PROVERB PRACTICALS  

 

Proverbs 21:11, When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.

Related verse: Proverbs 19:25,  Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.

In this short proverb God has written a drama in two acts.

It is a drama with five players, five characters.

Each character is an action character.

Each character either makes something happen or has something happen to him in the drama.

The activities of the first three characters are related and the activity of the fourth and fifth characters are related but seemingly have no relation to the activity of the first three.

The first character is a reprover or giver of punishment.

The second character is the one punished.

The third character is made wise due to the punishment of the second character.

The fourth character instructs the fifth character who receives knowledge.

We are not given why the second character is punished, he is simply punished.

But we are told that he is a scorner.

Punishment seems to be the result of his being a scorner.

We therefore learn that scorn results in punishment!

Scorn is an activity of the children of wrath!

It is inevitable that the children of wrath have an appointment with wrath.

Wrath as punishment is applied to one who is scornful.

The second character, the scorner does not become wise, he is not instructed and he does not receive knowledge by receiving punishment.

He simply receives punishment.

The third character, the simple, observes the scorn of the scorner.

He observes the punishment of the scorner and the result is that he becomes wise thereby.

The reprover, the scorner and the simple are in the first act and the instructor and the wise man are in the second act.

The acts of this drama have a common theme but the characters are not related.

In the first act one applies punishment to another with the result that a third is made wise.

Note the possibility of that result when you punish.

Perhaps the one punished is not made wise because he is a scorner but the lesson may be learned by another.

You may say, what is the use of punishing a scorner?

The use is clear. The scorner deserves punishment and you are instructing the simple.

In the second act instruction is given by one with another receiving knowledge.

Notice the principle here. A scorner gets punished.

The scorner does not get wise from this punishment.

The scorner does not get knowledge from this punishment.

He is a scorner and does not get wisdom from this experience.

But the simple observe the scorner's experience of punishment and the simple is made wise.

We may learn that the simple require the experience of another or experience of themselves to become wise.

The simple are experience oriented.

They require an experience to become wise.

However we are told that the wise receive knowledge simply by the word of another.

This proverb is talking about what happens when rebuke is given.

Rebuke is given to a scorner.

He does not get knowledge from this rebuke and is punished.

He does not even learn from this painful experience.

He is a scorner.

But the simple see what happens when rebuke is not accepted and because he does not want to suffer, he learns from the punishment of another.

He learns from experience because the simple are experience oriented.

The wise however simply receive a rebuke and they receive knowledge from the word of rebuke.

The wise therefore learn by the word and do not need an experience to receive knowledge.

Children need an experience to receive knowledge because children are among the simple.

The experience of them seeing a scorner receive a good whipping will make them wise.

The experience of them receiving a good whipping will make them wise.

They are simple and this is what works with the simple.

Children can be reared up to be wise or they can be reared up to be a scorner.

They all start out simple but God expects parents to train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord so that they become wise.

If a father and mother do not, the result is a scorner.

In Hebrew the word for scorner is (luwts, loots).

It literally means to make mouths at.

The same word is translated ambassador, interpreter, mocker, even teacher.

It describes one who mocks, one who imitates, but when the imitations is in contempt or derision the word is translated scorner.

An ambassador interprets his country to another but an ambassador is required to interprete accurately but a scorner always interprets in ridicule or contempt.

A child who has no fear of his father or his mother is a scorner because he makes a mock of authority.

God makes very clear his position regarding scorners.

He says in the book of Proverbs that he scorneth the scorners:

He has judgments prepared for scorners:

He warns us not to reprove a scorner lest we get to our self shame:

We are told to; Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee:

We are told that a scorner heareth not rebuke.

This is an identifying mark of a scorner.

We are told that a scorner loveth not one that reproveth him:

We are told that a scorner dealeth in proud wrath.

We are told to cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.

And we are told that the scorner is an abomination to men.

God has nothing good to say about the scorner.

