The Wise Man and the Scorner Prov. 9: 7-12 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
We have been studying wise men. They are God-fearing, holy men in v.10 and just men in the second half of v.9. They receive multiplied days and increased years in v.11 as their benefit and reward here in the earth, not to mention their benefit and reward in heaven.
Scorners, on the other hand, openly disrespect wise men and reject them with contempt; they have a haughty disregard for what a wise man has to say.
According to v.12, if you are a wise man, then you are wise for yourself. You may be able to impart wisdom to someone else, but he will have to be wise to receive it; scorners won’t. So, the benefit of being a wise man is really personal since you can’t use your wisdom to live another person’s life. As the saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”
You are wise because you choose to follow fear, holiness and justice. Others miss this wisdom because they choose not to follow these things, although wisdom is available to them just like it is to you. Wisdom cries at the gates. Some men listen and some men don’t.
Also from v 12, if you are a scorner then you don’t have anyone else to blame but yourself and you will be the one to bear the consequences of your scorning. You make your bed and you will lie in it.
Now a wise man recognizes that a scorner could care less so he generally won’t mess with him – see v.7 and 8. The consequence of reproving a scorner is shame, a blot and hatred.
There are some things you need to understand about scorners:
- Sometimes a man may look like a scorner, when in fact he’s wise but just mad.
- Sometimes you have to rebuke a scorner anyway. Stephen and John the Baptist both rebuked scorners and they paid for it with their lives. Nevertheless, they had to rebuke these men. They knew what was coming but had the courage to preach anyway – Amos 5:10.
- Sometimes you have to rebuke a scorner even though you don’t know how it’s going to turn out. In Jn 6, a number of the disciples left. In Lk 18, the rich young ruler left. C’est la vie!
- Sometimes you need to rebuke a scorner who will accept the rebuke, but you are too scared or too unconcerned to face him. You have no excuse. Look what happened to Jonah.
You can rebuke wise men and just men and they will increase in wisdom and learning. Jesus rebuked Peter and Paul rebuked Peter. The result is that Peter loved both of these men. You have to risk it.
Finally, remember that real learning, wisdom and knowledge come from the Lord and not merely from getting an education 2 Tim 3:7. Many professors have scorned the wisdom of God and many students have followed them to destruction.