Proverbs 21:24

Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.

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What is the most depraved character in Proverbs? The fool? The odious woman? The angry man? The strange woman? The slothful man? No! It is the scorner (Pr 26:12). Fools, odious women, angry men, whores, and slothful men can be helped, but an angry and arrogant scorner defies correction and instruction. Lady Wisdom, representing the true God, says to avoid them, for you will waste your time and start a fight (Pr 9:7-8).

Solomon often and severely condemned pride (Pr 6:16-17; 8:13; 13:10; 16:5,18; 21:4), and he often and severely condemned anger or wrath (Pr 14:29; 16:32; 19:19; 27:3-4; 30:33). Both of these sins are contrary to wisdom and a successful life before God and men. The lesson and warning here is to reject any anger or pride in your dealings with others. You must kill these evil tendencies, or you are an unusually bad scorner.

Because a scorner will not humble himself, and because he despises those that try to correct him, there is no hope for him (Pr 13:1; 14:6; 15:12; 24:9). If you want peace and unity in any setting, you need to get rid of any scorners (Pr 22:10). To help keep fools from becoming scorners, and to teach them some wisdom, scorners must be punished publicly (Pr 19:25; 21:11). Good men despise and hate scorners (Pr 24:9; Ps 15:4).

What is a scorner? He is a defiant rebel that will not be corrected or instructed by others. In fact, he despises and hates anyone trying to reprove or teach him (Pr 9:7-8). He is so arrogant in his conceit that he has less potential for learning wisdom than a fool, which is saying a lot (Pr 26:12; 27:22)! Rather than seek peace or wisdom, he wickedly tries to find fault in others (Is 29:20-21). His life is marked by ruined relationships and trouble.

What is a proud and haughty scorner? He is a defiant rebel that has extra arrogance and anger. These vile creatures mock their teachers, sneer at correction, and slander anyone that disagrees with them. Because they presume their superiority to all others, they will backbite or tattle about anyone, without regard for God or man. When confronted or offended, they explode with haughty rage and vindictive plans and actions.

What did Jesus Christ think of scorners? He said they did not deserve to hear His gospel. He called them dogs and pigs, and He told His disciples to keep the truth from them (Pr 3:34; 23:9; 26:11; Matt 7:6). He especially despised the scornful Pharisees for their religious pride. He told His disciples that God would root them out, and that they and their followers could fall into the ditch of heresy and judgment together (Matt 15:12-14).

Are you a scorner? It is not hard to tell. Do you appreciate being corrected, or do you prefer debating? Do you love making peace, or defending your so-called rights? Do you enjoy ignoring others’ sins against you, or do you get angry when confronted or offended? Do you think you have learned a lot in life and would be a better teacher than listener? Do you always have an excuse for your actions? Are you a backbiter of others? Do you resent being told you are wrong? Can you do most everything better than others?

Scorn is a terrible sin. You came into this world knowing nothing, and now you despise your teachers? You are a rabid dog! Pride and anger are the foundation for scorn. Conceit is self-deceiving and self-destructive (Pr 26:12; Jer 17:9), and anger is the violent and dangerous outburst of an unruled spirit (Pr 25:28; 27:4). God rightly names you a proud and haughty scorner – one of the most despicable combinations of terms in the Bible.

The opposite of a scorner is a wise man. He loves to be reproved and taught, because he knows they are the only means to more wisdom. He loves those who correct and teach him, for without them he will not make any progress (Pr 9:8; 27:5-6; Ps 141:5). He thinks poorly of his opinions, and he does not get angry when offended. He puts the best construction on the actions of others, and He easily forgives and overlooks their faults.

Reader, the God of heaven has condemned you with a terrible name! If your dealings with others involve pride and wrath, He cannot stand your spirit or your actions. He will soon destroy you, for He cannot endure the proud and lofty, those that are lifted up (Is 2:12). The blessed God of heaven, the only wise God, looks to those who have poor and contrite spirits, and who tremble at His word (Is 66:2). Does this describe your dealings?

It is easy to tell if you are guilty of pride and wrath. How well do you get along with others? Do you easily get offended and angry? Do you criticize others quickly? Are you known for backbiting? Do you blow up when contradicted or rebuked? Are you known for bluster or grace in your speech? Humble yourself today and confess your great evil. You are not living like those that are called the sons of God (Phil 2:14-16).