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Proverbs (Part 012) - Pro 1:23-25

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23. Pro 1:23 - "Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you."
A. Turn you at my reproof.
i. Wisdom gives the antidote to simplicity, scorning, and ignorance: turning from foolishness.
ii. As was noted in the previous verse, the fools to whom wisdom cries are headed for destruction.
a. Just as a car driving toward a cliff, their only option to spare themselves devastation is to turn.
b. Turn v. - IV. To change or reverse course. 13. trans. To alter the course of; to cause to go another way; to divert, deflect.
c. Sin compounds the longer it's left unchecked (Rom 6:19; Jer 9:3; Isa 30:1).
d. The longer (Pro 1:22) they wait, the sharper the turn will have to be for disaster to be averted.
iii. Turning is a synonym of repentance and conversion.
a. Convert v. - II. To turn or change in character, nature, form, or function. 8. a. trans. To turn in mind, feeling, or conduct; to bring into another state (of mind, etc.).
b. Repent v. - 1. refl. To affect (oneself) with contrition or regret for something done, etc. 3. intr. To feel contrition, compunction, sorrow or regret for something one has done or left undone; to change one's mind with regard to past action or conduct through dissatisfaction with it or its results.
c. Therefore, the call of wisdom to "turn" is the selfsame call of the gospel to "repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance" (Act 26:20).
iv. Scripture warns us to "exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" (Heb 3:13).
v. More than once the Lord admonishes us of the urgent need to turn from our sins now (Heb 3:7-8, 15; Heb 4:7; 2Co 6:2).
a. God gives a space of repentance (Rev 2:20-21), but when the space is exceeded punishment follows (Rev 2:22-23).
b. God has a cup in which He measures our sin; and when it is full, judgment comes with a vengeance (Gen 15:16).
c. None of us know how full our cup is, so we better make haste and delay not to keep God's commandments (Psa 119:60).

B. I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
i. Wisdom's message doesn't stop with a call to repentance.
ii. Attached to it is also a promise: I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
iii. Here is how a man knows that he has been filled with God's Spirit: when God's words are made known unto him.
iv. We are filled with the Spirit when the word of Christ dwells in us richly (Eph 5:18-19 c/w Col 3:16).
v. When a wayward sinner hearkens to wisdom's cry and turns at her reproof, he will begin to be filled with God's Spirit and to understand the word of God.
vi. When that man does God's will to the extent that he knows it, the Lord will make him to understand His doctrine (Joh 7:17).
vii. The more of God's will he does, the more of it he will know, and on the process goes (Pro 4:18).

24. Pro 1:24 - "Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;"
A. Because I have called, and ye refused.
i. Here we see that man, not God, bears culpability for his lack of wisdom.
ii. No man can claim ignorance when he is punished for his sin and foolishness (Act 17:30).
iii. The problem was not a lack of calling on wisdom's part.
a. As was noted previously, she called everywhere including "in the streets...in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates...in the city...in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths...at the coming in at the doors...[and] upon the highest places of the city" (Pro 1:20-21; Pro 8:2-3; Pro 9:3).
b. The blame rather lays solely on those who refused the cry of wisdom.
c. The fact that they refused indicates that they heard, considered, and decided to reject the call.
iv. In refusing the call of wisdom, they also declined the blessing attached to it (Pro 8:33-36).
v. When God calls, His children better answer or judgment awaits (Isa 65:12; Isa 66:4).
a. Parents should take heed to this sobering lesson of how God deals with His children.
b. When they call, the children better answer quickly or trouble should follow.
c. If the trouble that follows is simply more calling by the parents, they only demonstrate their weak and ineffective leadership and are setting their children up for failure and serious problems later in life.

B. I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded.
i. Just as a man would extend his hand to pull a drowning person out of the water, so the LORD extends His hand to save His children from dying in their folly.
a. We commonly refer to trying to help someone get through a difficult situation as reaching out to them.
b. But oftentimes those to whom we reach out do not reach back.
c. Pastor Phil Jonker said it well: "you can't fix people that don't want to be fixed; you can't change people that don't want to change."
d. Those who have attempted in vain to help a wayward sinner get back on the strait and narrow should take comfort in the fact that God has met with the same frustration.
ii. Those who don't embrace God's outstretched hand will be on the receiving end of His mighty fist (Isa 5:25).
iii. This is the case with the fools to whom wisdom cries in the remainder of this chapter.

25. Pro 1:25 - "But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:"
A. But ye have set at nought all my counsel.
i. Fools not only refuse wisdom's call and disregard her outstretched hand (Pro 1:24), but they set at nought all her counsel.
a. Nought - 1. Nothing. 6. to set at nought: to despise, defy, scorn, disregard.
b. They didn't merely despise some of wisdom's admonition; they hated all of it.
c. 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).
ii. Men show themselves to be unwise when they refuse godly counsel, thinking that their way is right in their own eyes (Pro 12:15).
a. When wisdom's counsel is set at nought by fools, God sets them at nought by revoking His counsel from them and thereby causing their downfall (Pro 11:14).
b. When they reject the LORD's counsel their plans shall come to nought (Isa 8:10).
iii. Though men defy and disregard God's counsel, thinking that they know better, the counsel of the Almighty remains steadfast (Pro 19:21; Isa 46:10).
iv. Those that despise wisdom's words do so at their own peril and reject the counsel of God against themselves (Luk 7:30).
v. This fact will become evident as wisdom in the coming verses pronounces condemnation on all that set at nought her words.

B. ...and would none of my reproof.
i. One reason that counsel is often rejected is that contained in the advice is reproof which is offensive to the carnal mind.
ii. Such was the case with the men who heard the cry of wisdom and would none of her reproof.
iii. Would is the past tense of will.
a. Would - pa. tense of will v.1
b. Will - 1. trans. with simple obj.: Desire, wish for, have a mind to, ‘want’ (something); sometimes implying also ‘intend, purpose’.
c. Those who don't receive reproof do so because they do not desire or wish to have it.
iv. Reproof n. - 1. Shame, disgrace, ignominy or reproach, adhering or resulting to a person in consequence or by reason of some fact, event, conduct, etc. (Occas. with a and pl.) Obs. (went out of use in mid-1500s) 3. Censure, rebuke, reprimand, reprehension.
v. To be rebuked or reprimanded is never an enjoyable experience because it causes feelings of pain, uneasiness, embarrassment, and humiliation.
a. For this reason most people avoid both giving and receiving it.
b. When confronted by a brave reprover, a fool, rather than considering it and being thankful for it, will respond in anger and counteraccusation and despise the man who cared enough about him to tell him that he was wrong (Pro 15:12).
c. Such a man thereby shows that he is nothing but a stupid fool (Pro 12:1).
vi. If a man cannot receive reproof without becoming angry and lashing out, he will not get the reproof that he desperately needs.
vii. This is because the wise will avoid correcting him to escape the abuse that will ensue (Pro 9:7-8).
viii. 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).
a. 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.
b. 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.
c. Those who do so have a difficult life ahead of them (Pro 13:15).