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1.) This chapter speaks of a young man being called in two different directions.
a.) The fools are calling him to a life of crime. (vs.14)
b.) Lady wisdom is calling him away from the fools and to the way of wisdom. (vs.20)
c.) You are all being called by voices out there in the world… called to worldliness… called to a life of sin… called to join the in crowd…
d.) But you are also being called… wooed by the truth of God’s Word.
2.) Lady wisdom cries out for all to hear.
a.) She offers wisdom to whosoever will. (vs.23) (everyone here is being called by her – right now!)
b.) But few are listening… few are taking her up on her offer. (vs.24)
· Unfortunately, few in the world listen.
· Hopefully MORE than a few here will listen.
· But I know human nature. Some of you sitting here today will NOT listen… but will go off on your own one day to flirt with a life of sin.
c.) She warns that if they reject her too long, the offer may be withdrawn! (vs.14-16)
· This is a terrible tragedy! Opportunity lost…
· God gives you opportunity to respond to His Word… to His wisdom… but He won’t call forever --- if you choose to ignore His call repeatedly… year after year!
3.) Now, Lady wisdom states the penalty for rejecting her offer of wisdom. (vs.30-33)
1.) It is frustrating to offer counsel to men… and to children… only to see them reject the counsel and do their own thing anyway - especially when you see the sad results… knowing that COULD easily have been avoided.
2.) They WOULD = to be willing; to desire; to want.
a.) They did not want God’s wisdom!
b.) They did not want to hear it any more. They had had enough!
c.) They refused to listen to the sweet counsel of Lady wisdom.
d.) Perhaps some of you have felt like that when your parents were trying to get something through to you… (I’ve been there!)
e.) If you have an unwilling spirit – then NO amount of truth or helpful counsel will ever get through to you…
f.) That stubborn, resistant, defensive, refusal to listen will be your doom! Few things in life are more dangerous than that.
g.) If that is your heart attitude (unwilling to hear; unwilling to be taught), then even the Lord will not be able to teach you…
h.) Your parents… your teachers… and your friends all want to help you, but you are unwilling… You are even LIMITING what God is able to do in your life…
i.) God can’t work in an unwilling heart.
3.) They despised all my reproof.
a.) Despise: to spurn, contemn, despise, abhor
b.) Not only did they not want to be reproved - they HATED it!
c.) Reproof is counsel with a bit more punch… pointed counsel. It is not only encouraging a man down the right path. It includes warning that man AGAINST the path is now on! It is a rebuke.
d.) This was despised!
e.) Nobody likes to be rebuked. But a wise man will receive it… and learn from it. (Proverbs 9:8-9)
· In the end, he will appreciate it… and even love you for it - though in the immediate, it might irk him a bit!
· He will increase in learning and be yet wiser.
· Can you accept reproof? Can you swallow your pride and take it in?
f.) A reproof enters into a wise man more than 100 stripes into a fool. (Prov. 17:20)
g.) But the people Lady Wisdom describes were NOT wise. They were fools. They HATED her rebukes. She could beat them over the head 100 times, and her wisdom would still not sink in… they would still refuse to hear. They were fools.
h.) Don’t YOU be like that. Listen… take counsel…
A.) The Fruit of Their Own Way
1.) Fruit usually has a good connotation in the Bible… but not always, and not here. Here it refers to rotten fruit… bad fruit… evil fruit.
· Here the fruit of their own way refers to the evil results of NOT following the counsel or reproofs from Lady Wisdom…
· Fruit = the natural by product of…
· When a fool follows his own way instead of the way of wisdom, the natural outcome is disaster!
· This is not divine intervention or judgment. This is the NATURAL result of foolish behavior!
· People who foolish ignore the sign that says “Beware of thin ice” should expect to fall through.
· When it happens, it is not God’s fault. It is the fault of the fool!
· The water is cold and deep. And sometimes it hard getting out!
2.) Jeremiah said, “Thy words were found and I did eat them and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart!” (Jer. 15:16)
· God’s Word… God’s wisdom is offered… and men are to “eat” it.
· Eat it = take it in… appropriate it… make it yours.
4.) The fools in Prov. 1 had God’s wisdom offered to them, but they refused to “eat” it. They rejected it.
· They would not follow the way of wisdom.
· They hated it… they wanted to do their own thing… follow their own way.
