Sometimes I just love how the Bible “gets in your face” about an issue. Some would think the word of God is downright rude. Even Jesus had to ask His disciples, “Does this offend you?” when He had taught them “a hard saying” (see John 6). This morning while reading the Proverb of the day I couldn’t get past verse 1 before the Holy Spirit had inspired me to write:
“Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” (Proverbs 12:1)
On the surface calling someone stupid may seem rude, but let’s unpack this verse to better understand it. The Bible puts a premium on instruction because it denotes teaching and guidance. At first blush one might believe that all people would like instruction, but understand not everyone likes Biblical instruction. Solomon further explains:
“The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd.” (Ecclesiastes 12:11)
The Random House Dictionary defines goad as “a stick with a pointed or electrically charged end, for driving cattle, oxen, etc.; prod; anything that pricks or wounds like a stick.” It can also mean “something that encourages, urges, or drives; a stimulus.” Either definition means there is a call to action and Biblical instruction often calls on us to changes our attitudes and actions. Most times we like life just the way it is and are in no hurry to change our ways.
However, Biblical instruction or wisdom is highly valued as is evidenced by the beginning of the Book of Proverbs:
“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding, to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion—a wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, to understand a proverb and an enigma, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:1-7)
Are you noticing a trend here when it comes to Biblical instruction? There is great gain in embracing wisdom and those who reject it are considered stupid and foolish. If you have a problem with that last part, you problem is not with me it’s with God. Let me explain a little further…
The Bible considers it stupid and foolish to despise correction. But the Word of God also explains the high cost of rejecting Biblical wisdom:
“Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way, and he who hates correction will die.” (Proverbs 15:10)
Jesus was hated by the Pharisees and “go along to get along” pew sitters of His day because He spoke the Truth and it pricked their consciences. This is what He meant when He told His brothers that His time had not yet come…
“The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.” (John 7:7)
Doesn’t that sound like today? How dare you judge me about my behavior! It’s none of your business how I live my life! All that matters is that I love this person; never mind he is of the same sex…and on and on.
Do you realize that if you hate Biblical instruction you’re just like a wild beast living by your desires and emotions? However if you love the Word of God, it is a sign that His grace is abundant in your life. Matthew Henry puts it this way:
“Those who have grace, will delight in the instructions given them. Those that stifle their convictions, are like brutes.”
So which one are you? When you read the Word of God or hear it preached, do you stifle the convictions it brings to you? Or have you reached the heavenly gracious point in your life that you absolutely delight in Biblical instruction?
How you answer that question will reveal your spiritual health.
I’m praying you have an unquenchable thirst for the Bible.
It is Friday and I will be praying that you have a blessed weekend and that you remember to go to church on Sunday where you can hear the Word of God preached from the pulpit and taught in a Sunday School class.
May the Lord abundantly bless you!
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Copyright © 2013 David Jeffers