PROVERB PRACTICALS rebuke not the scorner, proverbs 9:7-9 audio
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Proverbs 9:7-12, He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased. If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.
Chapter nine of Proverbs records for us the age-old battle between wisdom and folly.
Both are pictured as women and both issue a loud call to come in hither and dine on the fare that each presents.
Wisdomís fare always leads to life but follyís fare is always eaten on the road that leads to death.
In the midst of this chapter, wisdom gives instructions concerning rebuke and again adds to her previous instruction concerning how to get on the road to wisdom.
She previously has told us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and here she tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
This instruction begins after wisdom has invited the simple to her banquet table.
It is interesting that this is the beginning conversation at the table and it concerns reproof and rebuke.
We see here a contrast between the scorner and the wise man as to what reaction can be expected from either when it comes to rebuke.
Wisdom informs us of the reaction of each and tells us to not care about verifying this with respect to the scorner.
Donít test it out, just believe wisdom and avoid the scorner as to rebuke for only shame, blot, and hate will come from such an action.
We are to discriminate in the proclamation of our message.
We are to discriminate as to who we instruct.
We are not to reprove where more harm than good may result.
Solomon tells us in the book of Ecclesiastes that there is a time to be silent and a time to speak.
God's word as given to us in written form begins with Genesis and ends with Revelation.
There are times when God speaks and there are times when God is silent.
There are times when God reveals knowledge and there are times when God conceals knowledge.
God imparted his nature to us when he created us in his image and because we are to be "like father like son" he expects us at times to be revealers of knowledge and at times to be concealers of knowledge.
God intends for his children to be disciplined in their speech and to use words as if what was said would come about simply because it was said.
Think about that.
What would you say, if what you said, always came about?
Some have said to the unruly child, Iím going to kill you.
What if your word had Godís power in it and what you said came about?
Words have power and can be used for good or can be used for evil for words are designed to bring things about.
When God speaks, what he says comes about.
God spoke the worlds into existence.
There is no one or no system to successfully oppose his word.
If God were careless in his speaking the universe would not sustain, the planets would run amuck, and man would be destroyed.
God is silent most of the time.
When he speaks, his word brings great events into being.
God's word is powerful and he speaks only when needed.
We are also to be silent most of the time. We are to be swift to hear, but slow to speak:
Psalm 141:3 David asks God: Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
God's word pictures a door that opens and closes our mouth thereby regulating our speech.
The doorkeeper of the door can be the Lord.
You may choose who opens and closes the door.
You may choose the opening of the door to be in keeping with the word of God or you may not.
If it is regulated by the word of God it opens at the right time and it closes at the right time.
It is not always open.
Most likely it is more closed than open if God sets the watch.
Being guarded by the Lord causes a good man out of the good treasure of the heart to bring forth good things and to not bring forth evil things.
Words fitly spoken are precious treasures and like all treasures are to be used judiciously and carefully.
They are not to be wasted.
Proverbs 15:23, A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!
A prudent man knows the time because he knows the Lord and he knows the word of the Lord.
See what Ecclesiastes 8:5,6, .....a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment. Because to every purpose there is time and judgment,
There is a time to speak and a time not to speak.
And judgment must be used at all those times.
A prudent man knows when to proclaim knowledge and when not to proclaim knowledge.
A prudent man will make his knowledge known when he knows it will be helpful, when he knows it will edify.
A prudent man will not use his knowledge to elevate himself in the eyes of another.
He will not try to top other's knowledge by his own knowledge in hopes of impressing others or putting others down.
He will not use his knowledge to win arguments in order to feel good about himself.
He knows that it is a vain use of the gift of knowledge that God has given him.
Jesus Christ refused to speak before his enemies and judges because it would be in vain to men of closed minds and fixed hearts.
He could have astounded them with all knowledge of all subjects and caused them to worship his knowledge.
He even kept knowledge to himself in the treatment of his own disciples because he knew they were not prepared to receive its treasures.
He has told us in Matthew 7:6, Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
Pearls are not to be tread upon but displayed and worn to be a blessing to all.
Godís word is not to be tread upon either.
Wisdom in our passage for today tells us we are to conceal knowledge from the scorner because it will simply bring hate and shame to ourselves.
We are assured of a blot when we reprove a wicked man.
Jesus puts the scorner in the same category as dogs and swine, not worthy of rebuke, for as dogs and swine they have no understanding nor do they wish for understanding.
Rebuke is pearls to the wise man and they are not to be wasted upon scorners for rebuke of scorners will only bring hurt and hate.
Jesus gave not the Gospel to the Pharisees for it was too holy to be exposed to scoffing fools.
Rebuke used wisely is to bring good about and any rebuke that brings harm has been used unwisely.
Now a scorner is a person who is resting on a chosen course of life.
He is no longer simple but has come to a conclusion that is against God and therefore is not worthy of instruction for he simply turns instruction against the one who instructs.
He has extreme contempt for the things of God.
He scoffs at religion, its ordinances and its teachers and he makes a mock at sin and the judgments and threatenings of God against sinners.
You may hear the threatenings of a scorner as you pass by and you may seem driven to correct his rantings.
But you are enjoined to refrain from instruction for instruction would simply be casting pearls before swine and not only that it may result in hurt to you.
The wicked person will not only not receive criticism but will turn on the one trying to help him.
God is good to his children and does not want hate and harm to increase without benefit and instructing a scorner does not bring benefit.
But you say someone ought to stand up for God.
Well, God has spoken here and does not want help in this matter for He will see to that scorner when the time comes.
It is said in our passage that the wise man will love those from whom he receives rebuke but the scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.
What is your response to rebuke?
Does the scorner in you show himself when you receive rebuke?
The wise man will love the one who has put himself out in order to benefit you.
Do you rebuke? Most of us do not, lest we lose favor.
But Biblical rebuke is an act of love and is done for anotherís benefit in spite of the possibility of losing favor with another.
If you receive rebuke you should remember how hard it was for the other person to rebuke you.
That person went out on a limb for your benefit.
Perhaps they were not as sophisticated or as smooth in their approach or manner but consider the correction and not the manner of correction.
This is what reveals wisdom or the lack of wisdom in you.
There is no one who is so wise and holy as not to need instruction and reproof.
But the difference between wise men and scorners is in their reception of reproof.
The wise man receives instruction with meekness, and a desire to improve by it.
The wise man realizes that the one from whom the reproof came gave of him or herself for his benefit and ought to be greatly loved for that.
Now one caution must be introduced here and that caution is that every sinner is not a scorner.
We must not use this principle to hide ourselves from proper response to sin.
As Paul told the Ephesians in 5:11, And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
And in I Thessalonians. 5:14, Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
One of the marks of wisdom is discretion.
The ability to judge critically of what is correct and proper.
One of the promises that is given in Proverbs is: To give subtlety to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
Wisdom is like a Sculptor
Every scripture, every principle of God is a chisel that is used to form wisdomís child.
Wisdom has the chisel of subtlety, the chisel of discretion.
And to know when to rebuke and when not to rebuke requires the past working of those chisels upon the Son.
It truly requires wisdom.
This absolute that is given relative to the admonition to not rebuke the scorner truly requires the working of the sculptor in the life of the Son.