5.) Now, they will be forced to eat their own fruit… the results of following their own way.
a.) But there are some purely natural consequences of rejecting wisdom. There are consequences of following our own ways!
b.) There are some ways that seem right to a man - but it results in death!
c.) Some young fools have been warned about drinking & driving - but they rejected it. They chose to do their own thing… their own way… and it often results in death!
d.) Other young fools have been warned about taking drugs… but they rejected wisdom and chose to go their own way. For many, that way spirals downward in disease, destruction, and death!
e.) Some other fools have been warned about being married to their job… but they reject the warnings, and end up losing their family over it!
f.) Some fools reject counsel and refuse to forgive a brother that has wronged them. Bitterness festers in their hearts… they become hardened… and eventually, they become a castaway spiritually.
g.) Some fools reject the wisdom of their parents and pay no attention in school. They become lifelong, professional hamburger flippers.
h.) Some fools are warned about smoking. They reject the wise counsel and end up with lung cancer.
i.) Some foolish parents are warned NOT to allow their daughters to wear skimpy clothing, but they refuse, because it is “stylish.” They regret it later when their daughter comes home pregnant at 15!
j.) Some fools are warned not to marry an unbeliever or a carnal believer. They reject the counsel, and pay a price for it the rest of their lives.
k.) The examples are endless… countless applications… examples of rotten fruit abound!
B.) Filled With Their Own Devices
1.) Device: counsel; plan; device.
· The fool rejects God’s counsel… and follows his own counsel/device/plan.
· The fool thinks his devices or plans are better than God’s.
· The fool will be FILLED with his own devices… he will reap the fruit of his own plan since he rejected God’s plan for his life.
2.) Fruit grows because it was planted.
a.) This passage teaches the same principle as found in Gal. 6:7-8.
b.) Whatever we sow, eventually, we will reap. If I fill my garden with tomato plants, I will be filled with tomatoes!
c.) If we sow rotten fruit - rejecting wisdom - eventually, we will reap rotten fruit.
d.) Folly reaps a harvest just like wisdom does. However, the harvest of folly is not good for you… it is not wholesome food! And the fool will become FULL on that unwholesome food.
e.) We cannot avoid the consequences of our actions!
f.) Every man is free to make his own choices. But he is NOT free to choose the consequences of those choices!
g.) God has established certain moral principles in the world. The consequences to defying them are just as sure as attempting to defy gravity!
h.) example: adultery - Prov. 6:28 - you cannot walk on hot coals and not be burned! So too one who goes in unto his neighbor’s wife. He is going to get burned!
· He had the choice to go unto his neighbor’s wife or NOT go in unto her.
· But once he chose to go in unto her - he does not get to chose the consequences! He is going to get burned!
· God gives us as believers freedom to choose. We can choose to walk with God OR we can choose to backslide. However, if we chose to backslide, we shall be filled with our own ways! (Prov. 14:14) Sin hurts! The way of the transgressor is HARD!
3.) The classic Bible illustration of this truth is found in Rom. 1:21-32
a.) vs.21 - They had truth, wisdom, revelation - but rejected it.
b.) vs.22 - they thought themselves to be wise. Who needs God’s wisdom?
c.) vs.23 - They rejected truth… rejected God… and the inevitable process of corruption began.
d.) vs.25 - They hated truth - and twisted it… they refused to honor God.
e.) vs.26-28 - They rejected God & His wisdom. God rejected them. (I shall laugh at their calamity!)
f.) vs.29 - They became FILLED with their own devices… and the inevitable consequences of their devices!
C.) The turning away of the simple shall slay them… (vs.32)
a.) Solomon makes the same point in different terminology.
b.) The fool was invited to “turn” (respond) to the offer of wisdom. (vs.23) IF he did, great benefits were promised.
c.) Yet because he turned away from that offer… that turning away shall be his undoing. It shall be his destruction… it will slay him!
d.) Turning away = backsliding. Instead of turning toward wisdom, he headed in the opposite direction. He will pay for it!
D.) The prosperity of the fools shall destroy them. (vs.32b)
a.) Prosperity = quietness, ease, prosperity. This speaks of the easy going lifestyle of the fool.
· It comes from a word that means “to be at rest.”
· It can refer to a carefree kind of lifestyle… “not a care in the world…” “life’s a beach”…
· This kind of attitude is the destruction of them!
· They get 100 dollars and instead of paying down their debt or saving it - they rush out to spend it - thinking they are rich… thinking that they haven’t got a care in the world! Let’s eat, drink, and be merry!
b.) That attitude destroys people’s lives… foolish people!
WHY do you think Solomon gave these words of warning to his son?
· To make life miserable for him? (Kids think that sometimes!)
· Because dads always have lots of negative things to say?
· Because he was old --- and doesn’t understand young people?
· NO!!! (Prov. 1:8-9) --- because if heeded, they will be like an ornament of grace on your head (like a crown – and a gold necklace)!
· Solomon loved his son and wanted the BEST for him.
· Solomon knew of dangers and their consequences and didn’t want his son to have to suffer and learn these lessons the hard way!
· Solomon loved his son – and knew that a few wrong choices in life could result in YEARS of regret… and some consequences might be irreversible!
· When your parents give you such warnings – it comes from the very same motivation – they love you more than you will ever know --- till you have your own kids… and they want the very best for you!