Meditation: Proverbs 9:6-10
6Forsake foolishness and live, And go in the way of understanding. 7He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. 8Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. 9Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. 10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
This is one a passage that I must take great care in writing about. As I read through the verses about the fool and scoffer, I automatically take my name out of the equation. However, I must never lose sight of the fact that I am a sinner saved by grace and must regularly pray, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24). Lord, show me if there are blind spots in my life in which I act like a fool, or am a scoffer.
Verse six is very straight-forward and to the point: if you want to live, don’t do foolish things. Foolishness is the opposite of wisdom. Wisdom is the fear of the Lord, which leads to knowledge and understanding. The word “live” in this verse comes from the Hebrew word “Chayah,” which can be used figuratively and means to be whole. Basically, a foolish person does not have a whole and abundant life because they do not have a proper and real relationship with the Lord.
A scoffer is one who shows contempt for another. Webster’s dictionary defines “Contempt” as “the act of despising.” The person that God is referring to in these verses is one who despises other people – one who elevates himself so much, that he looks down upon the thoughts and actions of everyone around him.
Am I the type person that can receive instruction, counsel and rebuke with the right attitude? Verses eight and nine are very challenging to me, in that they speak of a wise person being someone who values and accepts instruction and clings to the person who gives it. It is very easy to think that I am someone who this is true of…until it actually comes down to receiving the instruction. Am I humble and willing to heed the counsel of others, or am I prideful and like the fool whose attitude becomes offensive when someone offers guidance?
Wow, verse ten is such a key to a Godly life. We see here that the fear of God = wisdom = understanding + knowledge of God! Before we can ever have a life that is abundant and Godly, we must have a proper fear and respect of the Lord. Psalm 25:12 says, “Who is the man that fears the LORD? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses.”