Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Proverbs 22:10 commentary; Are you a scorner?

10 ¶ Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.

Let’s review what the scorner is again. He or she doesn’t hear rebuke or correction (Proverbs 13:1) and will be angry at the person who tries to shed a light on their error (Proverbs 15:12). They look for wisdom but with their scornful attitude they can’t find it and never will (Proverbs 14:6). 15:12 shows that they won’t even go to the wise to seek their wisdom. 21:24 shows us that scorners are proud and haughty. But, what characterizes the scorner’s attitude?

Psalm 1:1 links them with ungodly sinners. They are mockers (2 Chronicles 30:10). Psalms 44:13, 79:4, & Ezekiel 23:32 shows that scorners hold the people of God in derision, which is contempt by the fifteen verses in which it is used. Proverbs 1:22 & 19:29 shows them to be synonymous with fools. We know about fools. The fool has said in his heart that there is no God (Psalm 14:1 & 53:1).

So, in this Proverb, if you get rid of the scorner, you’ll be getting rid of contention, defined in this verse as strife and reproach, and a lot of conflict and division in the church will go with them. Paul even talked about people who actually preached Christ with contention.

Philippians 1:12 ¶ But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; 13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; 14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. 15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: 16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: 17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. 18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

Notice how in this passage contention’s definition is envy and strife (conflict). As the scorner will not humble himself before God or man, is arrogant and haughty, proud and incapable of correction, it is best to turn someone like that out of the congregation before he destroys it. Let God deal with him or her. The only way their heart will be changed is by God, directly by the application of His words to their spiritual heart.

The big question you need to ask is not one you ask by looking around at the other people in the church and trying to figure out who is a scorner, if it’s not obvious. No, the big question is, are you a scorner? Ask yourself. Examine yourself.

2Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Are you mocking people who have a simple faith? Do you hold the humble people of God in derision? Do you think their customs quaint and amusing, their faith naïve, their practices not intellectually satisfying to you? Do you hold their convictions in contempt and view their hopes and fears as humorous in a sad way? I remember hearing a young Christian, impressed with the worldly education he was receiving, call the church his parents attended, a bunch of “hicks”. They weren’t sophisticated enough for him. What he didn’t understand is that there are Appalachian farm mothers who can barely read but know that King James Bible forward and backward that know far more about what matters in eternity than the most sophisticated Harvard educated graduate students.

Look to yourself if you be a scorner. The Proverb says the church is better off without you. Repent of your wickedness and turn to Christ .

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