Wisdom and Social Responsibility

Proverbs 19:1-8, 17; 22:16-23

Proverbs 19:3 has a number of choice words which give a graphic picture of what often happens in the lives of people who ruin their own lives but yet are too blind to see what is taking place. Again and again they reject the way of the Lord while planning a life of pleasure and self-indulgence. When their waywardness takes its toll they are left with the shell of a life and point their trembling feeble finger toward God in accusation. Consider the meaning of these words in order to get a better grasp of this sentence.

`iwwelet – folly, foolishness – Twelve times this word is associated with kesil which we studied in the last lesson. The foolish person makes a choice. It is a choice of moral insolence. He determines his own way. He draws his own map for life. Although he does not want to take the responsibility, this kind of way is his own fault, not Gods. He perverts his own way.

salap – distort, twist, pervert, ruin. The foolish determination to live a life of sin distorts that which could have been beautiful into that which is undesirable and distasteful. Evil so twists the sinful and foolish man that his way becomes perverted. The life which could have been profitable now lies in ruin.

za’ap – The root of the verb, means to storm or rage aginst. It suggests one who is bitter and dejected. This is a person who is enraged within himself. Inside a storm rages while on the outside people see a sad and troubled countenance. The same word is used to describe Asa when he was rebuked by the prophet Hanani. His inner rage led him to commit terrible atrocities. He was hardened in heart and when four years later he was diseased he still refused to call upon God.

The modern versions of this verse bring out thought of this verse. God often gets blamed for what we bring on ourselves. The wise man is saying that it is mans own foolishness that causes the problem. His folly destroys his lifes course. Even though he has fabricated his own ruin, he rages against God with spiteful accusations saying that it is Gods fault that his life did not turn out differently. (Keil and Delitzsch) (Tyndale Commentary – Proverbs) (Theological Wordbook of the OT)

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