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Blog - Proverbs 1:25

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For all the blogs in this series, click here: Proverbs Commentary.

Proverbs 1:25

"But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:" (Pro 1:25)


Ye have set at nought all my counsel. Fools not only refuse wisdom's call and disregard her outstretched hand (Pro 1:24), but they set at nought (to despise, defy, scorn, disregard - OED) all her counsel. They didn't merely despise some of wisdom's admonition; they hated all of it. These fools did to wisdom personified what their progeny did to wisdom incarnate, the Lord Jesus Christ who is "the wisdom of God" (1Co 1:24), when they "set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe" (Luk 23:11).

Men show themselves to be unwise when they refuse godly counsel, thinking that they have no need for it: "the way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise" (Pro 12:15). When wisdom's counsel is set at nought by unworthy recipients, God sets them at nought by revoking His counsel from them and thereby causing their downfall: "where no counsel is, the people fall" (Pro 11:14). When they reject the LORD's counsel and instead "take counsel together, [] it shall come to nought" (Isa 8:10).

Though men defy and disregard God's counsel, thinking that they know better, the counsel of the Almighty remains steadfast: "there are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand" (Pro 19:21). Such sinners need to be reminded that the LORD has declared that "my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" (Isa 46:10). Those that despise wisdom's words do so at their own peril and "reject[] the counsel of God against themselves" (Luk 7:30). This fact will become evident as wisdom in the remaining verses of this chapter pronounces condemnation on all that set at nought her words.

One reason that counsel is often rejected is that contained in the advice is reproof which is offensive to the carnal mind. Such was the case with the men who heard the cry of wisdom and would none of her reproof. Would is the past tense of will which means to "desire, wish for, have a mind to, ‘want’ something" (OED). Those who receive not reproof do so because they do not desire or wish to have it. Reproof is "censure, rebuke, reprimand, reprehension" (OED). To be rebuked or reprimanded is never an enjoyable experience because it causes feelings of pain, uneasiness, embarrassment, and humiliation. For this reason most people avoid both giving and receiving it. When confronted by a brave reprover, a fool, rather than considering it and being thankful for it, will respond in anger and counteraccusation and will despise the man who cared enough about him to tell him that he was wrong. Such a man thereby shows that he is nothing but a stupid fool.

Pro 15:12 - A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.

Pro 12:1 - Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.

If a man cannot receive reproof without becoming angry and lashing out, he will not get the reproof that he desperately needs because the wise will avoid correcting him to escape the abuse that will ensue.

Pro 9:7 - He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.
Pro 9:8 - Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

A wise and godly man will not only receive reproof with an open ear, but he will love the man that had the courage to rebuke him and will thank God for it.

Psa 141:5 - Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.

Such a man will grow in wisdom and character because those closest to him, including his pastor, will be willing to correct him when necessary. Too often pious sounding Christians outwardly welcome rebuke until it actually comes, at which time they show their true colors and respond like fools who would none of wisdom's reproof. Those who do so have a difficult life ahead of them.

Pro 13:15 - Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.


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For the previous blog in this series, click here: Proverbs 1:24.
For the next blog in this series, click here: Proverbs 1:26.

For all the blogs in this series, click here: Proverbs Commentary.