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Proverbs 1:20 (Mini Sermon)

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20. Pro 1:20 - "Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:"
A. In verses 20-33, wisdom is personified as a woman.
i. She publicly cries out to men from every corner of life, calling unto them to hear her reproof, turn from their foolishness, and be spared from the self-inflicted destruction that awaits them.
ii. In chapter one, as well as in chapters eight and nine, wisdom is referred to in the feminine.
a. In the Hebrew language, which the book of proverbs was originally written in, every noun has a gender, either masculine or feminine.
b. Being feminine in the Hebrew, the translators translated wisdom as feminine in the King James Bible.
B. As the proceeding verses shall show, wisdom, which cries out to men to repent and then later judges them by filling them with their own devices, is the LORD.
i. Jesus Christ, who is the LORD (Joh 1:1-3, 14; Joh 8:58; 1Ti 3:16), is "the wisdom of God" (1Co 1:24).
ii. In Him "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col 2:3).
C. The fact that God, who is masculine, is represented by wisdom, who is feminine, is not a contradiction.
i. Ships serve as a good example of things which are dominant in masculine characteristics, but are nevertheless referred to by feminine pronouns.
ii. Ships are designed, built, and operated predominately by men and often even bear male names such as the USS George Washington, USS Abraham Lincoln, and USS Ronald Reagan.
iii. Yet they are referred to with the feminine pronouns she and her, which has been the case for thousands of years (Act 27:15).
iv. A feminine pronoun is fitting for wisdom which is softer and more tender in character and demeanor than some of the other attributes of God such as judgment.
v. In addition to His dreadful side, the LORD also has a merciful and compassionate element to Him (Psa 103:13).
vi. Possessing such kindhearted characteristics, Jesus Christ, "who of God is made unto us wisdom" (1Co 1:30), is rightly symbolized in Proverbs by wisdom which is a feminine personification.
D. Wisdom crieth without.
i. Cry v. - 1. To entreat, beg, beseech, implore, in a loud and emoved or excited voice
ii. Without adv. - 1. On the outside or outer surface; externally
iii. It is evident from this verse that God uses an external rather than an internal method of communicating His word to His people.
iv. Wisdom utters her voice to her people in the streets, not telepathically in their heads.
a. At times throughout Biblical history God spoke inwardly and directly to a few select prophets, but not at all times, nor to all men.
b. He communicated His wisdom "unto the fathers by the prophets" (Heb 1:1) in the Old Testament.
c. In New Testament times He has spoken unto us by his Son (Heb 1:2) who is the wisdom of God.
d. If we will learn wisdom, we must step without ourselves and read the word of God.
e. We must also listen to it preached (Tit 1:3) which is a man crying out the word of God.
v. Wisdom cries not in the seminaries or the secret places, but in the streets.
a. We don't have to go far to hear it if we will just open our ears.
b. Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke openly to the world and said nothing in secret (Joh 18:20).
(i) Jesus told His apostles that what they heard in the ear they were to preach upon the housetops (Mat 10:27).
(ii) This is why I post my sermons on the internet.
c. The problem today is not that wisdom hasn't cried in the streets.
d. The problem is that few will hear it and "truth is fallen in the street" (Isa 59:14).
e. The rest of this chapter will show what happens to those who reject wisdom's cry.