Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Our Old Testament passage this week speaks to the invitation made by “wisdom,” normally understood as an expression of the person of God through one of His attributes, for everyone to come and receive the blessings which are stored up for all.
Verses 7-10 then provide counsel which not only calls us to action, but helps us understand the way the Proverbs are interpreted. We are told not to reprove a scoffer, to reprove a wise man, to instruct a wise man, and to teach a wise man. All would make sense in isolation except for the first. How do we know who the scoffer is? People change their attitudes over time. They may be scoffers sometimes, then ready to accept instruction at other times. What do we do?
Very simply, as well as understanding that many of the ideas in Proverbs are truisms rather than hard and fast commands, or promises, we also realize that the worst which will happen if we try to instruct a scoffer will be to create animosity. It could be worse than that. What if the person just appears to be a scoffer but is actually asking hard questions because he wants to learn? The instruction will be a delight to us and to him.
God’s Word works in His people. We pray that we will be fair and charitable, sharing the words of God which bring life and light into our world.
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