Dr. John Hartmann

Proclaiming the Whole Counsel of God

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The Reproof of Wisdom

February 20th, 2011 · No Comments

In this study we look at Proverbs 12:1, which states: “He that loves discipline loves knowledge, but he that hates reproof is stupid”.

The purpose of the book of Proverbs is found in 1:2-6, which states that these proverbs will give one “instruction in wise behavior” and understanding of God’s ways. The book’s theme is then stated in 1:7: the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. We thus are cued to look for a contrast (repeated throughout the book) between the “wise man” who fears the Lord and thus respects and walks in His ways and another group made up of “fools”, “the naive”, and “the scoffer”, who in varying degrees do not fear God and ignore or even scorn His wisdom.

In 1:8-19 a father instructs his son in the way of wisdom, focusing here on the absolute necessity of avoiding evil associations, a truth confirmed in the teaching of St. Paul, who states that “Bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33). One must determine not to be unequally yoked with those who pursue the paths of unrighteousness, which can cause one much pain and sorrow. One must carefully choose what and with whom one will interface, for all in the end reap what has been sown.

Proverbs 1:20-33 lays out the “call of wisdom”, personified here as a woman who cries aloud in the public sqaure and in the gates of the city, calling all who will listen to turn to her reproof. Those who do so will be granted the spirit of wisdom and come to know the very words of wisdom contained in Scripture. The fruit of those who turn to wisdom’s reproof to walk in God’s ways will be peace and pleasant paths.

There are, however, the fools, the naive, and the scoffers, who do not turn at wisdom’s reproof, and who, in the latter end, are mocked for their folly. Our teacher exhorts us not to be one of them!

This study again offers exhortation, admonition, and practical instruction in the way of righteousness that leads to life. Throughout the message there is continual reminder that we must come to relate to God as a loving Father Who is always working for our good and the achieving of those goals He has set for us, which are nothing less than conformity to His image and being entrusted with stewardship in the Gospel.

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