April 9 - Proverbs 9
By Pastor Murray
“He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, and he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. (Proverbs 9:7-9) NKJV
Have you ever shared your faith with an unbeliever? What response did you get?
There are various possible responses:
· I have heard it before, and I am not interested in Bible-bashers – I don’t believe in all that stuff
· Yes, I have heard it before, and I was interested but I have done nothing about it
· That’s interesting, I have not heard that before; tell me more
The first response is really that of a or a scoffer or a wicked man (v7). Scoffer: “He is the person who will not live by wise and moral teachings and is not content to let others do so without his cynical mocking.” (Ross).
Any who have shared the Gospel with others have probably encountered a scoffer or a wicked man. How do we deal with such a person? Do we walk away? Do we argue with this person? Do we correct a scoffer? Do we rebuke a wicked man? This is easy to do, but we often end up being criticized and harming ourselves. An argument often results. We are there, armed with the truth, willing to share it with those who will listen. Do not waste time with those who have made up their mind to reject the Saviour. Pray that God will change their heart. As someone once said; “nobody ever became a believer because they lost an argument”
It is great when we receive a positive response such as one of the last two. It encourages us to continue, to see the Lord work and use us to lead that person closer to the Lord.
These last two responses would be from a “wise man”.
The second person has already shown some wisdom. However, although he has shown some interest in establishing and building a relationship with the Saviour, he may well earn a mild rebuke. “Well, if you were interested, how come you did not follow through? You know that your response to the call from the Lord will determine your eternal destiny. What is it to be; heaven or hell, make up your mind and do something about it!” We are told here (v8) that if you rebuke a wise man, he will love you. If you rebuke this person, and he comes to know Jesus as his Saviour and Lord, then he will be eternally grateful and he will love you.
In the case of the last person, he is demonstrating wisdom. He has not heard about the work of the Saviour and he is keen to know about Him. This passage has advice on how to deal with this man Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. – v9
When we tell this person about Jesus, we are indeed giving instruction. With what we are saying, we are giving instruction and, as a result, he will be still wiser
Let us use any opportunity that comes our way to give instruction to those who are wise. Of course, before we can do that, we need to be wise ourselves – we need to have a close relationship with the Saviour, knowing Him so that we can share that knowledge with others
May God’s richest blessings be with you, with those in your bubble and with those you would like to have in your bubble