The following is based on Proverbs 1:20-33 NLT
“20 Wisdom shouts in the streets.
She cries out in the public square.
21 She calls to the crowds along the main street,
to those gathered in front of the city gate:” Prov. 1:20-21 NLT
To start off, we have wisdom taking on human characteristics through speech. There is some speculation as to who or what “wisdom” is supposed to represent. At first glance, one could just assume that it is just an interesting way of writing. Wisdom represents the standard wisdom that humans are aware of, but giving it tangible characteristics puts the passage in a form that is easier to visualize. Another idea is that this wisdom represents God’s wisdom. If one reads Luke 11:49, they can see that, here, God’s wisdom speaks for itself, although some newer translations refer God speaking “in his wisdom” instead. There is quite a large distinction between those two translations. Some would consider this to be related to the Holy Trinity is some way, whether it personifies the Holy Spirit or the Son of Man. Some think this is an early hint of the coming Messiah, that ultimately, God’s wisdom manifested in human form, as Jesus. With those thoughts aside, Wisdom is clearly going everywhere possible to get man’s attention.
“22 How long, you simpletons,
will you insist on being simpleminded?
How long will you mockers relish your mocking?
How long will you fools hate knowledge?
23 Come and listen to my counsel.
I’ll share my heart with you
and make you wise.” Prov. 1:22-23 NLT
Wisdom calls out mankind, right off the bat. Obviously, nobody wants to hear something like this. Some reading this may even think that this passage is not talking to you, and I think that is a big part of it. All individuals, in some way or another, or at some time, are guilty of rejecting wisdom and knowledge in place of simple ignorance. It almost seems as if it is human nature to reject the idea that you know nothing. Naturally, it doesn’t feel good to be wrong or to be corrected, most people even fear speaking their mind for fear of being ridiculed, but that is how we learn and become wiser. There are other types of people as well, that have no problem speaking their mind, but they reject all criticism and insist that those in opposition are the simpleminded. Man needs to take a neutral stance. Speak your mind, but you must also keep your mind open to new wisdom that can be gained through experience. Any chance to gain knowledge or wisdom should be welcomed with open arms. Based on the above passage, all we need to do is listen.
“24 I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come.
I reached out to you, but you paid no attention.
25 You ignored my advice
and rejected the correction I offered.” Prov. 1:24-25 NLT
Whoever Wisdom is speaking to here has obviously not listened, instead pursuing ignorance. This is certainly still relevant today. Man has gathered some initial knowledge and wisdom, but now holds fast to them and refuses to let go. It is commonplace in today’s society to reject God’s wisdom and instead follow man’s wisdom. People often times find specific individuals that they agree with and only look to them for wisdom and knowledge while rejecting all other sources. Why limit yourself to man’s knowledge alone? Keep your hearts and minds open for God’s wisdom. It is there for you, but only if you are willing to accept it.
“26 So I will laugh when you are in trouble!
I will mock you when disaster overtakes you—
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone,
and anguish and distress overwhelm you.
28 “When they cry for help, I will not answer.
Though they anxiously search for me, they will not find me.
29 For they hated knowledge
and chose not to fear the LORD.
30 They rejected my advice
and paid no attention when I corrected them.
31 Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way,
choking on their own schemes.
32 For simpletons turn away from me—to death.
Fools are destroyed by their own complacency.
33 But all who listen to me will live in peace,
untroubled by fear of harm.” Prov. 1:26-33 NLT
Wisdom has had enough, she lays it out plainly. Often times, we seek wisdom and knowledge only in time of catastrophe. We thought we could handle it ourselves, with our own wisdom and knowledge, but man’s knowledge can only take you so far. By the time we are willing to listen to Wisdom, it is far too late. The damage is already done. Wisdom makes it clear; we need to listen NOW instead of waiting. You have to deal with the consequences on your own if you have previously rejected Wisdom’s voice. Many of us have probably encountered tough times due to rejecting Wisdom’s correction. Hopefully, we will learn from these situations and seek God’s wisdom in the future, but if we do not, based on the passage from above, we will not be helped.
Take this passage to heart. Keep yourself open to Wisdom from above. Do not lean on your own understanding or that of man. Man is fallible and prone to failure; therefore, we should look to God for true knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Do not fall into man’s trap of ignorance and arrogance.