- Because 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…
- Consider how often this theme is repeated:
- 15:10; 15:5; 15:12
- 1:30; 5:12; 10:17; 12:1; 13:1
- I 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 the Holy Spirit.
- 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.
- We forget and need reminding.
- We sometimes begin to drift in
the wrong direction and need to be wooed back.
- We sometimes disobey and need
- 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 reminder today…
- God has His reasons for
Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh
- Solomon was a keen observer of
- 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 be corrected.
- Correction is grievous because it
highlights something that is WRONG with self… and is always damaging to
our so called “self image.”
- Correction casts us in a bad
- It places us BENEATH the one
- It involves accepting the fact
that they’re right and I’m wrong!
- That always hurts… doesn’t 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
- Young people 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 reproof represents.
- 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 Word.
Tim. 2:16-17 –
the Scriptures are profitable for REPROOF…
to be reproved—when the reproof is based upon the Scriptures, is refusing
to submit to God Himself!
often take it out on the person who reproves (parent; teacher; boss; elder;
pastor; brother… )
reality our problem is with God.
is a spiritual problem; an issue of the heart;
points out an infection in our heart… and it HURTS to touch a sore, infected
we are infected, it is precisely that infected spot that NEEDS identifying
and cleansing! That’s reproof!
12:11 – no chastening for the present
seemeth to be joyous but grievous!
of it is joyous; all of it is grievous!
is true for young and old; parent and child; boss and employee;
son is chastened… no one escapes… and it always hurts.
it is always good for us!
hurts in the immediate; but is good in the long run… like cleaning out an
that forsaketh the way.
- Forsake: to leave; lose; to depart from;
leave behind; abandon.
- The way they forsake:
2:8 – the way of His saints.
2:13 – who leave
(forsake) the paths of uprightness.
2:20 – the way
of good men; the paths of the righteous.
iv. Prov. 4:11
– the way of wisdom; right paths.
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.
- Those who forsake the right way,
end up going the wrong way.
1:15 – the way
of foolish sinners who seek after mischief.
2:12-15 – the
way of wicked men; darkness; crooked ways.
12:26 – the seducing
ways of the wicked.
13:15 – the way
of the transgressor… which is hard.
15:19 – the way
of the slothful.
is grievous to the one who forsaketh the way.
- One would think he would WANT
to be corrected!
- Especially 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…)
- One would think that when a
friend points out a BETTER way, that it would be greatly appreciated.
- It is grievous.
He HATES to be corrected.
- Why? 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 to sin.
- 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.
Wandering off into the wrong path is shortsighted because (regardless of
how much FUN that way may seem), the end of that path is often poverty
And he that hateth
reproof shall die
13:13 – whoso rejects the Word shall be destroyed!
15:10 – even death!
- There are serious consequences of NOT LISTENING to
the words of wisdom… to words of correction and rebuke…
- Sinning is bad enough. It is bad
enough when we stumble and fall into sin… caught unaware.
- 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 judged according to the light we
- The man who trips into sin and
bangs his head usually is ready to accept help in getting up.
- But this man walked off into sin…
and is being encouraged to get up and turn around… and he HATES to hear
- 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!
- This doesn’t mean that in every
single incident, the person who hates reproof dies.
- But the one whose life is
characterized by “hating reproof” is on a pathway that is headed towards
- It is the way of the
transgressor… the way of sin… and the wages of sin is death.
- Prov. 29:1 – He that being often reproved
hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that
- 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!)
- Ultimately, this man will refuse
the offer of salvation… for the GOSPEL
message is a message of reproof, isn’t it?
- First 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)
- Those who refuse correction will
remain in the broad way that leads to eternal destruction.