“How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?” (Proverbs 1:22 NIV)
Though many may think the Proverbs have no relevance for us today in contemporary society, they are rich in wisdom and only a fool would ignore the implications. The same snares and pitfalls that doomed men and women during Solomon’s time are still snaring and dooming people today.
From the beginning, God uses Solomon to guide us-with nuggets of wisdom that are relevant for any era. Why Solomon? When Solomon became King of Israel, God granted him anything he asked for and Solomon asked for “wisdom” to govern the people. God was so pleased with Solomon’s request that He granted him wisdom and gave him riches because he demonstrated that material wealth was not his primary concern.
There are some who say that many of the Proverbs are Chinese in origin and the writers of the bible are in error. Here’s a thought. If wisdom is wisdom–no matter the source–should we refute or negate it’s importance? I think not. Wisdom is the key to creativity and it is not restricted by any types of limits–we simply have to “receive” it. Everything that mankind has made is the result of the wisdom endowed by God that stirs up the creativity that resides within all of us. Some of use the gift more than others, but that is a choice we all make.
So who are the simple? Those who have closed minds and are foolish (according to Strong’s translation from the Hebrew). They have no desire to seek wisdom because they are happy with what little they have. (Hence the origin of the expression–“Ignorance is bliss.”)
The fools (and this has been repeated through the Proverbs) scorn wisdom and knowledge and make fun of people who demonstrate having knowledge and exercising wisdom in all things. When people do not understand certain things, their immediate reaction is to refute or negate its relevance or importance. If they cannot handle the fact that others have more knowledge than they or exercise wisdom before making decisions when they don’t, they tend to get upset with the other person–simply because they do not understand.
I believe (you don’t have to believe the same) that one of the reasons James tells us that if we lack wisdom, we should ask God for wisdom and He gives liberally (in abundance), without condemnation or chastisement. I’m sure James remembered what happened with Solomon and understood the importance of our exercising our faith–tempered with wisdom.
If a person chooses to be a simpleton or a fool–that is their prerogative–let them remain in that state. However, if that position is a choice, please stop putting down others for making the choice to be wise–gathering knowledge and learning how to use it to the glory of God.
We choose what we do with what God has given us. He has given us all the same opportunity to do great things if we would simply obey His Word and become “doers of The Word and not just hearers of The Word.”
Lord, help us today to always seek You first in all that we do so that You get the glory and we have a testimony about how good You are.