But he does indicate hope for the simple.

He has given the Proverbs to give subtlety to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

He encourages the simple to understand wisdom:

He gives opportunity for the simple to beware by seeing the experiences of the scorner and the result of scorn.

God loves the simple and he expects the simple to come unto him.

He expects the simple to become wise and those who are given to teach the simple are to bring into their lives experiences.

Experiences that will bring them to the place where instruction or rebuke by word is the norm.

The end result to be sought is the wise who will be instructed and from this instruction only, receive knowledge.

That is what is meant by the saying "A word to the wise is sufficient."

The wise do not need experiences. Just a word!

Given at a Teacher Training Session

Proverbs 21:11,  When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.

In this short proverb God has written a drama in two acts.

It is a drama with five players, five characters.

This drama could be located or set in any place.

Teachers, this drama could be set in your classroom.

In fact I'm sure that it has been performed in all classrooms of this school on many occasions .

Each character of these five characters is an action character.

Each character either makes something happen or has something happen to him in the drama.

I'd rather be one that makes things happen than have something happen to me.

You can be an actor or a reactor!

The activities of the first three characters are related to each other.

The fourth and the fifth characters are related to each other but there is no indication of a relation between the two groups.

The first character is a reprover or giver of punishment.

All of us being adults most likely have been this character.

The second character is the one punished.

The third character is made wise due to the punishment of the second character.

There's hope for the third character.

The fourth character instructs the fifth character who receives knowledge.

So that is the five characters in this play.

We are not given why the second character is punished because that is unimportant, he is simply punished.

But we are given a characteristic of this character.

We are told that he is a scorner.

Punishment seems to be the result of his being a scorner.

We therefore learn that scorn results in punishment!

Scorn is to result in punishment.

That should be the result of scorn.

If you are in this play you've got to play the character when scorn comes about.

What do you do? You punish.

That is an activity of those that observe scorn and that have authority when scorn is taking place.

Scorn is an activity of the children of wrath!

It is inevitable that the children of wrath have an appointment with wrath.

The second character, the scorner does not become wise, he is not instructed and he does not receive knowledge by receiving punishment.

Notice that there is no indication in this proverb that the scorner receives knowledge.

The only thing you are told is that the scorner receives punishment.

He simply receives punishment.

That is an important principle here.

The third character, the simple, observes the scorn of the scorner.

He is a witness to the scorn. He sees the scorn of the scorner.

He observes the punishment of the scorner and the result is that he becomes wise thereby.

Notice that! We have a scorner receiving punishment but no lesson learned , but the lesson that is learned is learned by the simple.

So he observes the punishment of the scorner and the result is that he becomes wise thereby.

The reprover, the scorner and the simple are in the first act and the instructor and the wise man are in the second act.

I told you this was a two act drama.

We've said that there doesn't seem to be any relation between the two groups in this play except a connecting principle.

In the first act one applies punishment to another with the result that a third is made wise.

There is a good principle for you.

Applying punishment to a scorner is purposeful if it makes wise the simple.

Note the possibility of that result when you punish.

A good teacher will take every opportunity to teach those who observe punishment.

A good teacher is going to make the punishment for a public infraction as public as possible.

Why? That teacher has a bunch of simples that he's got to train.

He finds what he thinks is a scorner, maybe a simple person, but he takes advantage of any infraction.

Especially early in the year!

Why? To teach the simple. And he or she makes it tough.

So the use of punishing a scorner is clear.

The scorner deserves punishment and you are instructing the simple.

Don't you do this in your classrooms, teacher?

Do you hide your punishment from the others?

Well you are losing out.

You're losing out because you have an obligation to teach the simple.

In the second act, instruction is given by one, with another receiving knowledge.

Notice the principle here. A scorner gets punished.

The scorner does not get wise from this punishment.

The scorner does not get knowledge from this punishment.

He is a scorner and does not get wisdom from this experience.

