These verses were hard to write about. I had to do some praying to get on the same page with this part of Proverbs 9. Don't be afraid, I see cartoon people... But you may have already noticed that (blush).
Reading these verses brought a man sitting on a bar stool, in a bar, to mind. He's so drunk, it's hard for him to keep his balance. His words are slurred. He's miserable, trying to deaden something painful, something he can't get rid of. As a Christian, I walk in and tell him he's a miserable drunk and needs to stop acting this way. He needs to sober up and go to Church, get a life. The response I would expect from the man is cursing. The other approach, would be to offer him a cup of coffee and a ride home. Help him get into the car. Then to talk to him when he's sober about what's bothering him or her, I still might get cursing. At this point I'm to "shake the dust off my feet and walk on." (Matt. 10:14) But the seed of God's Word and love are planted in his heart. I have heard of men who have ministries like this. It takes a special person to do it.
7 Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults;
whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
8 Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
But what should I do if I see a Christian sin? Put it in the newspaper? Spread it around Church so people will know the truth about them? Or acknowledge my own sin, and help the one who is fallen. Maybe it's a Christian sitting on the bar stool. I have the choice to criticize them, or a chance to guide them back to God's love and forgiveness, by listening and prayer. I can use discretion and keep it a secret. It's much easier to confess someone else's sin isn't it? Jesus told us to "love our neighbors as ourselves." (Matt. 19:18)
rebuke the wise and they will love you.
9 Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.
These verses fit in with my last post. I wonder how many fatalities could be prevented if we all obey the traffic laws. There will always be accidents, that's why they call them accidents. But it does make me wonder.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For through wisdom your days will be many,
and years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.
This is so true. During my rebellious younger years, the first thing people would say is, "Try this. It won't hurt you. No one will know." But someone always does know, the person who tried it. And the more you ignore the wrongness the more your heart dies. Thankfully, Jesus can bring our hearts back to life and set us on the right path. I am so grateful He came into mine and cleaned it up.
13 Folly is an unruly woman;
she is simple and knows nothing.
14 She sits at the door of her house,
on a seat at the highest point of the city,
15 calling out to those who pass by,
who go straight on their way,
16 “Let all who are simple come to my house!”
To those who have no sense she says,
17 “Stolen water is sweet;
food eaten in secret is delicious!”
18 But little do they know that the dead are there,
that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.