Scoffers on Saturday
What is a SCOFFER?
1. A scoffer uses his mouth in sinful ways. Do not miss that the author parallels scoffers with the wicked and sinners. Wickedness often manifests most conspicuously in the way that a person speaks. As James says elsewhere,
“The tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell” (James 3:6).
We can do great good or great harm with our words (Proverbs 18:21). The scoffer is someone who is characteristically evil in the way that he speaks (Proverbs 1:22). But what is it about the scoffer’s words that are so evil?
2. The scoffer speaks with derision and contempt. Nothing is sacred to the scoffer. The scoffer thinks it is funny when someone sins (Proverbs 14:9; cf.Philippians 3:19), and he takes God’s judgment of sinners lightly (Proverbs 19:28). Sin and judgment are commonplaces to the scoffer, and he rarely trembles at them.
3. The scoffer sets his derision on other people. The scoffer has a general sense of everyone else’s inadequacies, and very little sense of his own. He loves to take his seat and entertain his friends with narratives of other men’s shortcomings (Proverbs 18:8; 26:22). He is a man of division (Proverbs 16:28). He may be the life of the party, but when he goes out peace comes in (Proverbs 22:10; 26:20).
4. The scoffer is unteachable. Like fools in general (Proverbs 14:6), a scoffer does not delight in understanding but only in revealing his own mind (Proverbs 18:1). Not only does a scoffer resist reproof, he holds in contempt anyone who would attempt to correct him (Proverbs 9:8; 15:12). He always has to save face, and he will loudly condemn anyone who prevents him from doing so.
5. The scoffer is proud. The prideful man has three names:proud, haughty,andscoffer(Proverbs 21:24).
6. The scoffer is a negative example to the wise. The scoffer is a walking demonstration to wise people of how not to live (Proverbs 19:25). The scoffer will not learn from his own mistakes, but wise people will (Proverbs 21:11). Ironically, the scoffer may seek to save face, but wise people see him for what he is and take heed to themselves (1 Corinthians 10:12).
7. The scoffer goes to judgment. God has prepared judgment for the scoffer (Proverbs 19:29), and everything that he has done will come to nothing (Isaiah 29:20).
1How happy is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
2But hisjoyis in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.