Cast Out the Scorner
Solomon has had much to say about the scorner in this book.
A. The Scorner
1. Scorner Defined:
a. Strong’s: To scorn; make mouths at; talk arrogantly; to mock.
b. Dictionary of Biblical Languages: Speak words which show no respect for the object, and make fun of the object.
c. Zodhiates: Deride or to boast so as to express utter contempt.
2. Scorner Described:
a. Prov. 9:8 – Reprove a scorner and he will hate you. The scorner has no interest in truth or correction action. He is simply interested in doing his own thing and getting his own way.
b. Prov. 13:1 – He will not hear rebuke.
c. Prov. 14:6 – He seeks, but cannot find wisdom. It continually eludes him because he refuses to “hear it” when he does find it.
d. Prov. 15:12 – He refuses to seek counsel… because he’s afraid that he might have to make changes that he doesn’t want to make.
e. Prov. 19:29 – Judgment is being prepared for him. He may try to avoid it, but sooner or later, it will catch up to him. If not in this life, in the life to come.
f. Prov. 21:24 – They are usually angry people… given to outbursts of wrath.
g. Prov. 24:9 – They are an abomination to men. They usually do not have too many friends. Who wants to be a friend of a person who is constantly ridiculing you… making fun of you… mocking you…
h. In short, the scorner is a FOOL.
i. Prov. 1:22 – Yet the scorner delights in his scorning!
3. What the Scorner Scorns:
a. II Pet. 3:3-4 – They scorn the doctrine of the Second Coming. (Because if it is true, then they are in trouble!)
b. Acts 17:32 – They mocked the doctrine of the resurrection. (Because if it is true, then they have lived a lie… and will have to give account in the life to come.)
c. Acts 2:13 – When the early Christians spoke in language they had never learned, the onlookers mocked in ignorance. (Scorners mock the work of God in any setting.)
d. II Chron. 36:16 – Scorners mocked the messengers of God because of the message they brought.
e. Psalms 123:4 – Scorners scorn the people of God.
f. Heb 11:36 – They mock the faith of the people of God.
g. Luke 18:32 – They even mock God Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ.
4. This is problematic to have scorners in the local church.
a. We have had scorners mocking the doctrine of Dispensationalism.
b. We have had scorners mocking the doctrine of separation.
c. We have had scorners mocking the decisions made by the board of elders.
d. We have had scorners mocking decisions made by the board of deacons.
e. We have had scorners mocking the old fashioned music here.
f. We have had scorners mocking and ridiculing people in the assembly they didn’t like.
g. We have had scorners mocking and causing contention in the assembly.
h. This kind of scorning and mocking can be divisive, contentious, and hurtful to many.
i. It is offensive, unkind, cutting, and can cause deep wounds.
j. This kind of scorning can RUIN the fellowship among the saints and cover the whole assembly with a dark cloud.
k. And to make matters worse, it is often based on half truths, outright lies and deliberate misrepresentations.
l. II Pet. 3:3 – Peter warned of scoffers who come walking after their own lusts.
m. This kind of scorning can also spread like a disease throughout the body until many are affected by it.
n. Nothing good comes from a scoffer.
5. We are to avoid the scorner when possible.
a. Ps. 1:1 – Blessed is the man that… sitteth not in the seat of the scornful.
b. Prov. 29:8 – They can bring a whole city into a snare. They can also bring a whole church into a snare. Therefore, these troublemakers should be avoided.
B. Casting Out the Scorner
1. Casting out
a. Defined: Thrust out; toss out; drive out; expel; banish; divorce.
b. The term was used most often of driving out the Canaanites from the land.
c. It is not a gentle term, but is rather harsh. It involved a FIGHT with the Canaanites.
d. Judges 2:3 – If the Canaanites were NOT driven out of the land, they would become thorns in your sides.
e. Like a thorn, they had to be removed.
f. If the Canaanites were not removed, it would have meant perpetual trouble and snares for Israel.
g. There would have been mingling, marriages with Gentiles, mixture of religious beliefs, and idolatry.
h. They HAD to be cast out.