But the simple observe the scorner's experience of punishment and the simple is made wise.

That is the principle, we are trying to cement.

We learn that the simple require the experience of another or experience of themselves to become wise.

There is the key with the simple.

Experience, experience!

The simple have to be exercised in experience.

The simple have to be brought through experiences to be made wise.

So the definition of simple is people that are experience oriented.

They require an experience to become wise.

However we are told that the wise receive knowledge simply by the word of another.

Now we are talking about three kinds of people here, the scorner, the simple, and the wise.

Now, if we define the simple as experience oriented, the wise then must be word oriented.

Oh, this is so helpful in the rearing and teaching of children.

The simple are experience oriented and the wise are word oriented.

What is the purpose here at this Christian school?

It is to take the simple and to put them into the camp of the wise.

Good purpose isn't it? Keep it before you!

And to get rid of any scorners along the way but to use the experiences of the scorners to teach the simple.

Now children are simple.

Children do not come into this world as scorners.

Just remember that. God gives you a simple person to train up for him.

He doesn't give you a scorner.

If you have a scorner he didn't make that scorner.

Somehow, with adult help, that child turned into a scorner in his short life.

A little child cannot be a full fledged scorner but I think they can be headed that way.

Scorners are developed by failure of adults to do things God's way.

Failure of parents and teachers to put experiences in their lives that cause them to want to be wise.

You've got to make something valuable for children in order for them to want that.

If you don't make it valuable they will be a scorner.

And to make wisdom valuable you do it through the experiences that you put them through.

And that experience includes the switch that he or she receives at home based upon your connection with the home.

That experience includes the daily happenings in the classroom that the child observes and participates in.

The simple child sees what happens when rebuke is not accepted and because he does not want to suffer, he learns from the punishment of another.

Why does he become wise? Because he believes your word?

No, he doesn't want to suffer.

I don't want to suffer. I saw what Joey got and if I do what Joey did I'm going to suffer.

Why? Because the person that made Joey suffer is consistent and if he caused that to happen to Joey he'll cause that to happen to me.

He learns from experience because the simple are experience oriented.

Get that into your thinking.

The simple are experience oriented, not word oriented.

Word oriented is where they should be headed.

Word oriented is a higher level.

The wise, or the word oriented simply receive a rebuke and they receive knowledge from the word of rebuke.

Want to know if you're wise? How do you react to a rebuke?

Do you buck up? Do you reject it?

Do you hold contempt for the one that rebukes you?

Well, you may be a scorner.

But if you simply accept that word of rebuke and say, that's from the Lord.

I needed that, you're in the wise category.

The wise therefore learn by the word and do not need an experience to receive knowledge.

There's a lot of so called Christians in the simple group, isn't there?

Children need an experience to receive knowledge because children are among the simple.

As I said God gives you simple children.

He doesn't give you scorners, doesn't give you wise.

If he gave you wise he wouldn't tell you to train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

So he gives you simple children.

Children can be reared up to be wise or they can be reared up to be a scorner.

They all start out simple but God expects parents (and teachers are an extension, a helper to parents) to train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord so that they become wise.

If a father and mother does not do that, the result is a scorner.

Now what did I say a scorner was?

A person that holds authority in contempt and derision. Mocker, a mocker of authority.

In Hebrew the word for scorner is (luwts, loots).

It literally means to make mouths at.

Teachers, as you turn around at the blackboard what's going on?

Faces are being made. What's that kid doing? Mocking you.

Holding your authority in contempt and derision.

To make mouths at. That's the definition of a scorner in Hebrew.

The same word is translated ambassador, interpreter, mocker, and its also translated teacher.

What is a teacher? A teacher is an interpreter.

Teacher takes this, passes it out here.

So that same word is translated ambassador, interpreter, mocker and even teacher.

It describes one who mocks, one who imitates.

But when the imitations are in contempt or derision the word is translated scorner.

