Today we investigate Proverbs 1:20-33, where “Wisdom crieth without,” like the thunderous voice of a Billy Graham Convention in Columbia, South Carolina, a message titled “Sex, Power, Riches, and Materialism.”
At the 1987 convention, Reverend Graham used Solomon’s life to illustrate young people today—many seeking knowledge, security, and love. Folks have these same struggles and temptations throughout life! Wrapped in pretty packages with sparkling wrapping paper and bows magnified by today’s complicated culture.
Billy Graham’s booming voice on YouTube, teaching about Solomon, the son of King David in the Bible, spoke of Solomon’s wealth: billions of dollars, 700 wives, and 300 concubines. Yet He struggled with peace.
King Solomon’s epiphany in Ecclesiastes 12: 8, “Vanity of vanities, sayeth the preacher, all is vanity,” is like a bubble that bursts. After years of enjoying life’s pleasures and every sin life had to offer, Solomon concluded that the only path toward a happier, more peaceful, and secure life was to listen and obey God’s wisdom in the Bible.
Near the end of the convention, Billy Graham’s voice boomed to the rafters, shouting Colossians 2 and how Jesus has all the wisdom, “Come to Christ!”
It’s never too late to learn from Solomon’s mistakes. As you listen and read the Scriptures of Proverbs 1:20-33, we have a clear choice in embracing the wise counsel of a Good Father God, who wants the best for our lives.
Jim Rubart’s Scripture Reading of Proverbs 1:20-33
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.
One of my favorite Shakespearean tragedies is “Othello,” the Moor of Venice, a seaport in Cyprus near the Mediterranean Sea. Proverbs 1:22 talks about simple ones who love simplicity.
Othello is a successful and decisive military soldier. He makes decisions quickly and naively believes that people will be honest if he asks someone to tell him the truth. Yet throughout the play, this “friend” Iago mocks and laughs at the calamity of Othello, like Proverbs 1:26-27.
Iago is a dangerous con man; he delivers moral advice throughout the play—but his foolish advice is evil. Subsequently, he watches the demise of the Moor, as Othello gullibly believes the lies of Iago about his beautiful wife, Desdemona, being unfaithful.
At the end of the play, Othello destroys his beloved and faithful wife, his Pearl, and his soul.
In contrast, God’s hopeful verse of Proverbs 1:33 tells us that we can listen to God’s counsel with total confidence that He has our best interest in mind. His advice and direction are trustworthy, honest, and reasonable. We can dwell safely and not fear evil if we listen to God’s wisdom. He is a Good Father who wants to give good gifts to his children; if we ask for His wisdom and understanding, He will not withhold it from us. He desires that we choose to listen and follow His teaching. In His Word, God guides us into experiencing a happier, more peaceful, and more secure life.