2. Here Solomon tells us that the scorner also has to be removed… thrust out… cast out.
a. This too is not a gentle, happy term.
b. It often involves a fight. It is never a pleasant experience, but it is a needful experience.
c. The only way to deal with a thorn in your side is to remove it.
d. The only way to deal with a scorner is to cast him, her, or them all out.
e. Why such harsh treatment? Why not persuade them to stay and change? Why not try to accommodate them? Why not reason together and work out the differences?
• There is no reasoning with a painful thorn lodged in your flesh and refuses to budge.
• Don’t forget what Solomon says about the scorner:
» They won’t hear rebuke.
» They will hate you if you do rebuke them.
» They refuse to seek counsel.
» They are often full of hate.
» They cannot find wisdom even if it is placed right before their face.
» Scorners are determined to mock. They LOVE their scorning.
» There is no reasoning with unreasonable scorners.
f. Note also that Solomon’s advice is to take the “tough love” approach… and not the tender, gentle approach: confront them… and cast them out!
g. It might sound a bit harsh, but it is best all around.
h. Prov. 3:33-34a – In doing so, you are actually carrying out God’s judgment against them. It is what they deserve.
THE RESULT: Contention, Strife, and Reproach Shall Cease
1. Contention: Arguing; fighting; bickering; quarreling; backbiting; gossip; etc.
2. It shall “go out.” (Go out; lead out; taken out into captivity.)
3. It’s a simple principle: if you remove the thorn, the cause of your pain is gone! Things will begin to heal and feel better right away.
4. This tells us that when there is contention, there has to be a SOURCE of the contention.
a. When there is contention in the local church, often the source can be traced to one trouble maker… or a small group of vocal trouble makers.
b. The few might stir up contention among MANY… but while the MANY might get drawn into the brawl, the source of the trouble is usually an individual or a small group.
c. One or two gossipers can spread rumors and get a whole crowd all riled up.
• The crowd was living in harmony before the troublemaker stirred things up.
• Solomon tells us here that the crowd will return to harmony once he is removed too.
d. Often the trouble maker will start the rumors, cause people to become angry and polarized, and then he can just step back and watch the fire blaze out of control.
e. Prov. 26:21 – “As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.”
f. He then observes the blaze, and when things begin to die down, he simply tosses in another log… so the blaze… the contention continues.
g. But if you cast OUT the scorner… the fire will begin to die out on its own.
h. Contention shall “go out,” like a fire that has lost its source and fuel.
a. A legal case in court; a judgment against another; a quarrel or debate between parties.
• Sometimes the contention among believers can rise to the point of legal action! (Corinth is an example.)
b. Verbal wrangling between individuals, implying strife and opposition, but not necessarily in a legal setting.
• Sometimes the strife does not find its way to the judicial system, but it can be extremely hurtful and contentious.
2. Reproach: Shame; disgrace; dishonor; insult; slander.
a. When such contention among believers is expressed in the local church, it IS a shame and a disgrace.
b. It is damaging to the testimony of Christ.
c. It provides fodder for the unbeliever to speak evil of us… only this time with good reason!
d. Sometimes the reproach is aimed at one person: the object of the scorner’s hated… a so called friend… a Sunday school teacher… a deacon… the pastor… one of the elders… etc.
e. Slander and insults can be hurled back and forth… to the detriment of the name of Christ in that community.
3. Shall Cease:
a. Cease: Put to an end; exterminate; stop; put away; leave behind.
b. In the midst of a painful conflict, that is really what everyone in the crowd WANTS.
c. Nobody but the scorner really “loves” scorning or fighting.
d. Solomon tells us HOW we can bring about peace. And it doesn’t require a series of expensive trips to the therapist or to the psychologist.
e. Just cast out the scorner and the scorning will stop… and so will the strife and reproach.
f. So remember this truth if contention arises here. The way to end it is to remove the scorner.
• This is going to be painful… just as it was when the Jews had to cast out the Canaanites.
• It took courage. It involved a fight.
• It might be extra painful if the scorner is your cousin… or your son… or your long time friend.
• But Solomon doesn’t care WHO this scorner is or who he knows. Solomon’s advice is: get rid of him… or her… or them.
• Once you do—peace returns. The blaze goes out.
• It’s simple to know WHAT to do. It takes courage and faith to actually DO it…