of verses like this one, I struggled and debated at first as to HOW to
approach the book of Proverbs.
- Should I
teach it topically, and lump together those passages which
deal with various reoccurring subjects… such as work/laziness; the
tongue; choosing friends; the use of money; immorality vs. purity… reaping
what you sow; or this topic: correction and reproof.
- Should I
teach it verse by verse? But if I do, then we are going to
come across certain themes (like this one) over and over again. It might
be too repetitious and thus become monotonous…
how often this theme is repeated:
- 15:10; 15:5;
- 1:30; 5:12;
10:17; 12:1; 13:1
believe the Lord led me to teach His Word exactly in the order and with
the same frequency of repetition as HE put in it… by the inspiration of
- And if
certain themes are repeated often… and if it seems a bit repetitious at
times – you take that up with the Author. I’m just the messenger boy.
- There is good
reason for repetition.
- It is
the very best aid to memory and learning device.
- It helps
drill truth in deeper so that it sticks.
forget and need reminding.
sometimes begin to drift in the wrong direction and need to be wooed
sometimes disobey and need rebuking…
- And an
area that may not have been a problem when you heard it preached six
months ago MAY be a problem in your life today!
- Or maybe
the Lord knows that you will be tempted tomorrow and need a FRESH
- God has
His reasons for repetition.
Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way:
was a keen observer of human nature.
- He was a
people watcher and noticed that NOBODY likes to be corrected.
- It is
human nature to assume that our ways are right and thus we don’t need to
is grievous because it highlights something that is WRONG with self… and
is always damaging to our so called “self image.”
casts us in a bad light.
places us BENEATH the one correcting us.
involves accepting the fact that they’re right and I’m wrong!
always hurts… doesn’t it?
- It is
grievous experience for many reasons… most of which are based in PRIDE.
- Students don’t like to be corrected in
class because they feel foolish… embarrassed…
i. Everyone is looking at them… they
feel “stupid” for doing the math wrong…
ii. However, they SHOULD be pleased that
something wrong is being righted!
iii. It is far better to have it
corrected in class… than with a red pen on your final exam!
iv. If you’re doing the problems wrong,
the most helpful thing a teacher or a fellow student can do is correct you!
- Workers don’t like to be corrected in
the workplace for similar reasons.
i. They feel embarrassed if their
coworkers find out that they were doing something wrong.
ii. It makes them look bad.
iii. Or perhaps, they still THINK that
their way is right… and who does my boss think he is?
iv. Workers also don’t like to be
corrected because it might mean doing the work over again… correcting all the
mistakes… fixing the errors…
v. Lazy, mediocre workers do not like
to be corrected.
don’t like to be corrected.
i. It hurts their pride… they feel that
they are being treated like a little child…
ii. Sometimes, because of a lack of
experience, they don’t see the error of their way and resent being told that
they might be wrong.
iii. Sometimes it is just pure sin - they
want to do it their way and don’t want anyone telling them anything different!
iv. They hate the authority which the
- As Christians
we don’t like being corrected.
i. Once again, the reasons are similar.
ii. We don’t like to have our sin or
failure to be highlighted.
iii. We don’t want to admit that we are
wrong and someone else is right. Pride!
iv. We sometimes allow our hearts to
become hardened and we don’t WANT to bend… to yield… or to submit to God’s
v. II Tim.2:16-17 – the Scriptures are profitable for
Refusing to be
reproved – when the reproof is based upon the Scriptures, is refusing to
submit to God Himself!
We often take it
out on the person who reproves (parent; teacher; boss; elder; pastor; brother…
In reality our problem
is with God.
It is a spiritual
problem; an issue of the heart;
out an infection in our heart… and it HURTS to touch a sore, infected
When we are
infected, it is precisely that infected spot that NEEDS identifying and
cleansing! That’s reproof!
vi. Heb.12:11 – no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous
None of it is
joyous; all of it is grievous!
