by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
I. Will Rogers once said, “Congress is so strange. A man gets up to speak and says nothing, nobody listens and then everybody disagrees.”
A. I’m sure those in politics get frustrated when it seems no one listens.
B. But then we all do. We might not be the deepest thinkers in the nation, but sometimes we have something that is worth listening to.
1. Thus, parents complain their children don’t listen, while children complain their parents don’t listen.
C. Have you thought about what it is like for God, to have a world full of people who for the most part don’t listen to Him?
1. How many times did God tell people not to do something, and then they proceed to do that very thing?
2. Israel, like others, just would not listen - Jeremiah 6:10
3. God sent his Son, yet the world couldn’t comprehend - John 3:19-20
D. Solomon depicts wisdom as a woman walking through a noisy street, through crowded market places and at busy intersections trying to get people’s attention - Proverbs 1:20-21
1. But no one pays her any attention. There are too many other distractions.
2. Interestingly, the word used here is in the plural though it is treated as singular
a. Manifold wisdom of God - Ephesians 3:10
b. Wisdom isn’t a single thing. It is a variety of things working together as one.
II. It is dangerous to listen to evil - Proverbs 1:10-19
A. Don’t focus on the lure. See the end results.
III. Godly wisdom is readily available, but no one listens. Why? - Proverbs 1:22
A. They prefer a simple view of the world
1. You see this in many groups. Rather than treating each as individuals, there is a preference to make broad generalizations:
a. Blacks are ..., Jews are ..., White people are ..., or even Government is ...
b. We find the world easier to deal with by just lumping everyone into the same bucket.
2. People don’t want wisdom because it complicates this simplistic view. It makes people think. It means handling each person differently because you have to face the fact that each person is different.
B. They enjoy belittling things
1. I heard a song on NPR a while ago belittling people who listen to talk radio.
a. No reasoning. Clear falsehoods with small sound bites of phrases pulled out of context.
2. Scorn comes from pride. I’m right and, therefore, you are wrong if you don’t agree with me.
3. Reasoning isn’t there because it isn’t based on reason. Instead, mocking is used as if taunts prove points.
C. They don’t want to know they are wrong
1. Being wrong makes a person feel bad.
2. Being wrong means having to make changes.
IV. It is dangerous not to listen to wisdom - Proverbs 1:23-32
A. The problem is when you are told you are wrong, the gut reaction is to dig in - Proverbs 29:1
1. In the end it destroys you because you become inflexible.
B. Fear when trouble comes - Isaiah 66:4
C. You can’t wait until you need wisdom to gain wisdom
1. Wisdom takes time to learn
2. You can’t expect to change at the last minute. There are limits - Isaiah 55:6
D. You get what you sowed - Galatians 6:7-8
E. It will destroy you - Romans 6:21
V. The gains of wisdom - Proverbs 1:33
A. Safety - Isaiah 3:10
B. Security, a lack of fear - Psalms 112:7
C. Wisdom is calling. Will you listen?