Prov. 1 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.
Wisdom speaks in v. 20. She is an equal opportunity proclaimer, which is to say she is an equal opportunity curser and blesser. For those who will not hear her, will not regard her counsel, will trust their own ways and mechanisms, there is a curse. For those who hear, there is security, ease, joy. For those who do not, there is destruction and death.
The themes of Proverbs 1 strike me as very simple. Run with God and God blesses. Run with the world and destroy yourself in the process.
But this is not as academic as some sort of decision we make to go with God or not go with God. Indeed, I hear a very quiet “No” to that sort of thinking in this verse. You and I cannot decide to do that. What comes first is not us and our answer to the question of which way will we go. What comes first is in v. 20.
Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice.
Christ speaks first. His words save. They don’t bring us to make a decision. They compel those who hear them to repentance. V. 23: If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you. The only thing the one having a sinful nature can do is choose not to hear the Word. If we hear, then it must be that the Word spoken first found its way into our ears. Otherwise we are praising ourselves and not glorifying God.
He who does not have ears to hear invites destruction. He in whom hearing is worked by the Spirit through the Word has safety, rest, and peace. He who gave the ear is also the One who causes it to hear.
Lord, open our ears to hear your Word and to shut out the world’s noise. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.