Proverbs 1:23

Proverbs 1:23 "Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you."



Drawn as a strong woman, Solomon placed wisdom in the midst of man.  Drawn as a fully accessible woman, Solomon painted wisdom appealing to men.  In this passage, wisdom is appealing to a specific group of people – she is appealing to simple ones, to scorners and to fools.  Wisdom doesn’t reserve herself for the intellectually elite.  She doesn’t hide herself in the thick books and in the quiet halls of monasteries.  Wisdom is not content to reside only in the minds of the wise.  She is forever seeking new minds to enlighten; new lives to transform; new souls to advise.  The virtue at the center of the Book of Proverbs is always looking to enable the simple, convert the fool and redirect the scorner.  And so, she stands calling in the midst of these souls…

In an effort to expand her influence in the lives of men, wisdom’s first step is to create dissatisfaction for the vice that occupies the soul.  Wisdom knows that she will not be welcomed into the heart of the simple as long as the simple loves simplicity.  She knows she will not be welcomed in the heart of the scorner as long as the scorner delights in scorning.  She knows she will not be welcomed in the heart of the fool as long as the fool fancies in foolishness.

Her second step is to offer an alternative to the vice of man. Wisdom isn’t drawn as a naïve woman oblivious to that which prevents her from being received nor is she drawn as a nagging woman constantly pointing out the problems of men.  She doesn’t spend all of her time on that which prevents her reception nor does she spend all of her time on that which she has to offer.  Wisdom points out the vices of men and then offers to replace them with her virtues.  Her two-fold approach offers more than REPROOF – it offers a REPLACEMENT.  If men “turn” at her “reproof,” then she will “pour out” her spirit unto them.

Wisdom offers more than criticism; she offers a resolution.  She does more than point out problems; she offers solutions. Portrayed as this type of woman, wisdom would appeal to the young man reading this passage.  Where vices exist, reproof is necessary but it is not the only thing necessary.  Where vices exist, Reproof AND Remedy are necessary; Reproof AND Replacement are necessary; Reproof AND Resolution are necessary.  The reason wisdom seeks dissatisfaction for vice is for the sole purpose of replacing that vice with her virtue.  Wisdom is not in the business of bothering men, she is in the business of building men.  Wisdom is not in the business of reproving women as much as she is the business of restoring women.  Wisdom is not in the business of scolding people, she is the business of sculpting people.

Criticism is hard to swallow when it isn’t constructive.  Criticism is hard to consider seriously when an alternative isn’t sincerely suggested.  When husbands fail to offer sincere solutions alongside their criticism, they breed marital contention.  When wives fail to attach sincerely-suggested solutions to their criticism, they will fail to be of any assistance to their husbands.  When parents fail to offer sound counsel after reproof, they will fail to motivate their children to do right.  Without sincerely-proposed solutions to problems, critics are viewed as unwanted complainers and whiners. Wisdom offers criticism in the streets but it also offers a solution in the same streets.  Wisdom utters rebuke in the city but it also utters an invitation in the same city.  Wisdom speaks reproof in the chief gathering places but it also suggests a solution in the same gathering places.

In wisdom’s case, her suggested alternative to vice is meant to be an appealing option.  If the simple would turn from his simplicity, wisdom offered to “pour out” her spirit unto him.  If the scorner would turn from his scorning, wisdom offered to “pour out” her spirit unto him.  If the fool would turn from his foolishness, wisdom would “pour out” her spirit unto him.  She didn’t offer to give a little sample of her spirit.  She didn’t offer to give a few of her words. She didn’t offer to give a free trial of her virtue.  She was willing to give abundantly and liberally.  She wasn’t going to hold the past vice of the simple against him.  She wasn’t going to hold the past vice of the scorner against him.  She wasn’t going to hold the past vice of the fool against him.  She was willing to leave their vices in the past and commit herself wholly to them.  She was willing to forgive, forget and freely give.  Wisdom is all in on helping the souls of men and women.

No one should be surprised to learn that Solomon’s wisdom follows the same pattern of Solomon’s God.  God is not in the business of Reproving man as much as He is the business of Repairing man.  Throughout the pages of Scripture, the Rebuke of God can be heard but rarely is it heard without an accompanying Remedy.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest example of this pattern.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ starts with a Rebuke of Sin but quickly proceeds to the Remedy of Salvation.  “For all have sinned” is God’s rebuke on mankind (Romans 3:23).  It is quickly followed by God’s remedy, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).  Throughout the Bible, God points out our sin but rarely does He park there, instead choosing to proceed with the offering of a remedy to our sin; an alternative to our sin.

We would do well to follow the same pattern of Solomon’s God and of Solomon’s Wisdom.  Where there is vice, there should be reproof.  But where there is vice, there should be both reproof AND remedy.  Where there are problems, there can be criticism but make sure sincerely-proposed solutions accompany that criticism. Husbands, wives, fathers & mothers especially need to follow this pattern.  When wisdom attempts to influence men & women, she does more than rebuke – she invites men & women to become recipients of her spirit.  When wisdom speaks, she does more than point out problems – she offers to solve those problems by pouring out of herself.

