Proverbs (Part 010) - Pro 1:19-20Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Wednesday, February 20, 2019.
19. Pro 1:19 - "So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof." A. Solomon sums up his exhortation to his son to not be enticed by sinners (v.10), who in order to fill their houses with precious substance (v.13) would murder the owners thereof (vv.11-12), by reiterating that their end will be the destruction they thought to inflict on their victims (v.18). B. This is the lot of everyone which would commit such a heinous crime. i. There are no exceptions to this rule. ii. There is no getting away with such a wicked act (Num 32:23). iii. The recompense may not come immediately, but it will come eventually to everyone who commits such egregious sins (1Ti 5:24). iv. With promises such as these from Almighty God, a young man would be wise to "consent thou not" and "walk not thou in the way with them" (Pro 1:10, 15) lest he surely come into condemnation. C. If ever enticed by sinners to murder the innocent in order to reap their spoil, every child of God should remember Solomon's warning and consider the account of the murder of Naboth the Jezreelite who fell prey to conspirators of the same ilk as these reprobates in Proverbs 1. i. Naboth had a vineyard that bordered king Ahab's palace which Ahab wanted for himself to plant a garden in (1Ki 21:1-2). ii. Being a righteous man and not willing to give up his God-given inheritance, Naboth declined the king's offer of a better vineyard which caused Ahab to sulk (1Ki 21:3-4). iii. Ahab's wicked wife Jezebel, being far more innovative and aggressive than her husband, devised a plan in which Naboth would be set on high among the people, only to have two children of Belial bear false witness against him saying that he blasphemed God and the king, which they did before executing him by stoning (1Ki 21:5-14). iv. They also apparently killed his sons so that they could not inherit his land (2Ki 9:26). v. Having taken away the life of the owner thereof, Ahab took possession of the vineyard (1Ki 21:15-16). vi. It seemed for the time that Ahab and Jezebel had literally gotten away with murder, but they failed to realize that there is a God in heaven pleading the cause of the oppressed. vii. The LORD sent the prophet Elijah to give Ahab a sobering message to let him know that he and his wicked wife had laid wait and lurked privily for their own lives (1Ki 21:19, 23-24). viii. Ahab and Jezebel met their fate just as the LORD had promised (1Ki 22:37-38; 2Ki 9:30-37), confirming Solomon's warning: "So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof" (Pro 1:19). 20. Pro 1:20 - "Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:" A. In verses 20-33, wisdom is personified as a woman. i. She publicly cries out to men from every corner of life, calling unto them to hear her reproof, turn from their foolishness, and be spared from the self-inflicted destruction that awaits them. ii. In chapter one, as well as in chapters eight and nine, wisdom is referred to in the feminine. a. In the Hebrew language, which the book of proverbs was originally written in, every noun has a gender, either masculine or feminine. b. Being feminine in the Hebrew, the translators translated wisdom as feminine in the King James Bible. B. As the proceeding verses shall show, wisdom, which cries out to men to repent and then later judges them by filling them with their own devices, is the LORD. i. Jesus Christ, who is the LORD (Joh 1:1-3, 14; Joh 8:58; 1Ti 3:16), is "the wisdom of God" (1Co 1:24). ii. In Him "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col 2:3). C. The fact that God, who is masculine, is represented by wisdom, who is feminine, is not a contradiction. i. Ships serve as a good example of things which are dominant in masculine characteristics, but are nevertheless referred to by feminine pronouns. ii. Ships are designed, built, and operated predominately by men and often even bear male names such as the USS George Washington, USS Abraham Lincoln, and USS Ronald Reagan. iii. Yet they are referred to with the feminine pronouns she and her, which has been the case for thousands of years (Act 27:15). iv. A feminine pronoun is fitting for wisdom which is softer and more tender in character and demeanor than some of the other attributes of God such as judgment. v. In addition to His dreadful side, the LORD also has a merciful and compassionate element to Him (Psa 103:13). vi. Possessing such kindhearted characteristics, Jesus Christ, "who of God is made unto us wisdom" (1Co 1:30), is rightly symbolized in Proverbs by wisdom which is a feminine personification. D. Wisdom crieth without. i. Cry v. - 1. To entreat, beg, beseech, implore, in a loud and emoved or excited voice ii. Without adv. - 1. On the outside or outer surface; externally iii. It is evident from this verse that God uses an external rather than an internal method of communicating His word to His people. iv. Wisdom utters her voice to her people in the streets, not telepathically in their heads. a. At times throughout Biblical history God spoke inwardly and directly to a few select prophets, but not at all times, nor to all men. b. He communicated His wisdom "unto the fathers by the prophets" (Heb 1:1) in the Old Testament. c. In New Testament times He has spoken unto us by his Son (Heb 1:2) who is the wisdom of God. d. If we will learn wisdom, we must step without ourselves and read the word of God. e. We must also listen to it preached (Tit 1:3) which is a man crying out the word of God. v. Wisdom cries not in the seminaries or the secret places, but in the streets. a. We don't have to go far to hear it if we will just open our ears. b. Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke openly to the world and said nothing in secret (Joh 18:20). (i) Jesus told His apostles that what they heard in the ear they were to preach upon the housetops (Mat 10:27). (ii) This is why I post my sermons on the internet. c. The problem today is not that wisdom hasn't cried in the streets. d. The problem is that few will hear it and "truth is fallen in the street" (Isa 59:14). e. The rest of this chapter will show what happens to those who reject wisdom's cry.