Its a type of mocking. You know a teacher is simply in a lot of ways a mocker.

She or he doesn't necessarily develop knowledge.

They take knowledge and mock it to you.

Listen to the mocking bird. What does the mocking bird do?

Listens to the bluebird and mocks the bluebird.

And you say that's a bluebird.

No, that's a bird that's mocking a bluebird, imitating the bluebird.

So a scorner is one who takes authority and mocks authority by simply sometimes even using the words of authority in a way of contempt.

Did you hear what she said?

Then he says what she said and he says it in derision. That's a scorner.

Watch your kids! Watch your children!

That's one thing about the word of God.

If you listen to the word of God you can see clearly what's happening around you.

You can look at your children and say they've become a scorner or they are showing the signs of scorn and you can positively act with all authority of the word of God.

That is what is so beautiful about the word of God.

You've got an authority that gives you some backbone for what you have to do.

Because sometimes as a parent you have to do things that in a worldly sense don't make any sense.

But faith will remind you that you've got the authority of the word of God behind you.

A child who has no fear of his father or his mother or his teacher is heading for the camp of the scorners because he makes a mock of authority.

God makes very clear his position regarding scorners.

He says in the book of Proverbs that he scorneth the scorners:

You see, God holds scorners in contempt and derision.

What's that Psalm? He laughs at their calamity and holds them in derision.

You see God is a scorner in that sense.

Proverbs says he has judgments prepared for scorners:

He warns us not to reprove a scorner lest we get to ourself shame:

See, reproof is not for everybody.

Reproof is for the simple, and the wise but not for the scorner.

Punishment is for the scorner. He is beyond correction!

Isn't that a shame? He is outside of reproof.

He's placed himself outside of reproof.

If you've placed yourself outside of reproof there is no hope for you. Do you believe that?

We are told to; Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee:

Now you say, well I don't care if anybody hates me.

Well why take all that on yourself?

There's nothing accomplished.

Do you want to bare hate unnecessarily?

I don't mind baring hate for a purpose but not for no purpose.

And the Bible tells me to not reprove a scorner.

So if I have the wisdom to know that this person is a scorner I stay away from him.

I don't say: Well I can bring him light, I can bring that person truth, I can bring that person to Jesus.

No, the Bible tells me to stay away from him! He's a scorner.

I don't need any unnecessary hate.

I don't think the Lord would take that load of hate off of me because I went against his word anyway in reproving him.

He says "Well you did it! Bare it yourself cause you didn't do it according to my word."

We are told that a scorner heareth not rebuke.

Well, if a scorner heareth not rebuke why should you tell him?

I won't hear you as you go on and tell him and tell him.

I won't hear you. That's what the scorner does, doesn't he?

This is an identifying mark of a scorner.

We are told that a scorner loveth not one that reproveth him:

We are told that a scorner dealeth in proud wrath. He's proud of his wrath.

We are told to cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.

There are times where your principal must cast out of this school a scorner.

This school has standards in it that will reveal the scorner.

There are principals established in the administration of this school that will reveal the scorner and when that takes place you are to support that effort because when you do, you support the word of God.

You're not to feel sorry for the scorner!

And we are told that the scorner is an abomination to men.

God has nothing good to say about the scorner.

I've searched the scriptures and find no hope for the scorner but bless God we have hope for the simple.

He has given the Proverbs to give subtlety to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

He encourages the simple to understand wisdom:

He gives opportunity for the simple to beware by seeing the experiences of the scorner and the result of scorn.

God extends his hand to the simple.

But God doesn't have his hand out to the scorner.

He scorns the scorner but he encourages the simple.

God loves the simple and he expects the simple to come unto him.

God gives you the simple to do something with.

God gives you raw material and he expects you to put that raw material through experiences so that they will become wise.

You need to be tough, sometimes you need to be what students would call mean!

You don't want any scorners in Santa Rosa Christian School.

