“But whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster”. (Proverbs 1:33)
Timely words, wouldn’t you say, for such a time as this?
Proverbs 1:20-21 tells us that Wisdom speaks. Her voice calls out to us wherever we go. While the voice of temptation may be persistent, the voice of Wisdom is loud and constant, pleading with us to hear her, to listen. To grow in wisdom, the scriptures tell us, we must rightly respond to her voice.
First, we must have the desire (vs 23). Most of us have heard the saying “ignorance is bliss” and quite honestly, in many earthly matters, I live my life that way. There are some things I just don’t want to know about. But, when it comes to the things of God, His person, His commands, His counsel, there is no room for ignorance. As His children, we should pursue every opportunity to know more and more about Him.
Secondly, we have to listen. (vs24-25) Listening requires more than simply hearing, it requires action. I often tell my husband that his hearing is perfect, it’s his listening that needs work.; I am guilty of that problem myself. Listening requires not only receiving the information, but responding to what we have received. What good is any information if we do nothing with it? Remember, wisdom is about growing in knowledge and understanding. Jesus addresses this in Matthew 13, speaking to His disciples: “This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand“.
Our third response must be surrender. We are given a beautiful promise in verse 23. “If you turn at My reproof, I will pour out My Spirit to you; I will make my words known to you“. Oh how I wish we could stop right there! But, we can’t end there, the promise comes with a condition.
Our fourth response – obedience. Surrender isn’t just saying the words, it involves obeying the word. Look at some key phrases in verses 24b-25. “you refused to listen”. “no one has heeded”. “you have ignored My counsel” “you would have none of My reproof”.
We have looked at what responses are required for us to grow in wisdom. We would be ill advised to leave without looking at the alternatives.
The peril of rejection. Our Father loves us so much. It is His desire that we be in continuous relationship with Him. As we have seen, to do so, we must hear and heed His word. He doesn’t require our obedience because He wants to hurt or oppress us, to the contrary, He wants to care for and comfort us; He wants to protect and perfect us. As sinful beings, too often we determine to go our own way. And, when we do, because of God’s perfect love, He disciplines His child. “For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons.(Hebrews 12:6)
While the word “If” is followed by a condition, the word “but” holds a promise. We know that our Lord does not leave us without hope. And this is our hope. “but whoever [that’s us] listens to Me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster”. (v33)