The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 1:20-33 Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings: “How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge? “Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. “Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; And you neglected all my counsel And did not want my reproof; I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, When your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me, Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the Lord. “They would not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof. “So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way And be satiated with their own devices. “For the waywardness of the naive will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them. “But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”
In this passage we see the mercy and grace of God displayed toward sinners. The naive, the scoffer, and the fool all hear wisdom crying in the street, yet do not hear. They do not hear, because they are what 1 Corinthians 1:14 calls “natural men”: they do not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him.
These natural men love their simple-mindedness. They are beguiled, duped, and unrealistic. They are akin to a man with stage 4 cancer stating “all is well, I am perfectly healthy.” They flippantly say things like “all of us are God’s children”, “I am a good person”, “God loves everyone”, or “God knows my heart”. They believe these things without ever considering their Creator, His hatred for sin, and without examining themselves in light of His Word. They wrongly assume that all is well. In their naivety, they are not sinners, and have no need of a physician.
They are mockers, and delight in it. We can see a clear picture of this in Luke chapter 23 verses 35-37:
And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, "He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One." The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, and saying, "If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!" When mockers mock, they show themselves to be not children of God, but rather children of the Devil. They rebelliously ask what sounds like innocent, intelligent, truly inquisitive questions, yet their asking reveals that their depraved heart is at war with their Creator. God says that what can be known of Him is plain to them, and in their mocking they ask “ What God? Where is He? I cannot see Him.” Remember Satan’s words to Christ in the wilderness?
“If You are the Son of God?”
Finally, these natural men are fools. Unlike the mocker who asks “If there is a God”, the fool boldly declares NO God. They are wise in their own eyes. Romans 1 says “professing to be wise, they became fools”. This foolishness isn’t speaking of mere intelligence. There are many highly intelligent fools breathing in the air God has given them, using the reasoning abilities their Creator has blessed them with, enjoying the good things that God has rained down on both the wicked and the good. Just yesterday I saw on facebook, that social media platform full of wisdom, a meme with a well known, highly intelligent Astrophysicist named Neil Degrasse Tyson. It read “ If you believe in the Christian story of Jesus, you can’t call scientology crazy”. Why, Mr Tyson, surely you realize that by giving your opinion on this matter, you show yourself to be more than stardust? A few questions for you: How can stardust believe anything? How can one bag of stardust, tell another bag of stardust, what they can and cannot believe? By what stardust standard do you as a bag of stardust get to judge something as crazy?
We quickly see that being a fool, goes far beyond lacking intelligence. It is a willful, deliberate choice to reject the Creator.
How might you be duped this morning, thinking to yourself “ I don’t have a sin problem.”
Maybe you’re a mocker. “If there is a God, He can’t see my sin. It’s hidden deep within my mind.”
Have you managed to fool those around you, while you yourself play the fool? You look like a Christian, sound like a Christian, walk, talk, and fit the part, looking to satisfy your spouse, your mommy, or your daddy, but inwardly, you say “No God”?
Our passage today tells us that wisdom is crying out in the streets and God is calling upon us to turn at His reproof. Won’t you heed His call today? Won’t you lay aside the weight, and the sin that so easily ensnares you, and look unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of your faith?
At this time, if you are able, let us kneel and pray together to our Heavenly Father Who hears and answers our prayers.
O GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT,
That which I know not, teach thou me,
Keep me a humble disciple in the school
learning daily there what I am in myself,
a fallen sinful creature,
justly deserving everlasting destruction;
O let me never lose sight of my need of a Saviour,
or forget that apart from him I am nothing,
and can do nothing.
Open my understanding to know
the Holy Scriptures;
Reveal to my soul the counsels and works
of the blessed Trinity;
Instil into my dark mind the saving knowledge
Make me acquainted with his covenant undertakings
and his perfect fulfilment of them,
that by resting on his finished work
I may find the Father’s love in the Son,
his Father, my Father,
and may be brought through thy influence
to have fellowship with the Three in One.
O lead me into all truth, thou Spirit of wisdom
that I may know the things that belong unto
and through thee be made anew.
Make practical upon my heart the Father’s love
as thou hast revealed it in the Scriptures;
Apply to my soul the blood of Christ, effectually,
and help me to believe, with conscience
comforted, that it cleanseth from all sin;
Lead me from faith to faith,
that I may at all times have freedom to come
to a reconciled Father,
and may be able to maintain peace with him
against doubts, fears, corruptions, temptations.
Thy office is to teach me to draw near to Christ
with a pure heart,
steadfastly persuaded of his love,
in the full assurance of faith.
Let me never falter in this way.
In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Psalm 128: How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, Who walks in His ways. When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands, You will be happy and it will be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine Within your house, Your children like olive plants Around your table. Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed Who fears the Lord. The Lord bless you from Zion, And may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. Indeed, may you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel!
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
(From the 7-7-19 liturgy of Sovereign King Church written by Aaron Sabie.)