Proverbs 1: 8-33
Proverbs 1 opens with a father begging his son to listen to him and not forsake his mother’s instructions. He pleads with the son not to fall in with “sinful men” intent on hurting and taking advantage of another. The father wails in v.17, “How useless to spread a net where every bird can see it!” The Living Bible translates that, “When a bird sees a trap being laid, it stays away.” Avoid evil men! While evil lurks in the dark places plotting evil against another, Wisdom personified is out in the open calling aloud in the public square. Evil is dark and plotting to destroy while Good is open and public and accessible. The writer continues to point out that often evil backfires on itself and the plotter will be the victim. Then wisdom will have the last laugh. Wisdom concludes in v. 33, “but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease without fear of harm.”
“”Listen” seems to be one of the important operative words here. Who are we listening to? Are we listening to the voices that desire evil to happen to another that promise personal gain for us? Wisdom, on the other hand does not seek to destroy but offers life and comes from fearing the Lord.
So who are the voices we are listening to today? There are so many popular TV people preaching on Sundays, radio programs during the week, and daily Podcasts that opportunities to “listen” are not the challenge to most Americans. We can listen in our own language almost 24-7. But I think of Elisha after the encounter with the priests of Baal on Mt. Carmel. He retreated 40 days into the wilderness, into a cave. He listened. The voice of God was not in the wind, not in the fire, not in the storm but it came as a still small voice. Wisdom “calls” to us but Solomon says that evil “entices” us.
Perhaps today during your prayer time, try taking maybe just one minute to listen. Like Samuel, we can say, “Speak, Lord, your servant listens!” Blessings.