Rev. James Preus, pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ottumwa, IA, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Proverbs 1:20-33.
This text is the first example of an important feature in Proverbs: the personification of Wisdom. Wisdom is personified as a woman, not only because the Hebrew noun is feminine, but also in use of the poetic imagery of the book. In certain texts, Wisdom can be clearly identified with the Son of God, yet the unity of the Holy Trinity also means that the actions and words of all three Persons of the Holy Trinity are seen in the actions and words of Wisdom. In this text, Lady Wisdom calls out to everyone that they would repent, whether of their apathy or hostility toward God, and turn to Him in faith to learn His truth. Those who refuse to listen to Wisdom’s repeated cry and continue to scoff will one day have the tables turned. Lady Wisdom will finally scoff at them in return, as they receive everlasting condemnation, the same terrible verdict given to the five foolish virgins of Matthew 25. However, those who, like the five wise virgins, are ready for that Day through faith in Christ will know only security and joy with the Lord for all eternity.
“Wisdom and Instruction” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Proverbs. Although Proverbs is perhaps best known for its short sayings full of practical advice, the one true God has so much more in this book of wisdom. True wisdom begins with the fear of the LORD. Christians walk His way of righteousness rather than the way of wickedness because we trust that all good gifts come to us through His Son Jesus Christ, who is His wisdom made flesh for our salvation.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
The Call of Wisdom
20 Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
in the markets she raises her voice;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you turn at my reproof,[a]
behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I have called and you refused to listen,
have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
25 because you have ignored all my counsel
and would have none of my reproof,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when terror strikes you,
27 when terror strikes you like a storm
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.
28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge
and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30 would have none of my counsel
and despised all my reproof,
31 therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way,
and have their fill of their own devices.
32 For the simple are killed by their turning away,
and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33 but whoever listens to me will dwell secure
and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”
- Proverbs 1:23 Or Will you turn away at my reproof?
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.