You want the simple and you want the wise.

God expects the simple to become wise and those who are given to teach the simple are to bring into their lives experiences.

The modern teacher in the public schools is called a resource person.

Teacher, you ought to be called an experience person.

I'm here to give you some experiences. Test me! Put me to the test.

Those kids must think that you've got eyes that see right through them.

You've seen everything that's occurred with every child that was made!

You know exactly what they are going to do even before they do.

They've got no tricks up their sleeve that you haven't seen.

Now you come into your classroom with that kind of attitude!

I'm not saying you necessarily express it in that way but if you've got that attitude you're going to take some simple folk and move them into the camp of the wise.

Experiences that will bring them to the place where instruction or rebuke by word is the norm.

Halleluiah, Praise the Lord, that's the purpose.

If you bring some children into this world where you say go thus and so and do thus and so and take this over there and do this and put this over there and come here and do that and they've got a smile on their face and they are thankful for giving them direction and order in their lives, praise the Lord, you've done something.

Oh, you've done something.

I'd much rather put that into a child's life then having an all "A" student.

That ought to be put on the report card, "able to take and perform direction with a smile!"

That's the kind of child I want to be around!

You see the end result to be sought is the wise who will be instructed and from this instruction only, receive knowledge.

When that happens experiences, then are out the window!

I don't need experiences any more.

The wise don't need experiences!

Oh, teachers! that is what is meant by the saying "A word to the wise is sufficient."

A word to the simple is not sufficient!

As a parent I thank God that his word instructed me to bring the experience of hearing that magic note swishing through the air.

That heavenly music wielded by a God given arm of authority with some force, not some wimpy compromise of authority but full authority exercised on the rear end of my child.

And my child grows up and he and she says "Oh, I praise the Lord for those experiences."

Don't you as an adult look back on those days when you were a child and that holy switch of the Lord came down and made an acquaintance with your rear end?

Don't you praise the Lord for those experiences that your parents brought into your life?

I say that about my own experiences that my father and my mother had enough character to give me when I was just a little boy that affected my whole life.

Talk about the wisdom of the ages.

I don't know from where they got that.

They must have got that from their ancestors.

But we as a country are giving it away wholesale now.

And we are reaping what we sow.

Now you are to encourage your parents to apply the Biblical experiences of the rod to their own children when needed.

You are to help them by being in contact with them about what experiences their child needs.

Lift up the word of God in your classrooms by being a living word.

Let them see the principals of the word of God by the experiences that you bring them though every day.

Your job is to bring them along the road of the simple to the road of the wise.

Experiences, experiences, experiences, then just the word.

The wise do not need experiences. Just a word!

That is your purpose teachers, that's where you ought to be headed.

That's where you ought to see successes.

Am I seeing successes with my children.

Am I giving them enough experiences?

That's what we are after, that's where we are headed!

When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.

Get out there and do a job for God! That's what you're here for!

 

GIVEN AT THE JUNIOR SENIOR BANQUET Ė ABOARD THE CHULAMAR, OUT OF THE MARINA ON PENSACOLA BEACH, SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2001

Proverbs 21:11,  When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.

This proverb talks about three types of people.

Meditate upon these three types of people, for you are one of those types.

Perhaps you are at times all of those types.

We are given to meditate upon the scorner, the simple and the wise.

But notice that only two of these folk are benefited.

The simple is benefited, by being made wise and the wise receive knowledge.

But also notice that the scorner is not benefited.

Scorners do not benefit for they are scorners and refuse benefit.

But in the case of the two who receive benefit, notice how benefit is realized.

The simple observe the punishment of the scorner and by that observation is made wise.

So we see the simple benefit from the experience of another but we also see how the wise simply benefit from the word of another.

Experience or word! Two operational methods, two ways by which you may live your life.

God says the just shall live by faith, not by sight.

The just shall live by the word of God and not by experience is what that means.