Let us remember that it’s not good enough for someone to forsake foolishness – wisdom must be received in order to replace foolishness.  Jesus taught, “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first” (Luke 11:24-26).

Related Posts

Recent

Archive

Categories

Tags

Rehoboam Solomon fear of God health pride self-sufficiency wisdom 2020 5th Commandment Abigail Abraham Absalom Adam Adolescence Adulterer Adulteress Affair Ahijah Ahithophel Amnon Apple of Eye Asaph Athletes Bathsheba Bedroom Beecher Benjamin Bezaleel Bible reading Bible Biblical instruction Bonar Bondage Boyfriend Building CA Rt 1 Calamity Calvin Canaan Character Christian upbringing Christ Churches Clinton Clothes Clothing College Conversation Corinthians Cosigner Cosigning Courting Creation Creator Danger Daniel Dating Daughters David Death Delilah Deuteronomy Devil Dishonor Divorce Early Adulthood Ecclesiastes Economic Stability Eden Elihu Elijah Engagement Enoch Ephraimites Esau Esther Evening Eve Fashion Financial Security Fingers Freedom Friendships Friend Galatians Gender Differences Genesis Gideon Gileadites Girlfriend Godhead Goliath Gossip Gratitude Haman Hannah Harlot Heaven Hebrews History Holy Spirit Homicide Hypocrisy Insight Instructing Interview Israel Jacob James Jealousy Jeremiah Jeroboam Jerusalem Jesus Christ Jesus Jewish Law Jewish Job Jonah Joseph Joshua Josiah Joy Judah Judaism Judas Iscariot Judges Judgmental King David Kings Language Learn Liar Life Lesson Lion Look Love Triangle Luther Lying Mark Marvel Mary Matthew Media Men Moody Morality Morning Moses Naughtiness Nehemiah Noah Numbers Parenting Passion Pastors Paul the Apostle Paul Peter Polygamy Popularity Potiphar's Wife Potiphar\'s Wife Principal Thing Principal Prophecy Prophet Prostitute Proverbs Psalms Psalm Punishment Purity Purpose Rage Rehoboam Rehoboma Relationship Remember Reputation Resurrection Revealing Rich Rules Samson Samuel Satan Saul Scam Scripture Sea of Galilee Selfishness Shame Shoe Laces Simon Peter Simon Solomon Song of Solomon Sons Speech Steal Strange Woman Stress Surety Tamar Taylor Teachers Teaching Teenagers Teens Theft Timothy Tolerance Trickery Trinity Turner Understanding Vengeance Virtuous Walk Watsom Wink Witnessing Women Work Ethic YouTube addiction adultery advertisements advertiser advertising advice advisor affection affirmation alcohol amos angels ant anxiety appetite assumption as attractions authority background backyard battle beginning birds bitterness brain bright broken nose buckler cardinal sins career carelessness car cause certainty charity chastening childhood childrearing children child choices church attendance church command confidence confident consequences considerate contention contentment conversaion correction counselor counsel covetousness criticism cruelty cynicism dads dad darkness dark daughter debt deception decisions defend defense demands destruction determination diamonds diligence direction disappointment discernment discipleship disciples disciple discipline discontentment discord discretion distractions distress doctrine dogs drinking drugs dying ear education effort emotions employment enemies enticement enticing envy equity evil communications evil men evil women evil example eyelids eyes ezekiel facts failure faith family fathers father favor fear of God fear feelings feminine fighting fight filthy finances flattery focus following foolishness foolishnes fools fool forgiveness fornication friends gambling gender gold good men good government grace greed guard guilt happiness happy harm hate headlights health heart hear holiness home honor hope hunger husbands husband ignorance illustration income inequality infidelity influence iniquity insomnia instincts instruction intimacy investigation isaiah issued issue jewelry judgment justice kidnapper kidney kids knowledge labor law of sowing and reaping laziness lazy leadership learning length of days lessons let life light lips listening listen little liver living loans loneliness long life love lucifer lust man marketing marriage math memorization memory mercy millions mind ministry mischief misery mistakes mom money mothers mother motive mouth movies nature necklace neck neighbor obscenity observant oppression oppressor organs ornaments parable paranoia parenthood parents parent pastoring path peace peer pressure peers peer permission personification pleasant ponder pornography pottymouth poverty power prayer preservation pride priests private procrastination prodigal profanity prosperity prostitution protection protect prudence public restroom purchases reading reaping reason rebellion rebuke regret rejection relate relationships relevant remedy remembrance remorse repetition replacement reproof respect responsibility responsible retain retention riches righteousness righteous risk robber romance rubies safety sailor salvation schools scorner secret security seduction seeing see self-sufficiency self-sufficient serpent seven deadly sins seven sexist sexual sin sex silver simple simplicity sinners sin skepticism sleeplessness sleep son soul sowing spleen stability stranger strange strife striving successful success suicide talk taxes teacher television temptation tendencies thief thieves thinking think thoughtfulness thoughts thought threats time tithe tree of life trust truth tv vehicles vice video games violence virtue virtuous woman visual voice of God voice vulgar walking war wealth well wickedness wicked wife will wine wisdom wise sayings wise wives woman word of God words work worry young man young people young youth