Five Excuses For Not Turning, Prov 1:22-23

There is an amazingly generous offer in Prov 1:22-23.  Wisdom offers to the simple, to scorners, and to fools to “pour out my spirit unto you,” and to “make known my words unto you.”  God makes this offer, not to the righteous, but to fools and scorners.  The offer is made to those who are off track; to those who don’t have wisdom and to those who haven’t yet wanted wisdom.  What a kind offer, this is.  

Yet, there is a condition, as you might expect.  The single condition is to “turn you at my reproof.”  See, wisdom knows you’re simple; wisdom knows that you’re a scorner; wisdom knows that you’re a fool.  And wisdom has told you so.  Therein lies the problem.  The simple don’t want to be told that they are simple.  Fools don’t want to be told that they are fools.  And scorners don’t want to be told that they are scorners.

Furthermore, most of the simple, most scorners, and most fools will make excuses to keep from turning.  They’re pretty much determined to go right on their ways, like Prov 1:24 says, “Because I have called, and ye refused, I have stretched out my hand and no man regarded.”

In preparing this message for you today, I am certain God is trying to talk to someone who needs to turn, right now.  You’re going down a road toward a terrible decision and the Lord is trying to stop you from going any further.  What you’re doing or about to do is going to have terrible consequences and you need to stop.  You need to turn.  

Why won’t you turn?  The Lord is making you a genuine offer and his terms are very good.  He will pour out his spirit to you.  He will make known his words unto you.  I can assure you, as one that the Lord convinced to stop and turn, you will never enjoy anything more than what the Lord is offering you in the fulness of his spirit and the understanding of his words.  The joy from just these two things alone is worth anything you might give up or lose when you turn.

But you’re thinking about not turning, aren’t you.  I’ll tell you what’s causing you to think about going on in the direction you’re going.  The Bible tells why.  There are five excuses that men will generally give for not turning.  These are:

You don’t want to – Prov 1:23 says, “Turn you at my reproof.”  And Prov 1:30 says, “They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.”  Is that you?  You have something that you’re doing or that you’re about to do and you do not want to stop now.  That’s the power of the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.  You are determined to go through with it.  And the Lord is warning you to turn now.  You say, “Why?”  Because Prov 1:27 says, that there is fear, desolation, destruction, and distress and anguish down that road you’re on.  “Choose the fear of the Lord,” [Prov 1:29].  He said that if you will listen to him, you “shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil,” Prov 1:33. 

You don’t believe God – Ps 78:22 says, “they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation.”  This was said about Israel when they were traveling in the wilderness.  After all that God had miraculously done for them, they still wouldn’t believe him.  He showed them his mighty works again and again and they hardened themselves against him.  You know what?  You do not want to reject the word of the Lord and find out afterwards that God was right and you were wrong.  If you wait till then, you will have passed up his mercy now for destruction later.  It’ll be too late to undo the damage at that point.  How many Christians today are regretting the decisions they made after they had been warned to stop and turn.  You will live with the memory, regret, and consequences for the rest of your life.

You’re already committed – 1 Ki 22:17-23.  Before Micaiah spoke the prophecy of the death of Ahab in the battle at Ramothgilead, Ahab and Jehoshaphat were already determined to go to the battle together.  So, the word of Micaiah changed nothing.  Many hear the word of God, like you are hearing it today, but they are already so determined to go that they totally disregard the message.  They don’t change course.  You need to change course.  It’s never too late to break off a bad engagement.  It’s never too late to turn down a job offer before you’ve hired on.  It’s never too late to back out of a business deal if the deal hasn’t been closed.  Just because you’ve made up your mind about what you should do doesn’t mean that you can’t change your mind when you find out what God wants you to do.

You’ve gone too far – 2 Chr 33:9-16.  Manasseh was the wickedest king Judah ever had.  He led them into worse things than the heathen were committing before Israel showed up in Canaan.  Yet, he humbled himself and God was intreated of him.  You may be thinking, “What difference will it make now?”  Ask the thief on the cross.  He hadn’t gone too far to get saved.  America is probably going to get it like Judah did, at this point.  But you don’t have to.  Turn at the reproof of the Lord.  He’s talking directly to you.

You’re afraid of ridicule – Jer 38:17-23.  Zedekiah was afraid to go to Babylon, even though he was guaranteed that surrendering would spare the city of Jerusalem and his family from certain destruction.  He was afraid that the people already captive in Babylon would mock him [Jer 38:19].  Is that your problem?  Are you afraid of a little ridicule?  Are you willing to trash your life and the life of others just to save your face?

Conclusion: stop what you’re doing or what you’re getting ready to do and turn at the Lord’s reproof.  The fact that you are listening to this message is not an accident or a coincidence.  The Lord has this message for you because he wants you to turn so that he can pour out his spirit upon you and bless you with understanding in the words of God.