The gist of this proverb is that those who are simple need experiences to be made wise and those who are wise simply need word to become wiser.

There is an old saying, old because it is a wise and pithy (compact or meaty) statement and it is this;

"A word to the wise is sufficient."

Simply a word will do it, no experiences are needed.

A word to the simple is not sufficient, there must be experiences to make the simple wise.

Everyone can take this test, for this is the test to determine if you are simple or if you are wise.

At this point in your life, is a word sufficient or do you still require experiences?

The little child always requires experiences to become wise and it is the parents responsibility to provide those experiences, isnít it?

But you are no longer a little child and word must now operate in your life.

So is a word sufficient or do you still require experiences?

That is the test. How did you do? Are you wise or simple?

You juniors and seniors are near adulthood and you have gone thought many years of experiences so that you will enter adulthood as a wise person, a person taught by word and word alone.

You have not been neglected, you have been given the tools to think, to plan, and to do in a wise manner and respond to word.

You do not have to become a castaway doomed to learn by experience, for you have been given the word by which to live.

But if you still have not learned to respond to word then be prepared to become a castaway in one form or another because God will continue to deal with you!

And Godís dealing with you will include experiences that you will not enjoy because you refuse to operate in accordance with Godís Word.

Experience or word, it is your choice.

Daniel Defoe, an Englishman educated for the Presbyterian ministry, but instead became a brilliant journalist, novelist and social thinker, lived in 1660-1731.

In 1719 Defoe wrote the classic book: The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.

Although a book of fiction, the story is the lesson of a man who only operated by experience until one day he found that his experiences were not enough to save his life.

He came to the end of living by experience and started a new life of living by faith, living by word.

The character, Robinson Crusoe, was based on the adventures of a seaman, Alexander Selkirk, who had been marooned on one of the Juan Fernandez islands off the coast of Chile.

Daniel Defoe recounts that Robinson Crusoe was, in his youth, a rebel against his parents wishes for him and left home at a young age to seek his fortune.

His parents words were not sufficient for him to learn wisdom so God set about to teach him though experiences, and what experiences they were!

Robinson Crusoe was interested in serving himself and the account given is the account of Godís dealing with him in his life.

It is the account of a man whom God made a castaway with its attendant experiences in order that he might become something of value to God, and that something of value can only be realized when one lives by the word of God.

God placed him on a lonely island for over 25 years as a castaway in order that he might see himself as God saw him, a wretched sinner in need of a Savior.

God is like that, for he knows full well that our heart will not let us see ourselves as we really are.

Robinson Crusoe was a self serving young man whose ship, and all but him, were lost by ship wreck.

But by the Providence of God, Robinson Crusoe was given a chance to move from castaway to one reconciled and given life anew.

Marooned on the island for near a year Robinson Crusoe found himself deathly ill.

He records: I was directed by Heaven no doubt to a chest that I had recovered from the shipwreck and in that chest was a Bible along with other things that would help me in my illness.

I took up that Bible and the first words I saw were the words: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

So I, without much strength left, began to lay myself down to sleep but before I lay down I did what I had never done in all my life:

I kneeled down, and prayed to God to fulfill the promise in me, that if I called upon Him in the day of trouble he would deliver me.

But Robinson Crusoe was praying for deliverance from the island, for deliverance from the situation in which he found himself.

He was looking for deliverance from one experience, not of his liking, to another experience more to his liking.

That is what you do when you live by experience.

He was looking for a deliverance that God was not about to give for God had a better deliverance to give him than he ever could imagine.

You know that God always has something better for you.

You know that you mother or your father, when they gave you a good well deserved thrashing with the rod, always had something better in mind for you.

But Robinson Crusoe, as he gained strength, he could not get the scripture "I will deliver thee" out of his thoughts.

It certainly was not possible to leave this island of isolation, he thought.

There appears to be no way out of here.

No ships passed that way. There were no other men to help!

