Proverbs 13:13

Despising the Word

 

Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed…

A. Despising Instruction

1. Despise: (Hebrew: booz) – to despise; hold in contempt; hold as insignificant; to despise; show despite toward; scorn; deride.

2. Word: instruction; speech; word; utterance; communication; counsel; commandment… (it is a broad term used in lots of different contexts.)

a. This term could include all kinds of words of instruction…
• From one’s parents…
• From the church leaders…
• From your boss…
• From a friend…
• From your teacher…
• From a brother in the Lord…
• From experts in a particular field (medicine; law; tax preparers; your industry; etc.)…
• From God Himself—refusing to listen to HIS WORD

3. Despising the word is utter folly.

a. Those who despise the word are CALLED fools…

b. Prov. 1:7 – fools despise wisdom and instruction…
• The book begins with this warning and repeats it OFTEN
• 1:4 – consider the purpose of the book.
• In light of its purpose WHY did Solomon repeat this thought so often—the fact that fools despise instruction?
• Because it is human nature… especially in the young to think they know it all… and to refuse to be instructed.
• Solomon gives repeated warnings of not only the FOLLY of that kind of behavior, but also of the CONSEQUENCES of it!
• Note also that a refusal to listen to instruction is the OPPOSITE of the fear of the Lord.
• This kind of refusal to hear stems from a lack of fearing God. If you feared God—you’d listen!
• If you don’t fear God—but think you are a little god unto yourself… if you think you have all the answers… then you won’t listen.
• FOOLS behave that way. Godly, God-fearing men, women, and children will listen.

c. Prov. 23:9 – fools despise the wisdom of thy words…
• Here Solomon gives the same kind of warning—only not to the listener, but to the one giving advice.
• Here Solomon warns: Don’t bother to give advice to a know it all fool.
• Not only will they not listen—they will despise it… and probably hate you too!
• Matt. 7:6 – This is like casting pearls before swine. The pig has no concept of the value of pearls… he will think you are throwing rocks at him to harm him and might attack you!

B. Shall Be Destroyed

1. Destroyed: to take a pledge; to bind; to spoil, corrupt, offend; to be ruined; ruin; be broken; to writhe, twist, travail.

a. Its normal meaning is that of taking a pledge…

b. The pledge BINDS a man… (sort of like taking out a loan binds the borrower…)

c. This speaks of a man who made a pledge, and if he doesn’t come through on his part of the pledge, he will lose his shirt.

d. That is not exactly the meaning here—but it does throw some light on the meaning.

e. In context the term here has the idea of being brought to ruin… corrupted… or destroyed… because of foolish behavior.

f. The man who binds himself under a pledge he is not able to pay brings himself to ruin. His foolish behavior (taking on more than he could handle) resulted in his financial ruin…

2. Solomon states that the man who refuses to listen to instruction is in a similar condition.

a. Because of his foolish behavior (not listening to instruction), he too will have a price to pay… a penalty…

b. This penalty may bring him to ruin…

c. It could destroy him in several different ways:
• Financially…

1. I have seen men brought to financial ruin because they refused to listen to advice…

2. They lost their homes… businesses…

3. Because of self will and folly…

• Flunk out of school…
» How many times have students flunked courses because they didn’t think they had to do the homework… or study hard…

» How many college kids drop out or are kicked out because they refused to go by the rules…

» They thought they were smarter than everyone else and the rules didn’t apply to them…

• Lose his job…
» How many folks (yes even believers!) have been fired… not because of their testimony but because they didn’t listen to instruction.

» They didn’t follow the rules… they didn’t do their job well… they didn’t get along with people…

» They were warned and warned about being late and leaving early—but didn’t listen.

» Now, they are unemployed.

• Ruin a marriage…

» Not listening to a word can ruin a marriage too.

» This word might come from your spouse… but you are not listening.

» They might be trying to communicate to you—but you refuse to hear.

» Something could be really eating away at them, but you despise any attempt at communication—and as a result, your marriage could be destroyed.
• Lose friends…

» People lose friends because they won’t take advice.

» They have been warned about gossiping… or backbiting… talking too much…

» Perhaps they have been warned about dishonesty… or not being reliable…

» And when they continue to refuse to listen to their friend’s exhortations—they could find themselves WITHOUT any friends… at least without any good friends.

• Spiritually…

» Every believer who falls away has been warned…

» He has been warned from God’s Spirit; God’s Word;

» And quite likely he has been warned from God’s people… many times over…

» Men are brought to spiritual ruin because they despise the word or instruction they were given.

» It CAN ruin you spiritually.

• The principle is broad enough to be applied to various contexts…
• The one who despising such instruction (sees it as insignificant) shall be destroyed… ruined…

4. Destruction to the fools who refuse to listen to instruction.

a. Prov. 1:25-31 He will be MOCKED when calamity strikes.
• vs. 25 – He rejects all counsel and reproof…
• vs. 26 – Lady Wisdom will mock at your folly!
• vs. 27 – destruction will come like a whirlwind…
• vs. 28 – you will wish you had not made such a foolish decision… you will wish you had listened… but it will be too late. You will live with your sorrow and regret…
• vs. 31 – therefore they shall eat of the fruit of their own way… they shall have to deal with all the fallout… and all the consequences of their folly.
• vs. 32 – it shall destroy them…
• vs. 33 – but the one who listens… the one who does things right… the one who takes heed to the advice and counsel given… shall be quiet.
• He will not have all the turmoil and mess to deal with.
• He can rest—while the fool is running around trying to put out all the fires he caused by his folly.

b. II Chron. 36:15-16 – the children of Israel refused to listen to God and His instruction… until there was no remedy!
• Israel rebelled and refused to listen for so long, that God saw that generation as without remedy.
• Nothing God could do would turn them around.
• Even chastening would not soften their hearts. It would only harden them.

c. Some folks can travel down this path so far that there is no return!

d. The book of Hebrews warns us of this spiritually… of those who refuse to listen and became so dull of hearing that they couldn’t hear any more… and found no place of repentance!

e. This is a fearful warning.

But he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.

A. Fearing the Commandment

1. Here Solomon describes the opposite of despising the word: fearing the commandment.

a. Proverbs began (1:7) with this contrast: between fearing God or despising wisdom.

b. If you fear, you will listen… and respond!

c. Fearing implies showing respect for the person and what he has to say.

d. Fearing God implies showing respect for God and His Word.

2. Fearing the commandment:

a. This concept is applied to all the above situations.

b. The child who fears the commandment of his parents will show respect for his parents AND what they say.

c. The worker who fears the word of his boss will show respect to the boss AND he will respect what he says.

d. The church member will show respect to the church leaders and respect what they say…

e. Fearing the commandment implies listening AND obeying.

f. It also implies being AFRAID of the consequences!
• The fool doesn’t think about the consequences. He just plows ahead doing his own thing.
• But the wise man—who fears the commandment and obeys—DOES think about the consequences of his actions.
• That fear of consequences keeps him from making foolish decisions.

B. Reward

1. Reward: recompense; receiving compensation; paying back.

2. Those who refuse to listen to instruction will be destroyed—brought to ruin.

3. Those who chose to listen to instruction… those who fear the commandment and demonstrate that fear by obedience will be rewarded! They will be paid back for their obedience. Their wisdom will be rewarded…

4. Psalm 19:10-11 – the one who takes heed to the warnings in God’s Word will be rewarded… in this life and in the life to come!

5. Proverbs 1:5 – a wise man will hear… and will increase in learning. He is rewarded for applying that increased learning and wisdom.

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