Daily Wisdom

Meditations on the Book of Proverbs

11 Death and Destruction lie open before the Lord—

   how much more do human hearts!

12 Mockers resent correction,

   so they avoid the wise.

 

 Nothing is hidden from the Lord, not even the depths of Death (Sheol) and Destruction (Abbadon). That our hearts lay bare before him is frightening, but it is also comforting. We all want to be known and loved, but we fear that if we were truly known we could not be loved at all. But the Lord sees us as we are, as Isaiah lamented: “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” Yet this is a comfort. Though he sees everything we wish to hide, the Lord still pursues us with his unfailing love.

 “Mockers resent correction, so they avoid the wise.” The mocker knows his flaws, but he has ceased to care about them. Yet he loves to find and expose the flaws in others, tearing them down wherever he goes. He is the ultimate hypocrite, constantly criticizing others in order to avoid criticism. The wise are proof of a better way, that satisfaction is possible and flaws may be overcome. Their existence itself is a rebuke to the mocker’s assumptions. But he has come a long way to get where he is, and is committed to his views even though they are the source of his unhappiness.

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