In Proverbs 1:22–33 we see wisdom personified as a woman offering insight to those who would listen. For those of us on the journey of authentic manhood, we are invited into the rewards for seeking wisdom and we are told of the consequences for those who chose to ignore wisdom altogether. Also, we are further introduced to a few characters like “the simple ones,” scoffers, and fools who continue to show up throughout the rest of the book. We are told more about these types later on. In this case, they are the ones who choose not to listen to wisdom.
They choose not to listen because they are each distracted by something else. In verse 22, we are told that the “simple ones” are distracted by their love of being simple. Scoffers are distracted by their delight in their own scoffing and fools by their hating of knowledge. “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?” (Pr. 1:22).
It’s interesting that the speaker asks “how long?” and, in the next verse, talks about what would happen if these types would “turn” at the speakers reproof (Pr. 1:23). This indicates that these types are not condemned in their simplicity, scoffing, and folly with no hope of turning. There is an implied opportunity for change. If the opportunity is there for these types, then it is certainly there for those of us on the journey of authentic manhood.
The speaker, Wisdom, promises to “pour out” her spirit on those who turn to listen (Pr. 1:23). This inspiration probably plays a part in the next promise by the speaker which has to do with making the words of wisdom “known” to them (Pr. 1:23). This may refer to the ability to interpret the words beyond simply knowing what the words are.
The promise of these gifts and disclosures are some of the positive rewards for turning to listen to wisdom, but choosing not to listen has negative consequences, which we read about in verses 26–32. Ultimately, the negative consequences amount to utter destruction and death, which makes the stakes for ignoring wisdom quite high for the simple, scoffing, and foolish.
We also learn in this chapter that Wisdom has been trying to offer her gifts for some time now but has been consistently shot down by the three types (Pr. 1:24–25). This may help to explain the severe language. It sounds like these types have been given multiple opportunities to make a change but still will not do it.
In the last verse the speaker addresses the more general group. “Whoever listens to me,” says the speaker, “will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster” (Pr. 1:33).
Here it is solidified that the benefits of wisdom have been extended to all. The invitation stands and the personification of the woman Wisdom stands at the beginning of the book of Proverbs as a herald for all who will listen. She proclaims the benefits for those who do listen and the consequences for those who do not.
One must admit the enticement of the rewards that Wisdom offers, a kind of security and inspiration. These rewards are a bonus for us because the journey of authentic manhood is a path that seeks to hear Wisdom’s call.
For more about the journey of authentic manhood, check out these articles at: http://www.christintherockies.org/blog/father-son-adventure