But he thought further as he gained his health he realized that God had delivered him from sickness and he chastened himself for not glorifying God for the deliverance from illness.

So he immediately knelt down and gave God thanks aloud for his recovery.

Hadnít God said: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

He now had a desire to know more of this book and he began to read and study the New Testament diligently.

He recorded "It was not long after I found my heart more deeply and sincerely affected with the wickedness of my past life." And this kept running though his mind. "All these things (experiences) have not brought thee to repentance"

It was at this point that Robinson began to earnestly beg God to give him repentance.

We know that God commands all men everywhere to repent and that will include any castaway anywhere and anytime.

But Robinson Crusoe prayed and that very same day as he read the scripture he came to these words,

"Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. I threw down the book; and with my heart as well as my hands lifted up to heaven, in a kind of ecstasy of joy, I cried out aloud, "Jesus, thou Son of David! Jesus, thou exalted Prince and Saviour, give me repentance. I now prayed with a sense of my condition, and with a true Scripture view of hope, founded on the encouragement of the word of God.

Now I began to construe the words, Call upon me, I will deliver thee, in a different sense from what I had ever done before; for then I had no notion of anything being called deliverance but my being delivered from my island prison. Now I learned to take it in another sense: I looked back upon my past life with such horror, and my sins appeared so dreadful, that my soul sought nothing of God but deliverance from the load of guilt that bore down all my comfort. As for my solitary life, it was nothing; I did not so much as pray to be delivered from it, or think of it.

Now what had this understanding brought this castaway?

What change had taken place in the heart of one who seemed destined to spend his life apart from all society?

Listen to this new manís account of life after Jesus Christ gave him life.

I had now brought my state of life to be much more comfortable in itself than it was at first, and much easier to my mind, as well as to my body. I frequently sat down to meat with thankfulness, and admired the hand of Godís providence, which had thus spread my table in the wilderness; I learned to look more upon the bright side of my condition, and less upon the dark side, and to consider what I enjoyed, rather than what I wanted; and this gave me sometimes such secret comforts that I cannot express them; and which I take notice of here, to put those discontented people in mind of it, who cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them, because they see and covet something that He has not given them. All our discontents appeared to me to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have.

Another reflection was of great use to me, and doubtless would be so to anyone that should fall into such distress as mine; and this was to compare my present condition with what I at first expected it would be, nay with what it would have been if the good providence of God had not wonderfully ordered the ship to be cast up where I not only could come at her, but could bring what I got out of her to the shore, for my relief and comfort.

These reflections made me very sensible of the goodness of God to me, and very thankful for my present condition, with all its hardships and misfortunes; and this part also I cannot but recommend to the reflection of those who are apt, in their misery, to say, Is any affliction like mine? Let them consider how much worse the cases of people are, and their case might have been, if Providence had thought fit.

So what was the difference in the life of this former rebel?

God had given him the life of a castaway that he might be found.

The difference was his view of the word of God as the Word of God.

Remember his words: I took up that Bible and the first words I saw were the words: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

At that time the word of God became living to him for he acted upon it in faith.

Robinson Crusoe moved into the realm of the wise for he now was instructed by word and word alone.

God had given him experiences to bring him to this point; the same as your father or your mother or your teacher or the school principal has given you experiences to get you to this point.

But what will you do from this point on?

Are you word oriented or do you still languish in the world of the experience oriented?

Contrary to what the world teaches you, experience is not the best teacher, experience is many times just the harshest teacher.

Sometimes she takes the simple and makes them into a castaway and all that that word implies.

Take the test, Are you simple or are you wise?

Are you relying on experiences or are you relying on the word of God?

Take the test and you will know what faces you as you move on in life.

Thank you for the opportunity to spend this delightful evening with you.

I wish for you Godí best as you move into adulthood and service to Him.

"PROVERB PRACTICALS" Article in "The Projector" for Proverbs 21:11, knowledge received or rejected