This is true for
young and old; parent and child; boss and employee;
EVERY son is
chastened… no one escapes… and it always hurts.
But it is always
good for us!
It hurts in the
immediate; but is good in the long run… like cleaning out an infection.
that forsaketh the way.
- Forsake: to leave, loose, to depart
from, leave behind; abandon;
i. Prov. 2:8 - the way of His saints.
ii. Prov.2:13 – who leave (forsake) the paths of uprightness.
iii. Prov.2:20 – the way of good men; the
paths of the righteous.
iv. Prov. 4:11 – the way of wisdom; right
v. Prov.10:29 – the way of the Lord.
vi. Psalm 119:1 – the undefiled in the way, who
walk in the law of the LORD.
who forsake the right way, end up going the wrong way.
i. Prov.1:15 – the way of foolish sinners who
seek after mischief.
ii. Prov.2:12-15 – the way of wicked men; darkness;
iii. Prov.12:26 – the seducing ways of the
iv. Prov.13:15 – the way of the transgressor…
which is hard.
v. Prov.15:19 - the way of the slothful.
is grievous to the one who forsaketh the way.
would think he would WANT to be corrected!
if he finds himself in the way with the wicked… the way of darkness…
(stumbling) the way of the transgressor (hard life)… the way of mischief
(getting in trouble and paying the consequences…)
would think that when a friend points out a BETTER way, that it would be
greatly appreciated. WRONG!
- It is
grievous. He HATES to be corrected.
Because he is in darkness… and the darkness doesn’t comprehend the
light; because he has been seduced by wickedness… and the wicked
way seems “wicked good” to him… and because there is a temporary pleasure
- This man
who hates to be corrected is quite shortsighted.
i. There is an immediate pleasure to
sin, but there are also long term consequences.
ii. The darkness is appealing when you
are trying to cover up your lifestyle.
iii. And after you’ve been in the
darkness for a while, your eyes adjust… and the light seems TOO bright!
iv. But ultimately, it is PRIDE
at the root of it all.
v. Fallen flesh likes to do its own
thing… and doesn’t want to be told what to do… and is BLIND and thus unable to
see what’s wrong with his evil way.
- Prov.13:18 – Wandering off into the
wrong path is shortsighted because (regardless of how FUN that way may
seem), the end of that path is often poverty and shame!
And he that hateth reproof shall die
– whoso rejects the Word shall be destroyed!
– even death!
- There are
serious consequences of NOT LISTENING to the words of wisdom… to
words of correction and rebuke…
is bad enough. It is bad enough when we stumble and fall into sin… caught
- But this
is much worse. This is the man (or woman) who sins… and
HATES to be reproved! He is told of the danger; warned not to proceed;
but continues going the wrong way anyway!
- This is willful
sin… deliberate sin… this is rejecting light and
truth… and a refusal to acknowledge sin. And we are j udged according to
the light we receive.
- The man
who trips into sin and bangs his head usually is ready to accept help in
- But this
man walked off into sin… and is being encouraged to get up and turn
around… and he HATES to hear it!
- There is
no help for those who refuse help… for those
who hate to be helped.
- Those who
refuse to be corrected… those who hate reproof… shall suffer
and even die!
doesn’t mean that in every single incident, the person who hates reproof
- But the
one whose life is characterized by “hating reproof” is on a pathway that
is headed towards death.
- It is
the way of the transgressor… the way of sin… and the wages of sin is
- Prov.29:1 - He that being often
reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed,
and that without remedy.
- Even a
righteous man (a believer) who refuses to submit to the correction of
God’s Word may experience physical death as a result. There is a sin unto
death! (The Corinthians!)
this man will refuse the offer of salvation… for the GOSPEL message
is a message of reproof, isn’t it?
God reproves us for our sin. He points it out and makes us admit it. He
tells us that we are headed the WRONG WAY.
- Then He
offers a BETTER way… HIS way. (John 14:6)
who refuse correction will remain in the broad way that leads to eternal