© Jeanne E Webster
Proverbs 1:20-33 KJV
20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: 21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, 22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: 30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. 31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. 33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
My mother used to say, “Straighten up and act like somebody!” By that I knew she hadn’t approved of my latest behavior and was rebuking me in her own gentle way. Those she has passed on through this life, I still hear her words of wisdom in the still night air as I chide myself for my faults of the day. “Jeanne, straighten up!” Ok, Mom.
Pray for those folks who are playing the fool. It’s easy being a fool in life; it’s harder to listen to well-meaning advice.
There is a story on this topic that illustrates Solomon’s point here:
“On a mango tree in a jungle, there lived many birds. They were happy in their small nests. Before the onset of the rainy season, all the animal of the jungle repaired their homes. The birds also made their homes more secure.
Many birds brought twigs and leaves and others wove their nests. “We should also store some food for our children,” chirped one of the birds. And they collected food until they had enough to see them through the rainy season. They kept themselves busy preparing for the tough times.
Soon the rains came. It was followed by thunder and lighting. All the animals and birds stayed in their homes. It continued raining for many days.
One day a wet monkey in the rain came into the forest. He sat on a branch, shivering with cold, water dripping from its body.
The poor monkey tried his best to get shelter, but in vain. The leaves were not enough to save him from the rains. “Brrr! It is so cold!” said the monkey.
The birds were watching all this. They felt sorry for the monkey but there was little they could do for him. One of them said, “Brother! Our small nests are not enough to give you shelter.”
Another bird said, “All of us prepared for the rainy season. If you had, you would not be in this piteous situation.”
“How dare you tell me what to do?” said the monkey, growling at the bird. The monkey angrily pounced on the bird’s nest, tore it and threw it on the ground. The bird and her chicks were helpless.
The poor bird thought, “Fools never value good advice. It is better not to advise them.”