Proverbs 9:12

If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.


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Your future is in your hands – in your heart and mind – for good or bad. Your response to wisdom will drastically affect your life one way or the other. Great privileges have great responsibilities. Individual liberty has individual consequences. What will happen to you?

The great choice of life, which Solomon repeated often, is the choice of wisdom. If you choose her, you will be blessed; if you reject her, you will be punished. There is no escape; your choice will be repaid. You will bear the consequences. Your wisdom cannot benefit God, nor does your folly hurt him (Job 35:5-8). You alone will bear the results.

The Preacher of the New Testament, Paul warned, “Every man shall bear his own burden” (Gal 6:5). Do not be deceived; God is not mocked; whatever you sow, that is what you will reap (Gal 6:7-8). So dear reader, you must prove your own work, and then you may have rejoicing in yourself, without measuring by others at all (Gal 6:4).

The personification of wisdom continues from the previous chapter to this climactic verse. Lady Wisdom offers you a house and wonderful feast (Pr 9:1-5). What will you do with her invitation? This is the chance of a lifetime! Blessings beyond description are offered (Pr 8:11)! Or will you ignore her and choose certain death for yourself (Pr 8:36)?

After this dramatic conclusion, you are reminded again of the foolish and whorish woman, Folly, of which there are many in the world (Pr 9:13-18). This woman intends to destroy young men. She also has a house, prepared with a perfumed bed, but she takes her foolish and unsuspecting guests to hell with her (Pr 5:3-13; 6:23-35; 7:6-23; 9:18).

Today, dear reader, you must choose. And tomorrow you must choose again. Will you humble yourself before God’s perfect words of wisdom? Or will you reject them in the pride, stubbornness, and rebellion of your foolish heart? You cannot avoid the choice. What will it be? You will govern your thoughts, words, and actions by revealed wisdom, or you will reject it and allow your habits, lusts, the world, and others to direct your life.

What does the Bible mean to you? How important is it for you to learn and obey it? The great men of Bible history craved it and diligently followed it. Do you faithfully listen to the preaching of it by a man chosen by Jesus Christ, who does not entertain at all but rather declares God’s will without apology or compromise? If not, why not? If not, you must be a scorner. Remember the warning of the proverb, “Thou alone shalt bear it.”

Ezekiel wrote, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezek 18:20). Solomon warns, “The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself” (Pr 14:14). If you backslide from wisdom, the Lord will fill your life with the painful results. But the man who rejects folly will be satisfied with personal blessings.

Moses warned, “Be sure your sin will find you out,” (Num 32:23). These eight words are as certain as gravity and death. No matter what you think of sin, it has consequences. No matter where you sin, God sees and knows all (Pr 15:3; Jer 23:23-24). No matter what precautions you take to protect yourself, they will absolutely not work (Pr 11:21; 16:5).

If you play with sin, you will suffer for it; if you choose godliness, you will be blessed. The way of transgressors is hard (Pr 13:15), and you will not know how hard until it is too late (Pr 1:20-32; Ps 36:1-3). When God swears in anger, there is no deliverance, even if you try to repent (Pr 29:1; Num 14:39-45; Ps 95:7-11; Heb 4:1; 10:26-31; 12:16-17).

Lot scorned wisdom, violating this proverb; he lost great potential blessings and riches; you last see him sitting in the mouth of a cave, ruined, with his two daughters pregnant by his own folly. But Abraham chose wisdom. God called him His friend, told him he was righteous, and covered him with many blessings in a very long life. Heaven is called Abraham’s bosom, and his Seed sits at the right hand of God and provides its million!

Last, consider this contrast from Jesus Christ: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). And another, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16). Have you believed and been baptized Wisdom’s way? Do not scorn a King or doctrine so important!