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In Pursuit of Wisdom

Proverbs Podcasts 2020, #3

Warren E. Berkley

 

Welcome to these podcasts I’ll be posting at least once a week, and the subject will be – the Old Testament book of Proverbs. This is #3 – offered on April 6.

 

I’ll read from Prov. 1:20-33, but I want to set this up. Use your imagination.

 

Picture yourself in an ancient marketplace. A street market, similar to what exists today in some third-world countries.

 

You are weaving your way through the crowd, looking for what you need to purchase, maybe speaking to people you know. There is a lot of noise – a buzz of conversations, movement, transactions, animals, carts – all kinds of sensory overload. You can’t really tune in much of all the sound.

 

But then, like a siren or PA announcement – there is this voice above the chatter and it has an urgent sound to it.

 

I’m reading from Proverbs 1:20-33.

 

20 Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I have called and you refused

 

to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
25 because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you,
27 when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.
28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30 would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof,
31 therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices.
32 For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33 but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”

 

The world is like that marketplace. There is the noise and roar of competing voices, gathering storms, social media, entertainment, vanity, many varieties of religious practice, materialism, division and appeals to fulfill appetite. It is so noisy all around us.

 

If we can block that out and turn the volume of the world around us down – we can hear Wisdom crying in the street, trying to get our attention and call us to higher living.

 

When you see godly people, hear the Word of God, read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – Wisdom is crying in the street.

 

When you have quiet moments of self-evaluation. When people speak to you of the peace of God that surpasses understanding. When you are exhausted and look to God for hope … wisdom is crying out to us.

 

Are we listening? The passage says – there are simple ones, scoffers and fools who just can’t tune in to the higher frequency. They are captivated by the noise of this present world.

 

The last verse in the chapter contains a promise. Lady wisdom says, “whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”

That’s grace, from God through Christ, calling us to turn the world’s volume down and listen to what is wise.

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