“Wisdom calls aloud outside; she raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses, at the openings of the gates in the city (of Christendom) She speaks her words: “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge.” (Prov 1:20-22)
“How long, you naïve ones will you prefer to remain in ignorance, ignorance of what? Why the truth, the whole truth not simply the basic truths, the “milk of the Word”, but all the truth including the “meat”, the deep things of God’s Word. How often have you spoken to someone and suggested a study on prophecy or some other hard to understand subject requiring a more through study and their reply was, ‘We don’t need to know these types of things, what we have is enough, we just need to have faith.’ What then was the purpose of the Lord putting prophecy and other subjects in the Bible if we had no need of them? Did not the Lord expressly state, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God…that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped…” (2 Tim 3:16, 17)
All Scripture, Is not prophecy a part of “all scripture”?
Did he not likewise say, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4)?
“All our hopes of eternal life depend upon the “whole counsel of God”, upon the divine plan and its promises, thus every word, every admonition, every encouragement, every promise, is necessary to the development of those called to eternal life.”
“Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine?’’ The answer is, “they that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.” (Isa 28:9) In other words, as the Apostle declares, we must be more than “babes in Christ” in order to be over-comers of the world. We need more than “the milk of the Word.” We need the strong meat of Truth, but that meat must be pure, free from the adulteration’s and contamination’s of the Dark Ages.” (HG2 Page, 280)
“In Proverbs 9:1–12, Wisdom, personified as a woman, is giving advice. She sends out her maidens. Just as in Chapter 1, for the one who believes God is an intelligent Creator but has no understanding and is hungering to know Him, the Bible is the answer. One is to grow from the milk of the Word to strong meat to being a man of mature development.”
The “maidens” sent forth by wisdom are prophets, teachers, evangelists, etc. As such the “maidens” are wisdom’s children, those who have heeded her counsels, and have been instructed of her.
A comparisons of several versions of our subject text (Prov 1:22) might help to make things more clear, viz.
“How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing and fools hate knowledge?” (NAS)
“How long, you simpletons, will you insist on being simpleminded? How long will you mockers relish your mocking? How long will you fools hate knowledge?” (New Living Translation)
“How long, children, will you love childishness, and you mockers desire mockery, and you fools hate knowledge?” (Aramaic Bible in Plain English)
“How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge.”
“There are three categories listed here, (1) simple ones, (2) scorners, and (3) fools.
First we have the simple ones. They are satisfied and in need of nothing—a criticism particularly of Laodicea.
The Bible tells us that we are all born and shapen in iniquity. We grow up from an infant, to a babe, to a child, to a teenager, to a young adult, to an adult, and to one in old age. We start out knowing nothing.
The “simple ones” in Verse 22 have developed up to a certain level. The NIV brings out the natural standpoint, viz.
“How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
But on a spiritual level, applying to the consecrated, we are told not to let anyone deceive us away from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor 11:3). God’s plan when rightly understood is truly simple, it is men who have made it complicated.
Unfortunately, some take this statement to far and abuse it. They are not interested in chronology, prophecy, or any other of the “deep things” of God’s word, for these subjects cause divisions. They emphasize that Christ bought us, that our lives are joyous now, that we are guaranteed life in the future—but they do not recognize sin in the truest sense of the word, that is as our Lord saw it or the need for growth and development. Hebrews 5:13 refutes this type of thinking: “For every one that uses milk [only] is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe [a simple one, a child].”
A leading minister said from the platform and with great enthusiasm, that continuing in the milk of the word was an evidence of maturity. That statement is completely contrary to Scripture. On another occasion that same minister said we should not seek to fellowship with studious brethren, for our Christianity is manifested when we go to the humble brethren who know little. The same attitude is shown by classes who study the First Volume over and over year after year. They stress the heart to the neglect of head knowledge, but both are needed. The Scriptures tell us to develop from a babe up to manhood.
The Scriptures admonish that we grow BOTH in the graces AND in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul continues on in Hebrews by listing the fundamentals of truth, telling us to leave them and go on to more advanced truth: “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again and again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment” (Heb. 6:1, 2). He also said he would like to tell more about the Melchizedek priesthood (hard things to explain), but could not because the brethren were still babes, and as such were “dull of hearing” incapable of receiving the “deeps things” of the Word of God.
Next we will consider the “scorners.” Scorners (or mockers) are outwardly critical of others and they find fault with good advice. Scorners are bolder than the simple ones. Filled with self-esteem and self-confidence, they oppose the counsel and advice of true wisdom, and they refuse to listen to the Lord’s counsel. Thus they fail to make progress or grow in grace and knowledge. Scorners oppose wisdom per se or whomever wisdom is moving (instructed) to pronounce her message.
Comment: Several verses in Jude bring this warning right down to our day in speaking about the bold, scorning element. “How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts” (Jude 18). “Likewise also these … speak evil of dignities” (Jude 8). “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear” (Jude 12). Another form of scorning is being cynical.
Note: It should be rightly understood that these “mockers” or “scorners” if you will mentioned by Jude are not in reference to non-believers per se, but to professed followers of the Lord (“tares”). How do we know this? Because of what is stated. First of all Jude states that they “crept in unnoticed” Crept in where? Why the church of course, the only way they could have joined in among the brethren is if they had first made professions of faith, secondly “they speak evil of whatever they do not know”, that is to say “like brute beasts” being carnally minded they cannot accept the things of the spirit, and therefore they mock what they can’t understand. Thirdly “they have gone in the way of Cain”. Not being able to properly refute spiritual truths through the scriptures, they are reduced to character assassination of the brethren; they attack the messenger rather than the message. And so following “in the error of Balaam” they are reduced to propagating the errors and false teachings of the past, the doctrines and teachings of men and of devils.
These are grumblers (against the Lord’s arrangements; against those specially set in the “body” – 1 Cor 12:18), and complainers (“Fault- finders” – Diaglott- Finding fault with those faithfully endeavoring to serve the Lord and advance the interests of his Kingdom) as stated, “These are sensual (worldly, carnal minded) persons, who cause divisions (amongst the brethren), not having the Spirit.” Thus it is evident that these are false brethren, “tares” sown in amongst the wheat.
The third category is “fools [who] hate knowledge.”
The Scriptures tell us that only a fool says in his heart, “There is no God” (Psa. 14:1; 53:1). Some fools say this outwardly but not necessarily in their hearts. Because they like to be different and to be controversial, they will say, “What is the Bible? It was written by man. Why should we pay special heed to it?” Infidels say, “In this large universe how could the great God be interested in little earth and its tiny inhabitants?”
The three categories are in an ascending order of wrong: simple ones, scorners, and fools. The fool is the worst category. The simple one does not want knowledge, (chooses to live in ignorance), the scorner mocks knowledge (because of his own lack of understanding), but the fool hates knowledge. Each category gets bolder and more active. In fact, the fool actively opposes truth.” (The Book of Proverbs, Page 90)