinking. Heaping a mocking shame and disgrace on others is not a positive way to communicate a message which you desire to use to change someone's mind and thinking. But that is what the scoffer excells at in life. As a result when he comes around you will also find contention, strife, and dishonor. He will use his words to strike up fights among people. He loves to fight - and loves to accelerate an argument to the point of intense strife. He also loves to see dishonor come to his opponents. He cares little what happens to the organization in which he is wreaking his havoc. He only cares for his own ungodly thoughts and desires. The more damage he can render to his opponents - the better he sees the outcome of his actions.
There is one response to such a man - get him out! Scripture says that we are to "drive out" this kind of man. Too often we want to try to win him over to our way of thinking. That is NOT going to happen - because he is un-winnable while he is a scoffer. The New Testament tells us to reject a factious man after a warning. We are not to have a three strikes policy with such dangerous men. Get their contention-stimulating behavior and conversation thrown out of the assembly of God's people. This man knows nothing about how to walk in unity with others. He only airs his own opinions and contentious thoughts. He cares nothing for those of others. The best thing we can offer him - is the way out. This may sound hard - but when dealing with a scoffer, you are not dealing with someone who can be won over. Therefore the best thing to do is to follow the godly advice of Solomon - drive him out!
Scorners set a city aflame, But wise men turn away anger. Proverbs 29:8
As I sit here are write this day's "Little Bit of Wisdom," I am in a local bookstore in front of the political section. No place is really a better example of our proverb today that this section. Scorners in America are setting our nation aflame. Hopefully before our nation bursts into a conflagration of mutually hated political groups - racial groups - and economic groups, we will have wise men rise up who will turn away our anger and propose solutions for our nation - without all the incindiary rhetoric.
The scorner is the one who is causing so much harm in this proverb. The Hebrew word used here is "lason" and it means a scoffer, a mocker and refers to someone who is foolish, arrogant, and who believes their own bragging talk. Elsewhere in the Scriptures this one is referred to as a babbler. Their lack of wisdom from God makes them think that they themselves are god. Thus they begin to consider themselves infallible on certain matters. Their lack of any Biblical wisdom also means that they have a worldview that is based out of a fallen, selfish, God-despising heart. They laugh and scoff at the 10 commandments - and think that life is far better without the Word of God clouding their minds and thinking. These men come up with philosophies that reject God, exalt man - and that in the end encourage sin and wickedness. Their scorning talk about God and how life should be - sets the city on fire. What is meant here is that they inflame the minds of the people against God and His ways.
As history progresses we watch God rejected - and the world set on fire again and again with philosophies that bring destruction to mankind. Darwin's theory of orgins that rejects God seems innocent enough - but the philosophies that degenerated out of it have caused great destruction. Adolph Hitler took Darwin's theory seriously and came to believe that the Germanic people were the super-race. The logical conclusion of Darwinian origins was that survival of the fittest required the destruction of the weaker and less desirable elements of the world so that the next step of evolution could come unhindered. That kind of "inflamed thinking" led him and the leadership in Germany to systematically murder over 6 million people. In the African continent we've watched in horror as philosophies and the inflamed rhetoric of national and racist pride have led one tribe and ethnic group to practice an ethnic cleansing of another group which they hate. The ensuing slaughter that took place in the name of ethnic pride was nothing short of a nightmare. When men reject God and His Word - bad things happen. When the hiss of their viper-like philosophies begins to catch the world around them on fire - the end game makes for destruction on a scale that is hard to comprehend.
Wise men know that such passions are rottenness in men's bones. Their desire is to be the sons of God who are peacemakers. They seek to turn away wrath - knowing that these passions when loosed are like pandora's box. They are difficult, if not impossible to recapture. All of Europe was set on fire by the twin philosophies of Nazism and Facism. The world has yet to see the full damage that has resulted from the godless political philosophy of Communism. Wise men will do all that they can to expose these false philosophies for what they are - the dangerous fires of scoffers who desire to set an entire city - if not an entire country aflame.
There is an ultimate end to the scorner's tale. Their will be an eternal fire that will burn the adversaries of God. The ultimate scorner, Satan himself, has be behind the carnage that is produced by rejecting God and His Word. He started it all with the question, "Has God said?" in the garden - and has been asking that question to the sons of Adam ever since. All their wicked philosophies are simply the lie he uttered to Eve when he said, "You will not die!" He has sought to inflame minds to think that God is withholding something from them when He forbids sin. Countless billions have listened to his lies - and unfortunately they will be ultimately set afire for eternity in the lake of fire for their rebellion. But . . . a wise man will turn away wrath. Mankind deserves the wrath of God that will come for their rebellion. But the Lord God has provided a way of salvation in Jesus Christ. He has poured out wrath on His only begotten Son - having Him bear the wrath and punishment on the cross. He died, was buried, and resurrected on the third day - all according to God's wise plan to turn away wrath. Now, truly wise man take the good news of that truth - of that infinite mercy - and proclaim a provision of grace to rebels. These wise men - as they watch the Spirit of God convict men of their sin - show them Jesus Christ - and grant them repentance and faith - turn away wrath one person at a time. May God increase their number among mankind - and may the flames of the scorners be put out in the minds of those who are granted that His glorious grace that comes through Jesus Christ His Son.