For the turning back of the simple from teaching will be the cause of their death, and the peace of the foolish will be their destruction. But whoever gives ear to me will take his rest safely, living in peace without fear of evil. (Proverbs 1:32, 33 BBE)
Something that comes across clearly in the first chapter of Proverbs is Wisdom is a matter of choice. It’s not something automatic, neither is it something that is forced on anyone. Whether it’s the appeal of the father to the son, or the invitation of the Woman of Wisdom, there is something about this introduction to the book of proverbs that invites the reader to choose wisdom.
The base of those arguments cme from experience of the outcomes of not selecting wisdom. The outcome of what happens when you knock around with people who want to see the downfall of others. The outcome of those who choose their own way rather than the wisdom that can help them avoid calamity.
Choosing wisdom isn’t like choosing a brand of washing up liquid. The choice begins with a relational commitment to knowing God. That knowledge isn’t academic or observational, that knowledge is based on an acknowledgement of Him in His awe-inspiring status as the great one of the universe and the source of all true and life-enriching wisdom. Approaching a relational understanding of God this way sets things up well to ensure there’s an ongoing active commitment to choosing wisdom.
Making that choice, however, is very challenging in a culture that downplays God and inflates the sense of self being in control. That’s why the encouragement and appeal to make that choice comes from the heart of a father to a son – a heart of love so that the young and simple will not flounder in foolishness but grow in grace and wisdom.
That encouragement does not end and so regardless of age, the Father still encourages His children to choose wisdom.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden