O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
Wisdom calls you. Will you consider her precious gifts? She offers understanding and wisdom to the simple and foolish. Do you hear her? Or are you too busy? Or are you too proud to know you are ignorant? Or are you too rebellious to change your ways for her?
Lady Wisdom says those who reject her must love death (Pr 8:36). If you disregard her offer, you do so to your own peril. God will bring calamities into your life, and He will laugh when you tremble in fear and beg for His help (Pr 1:20-32; Ps 2:4; 37:13). He will mock your troubles and your fears. The warning is harsh, but it is truly the words of God.
Solomon continued his lengthy personification of wisdom as a woman in this chapter. Wisdom, the ability to judge correctly, is presented as a woman here and in other parts of this book of his proverbs. It has been said, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!” It is your prudence to soberly consider the gracious offer of this glorious and terrible woman.
In this verse, Lady Wisdom exhorts simple and foolish men to take the wisdom and understanding she offers. All men are born foolish and ignorant, and she implores them to take and use her wisdom. Implied is the rhetorical question, Why do you want to continue in the stupidity and lusts of your ignorance (Pr 1:22; Ex 16:28; I Kgs 18:21)? Why?
Good parents think this about their children, and every pastor thinks it about church members. Parents watch their children ignore instruction and run into pain and trouble, and pastors watch members do the same. The father and preacher in this book, Solomon, by the inspiration of God, calls for you to hear his instruction and learn wisdom.
Are you offended being called simple and foolish? It should not offend you. You came into this world messing on yourself, and you will go out doing the same. Unless you take God’s offer of wisdom, you are not any better right now. The world spews pagan and perverse filth at you daily in increasing intensity – you need God’s wisdom desperately.
If wisdom is the ability to rightly judge, do you have it? If understanding is accurate discernment, do you have it? There is only one way to know. Are your thoughts and actions in perfect agreement with God’s written word? Scripture alone defines wisdom, and any thoughts to the contrary are insane (Ps 19:7; 119:130; Isaiah 8:20; I Tim 6:3-5).
You cannot know wisdom by nature; you must obtain it by instruction. You cannot find truth by rationalization; it requires revelation from the God of truth. There is no better source than these proverbs for wisdom (Pr 1:1-4). Do you fear and crave their words? The Bible is God’s book of truth (Ps 119:160; 19:9). Do you love it preached to you?
Scripture addresses every area of your life – sex, employment, speech, money, eating, children, exercise, driving, thoughts, hair, television, clothing, friends, etc. If you think or act contrary to what is written, you have not advanced beyond the diapers that recently protected you, and your thoughts are the braying of a donkey (Job 11:12; II Pet 2:12).
Why be a fool? Take the offered wisdom and understanding today. How? Humble yourself before God’s word and this warning, repent of your foolishness, repudiate your sins, admit your ignorance, and conform every thought, word, and action to His holy word. Find a Bible-preaching church that emphasizes truth and wisdom and join it.