The Four Chairs of Proverbs

by Joanna Pierce on February 14, 2019

Making Mistakes

We all make mistakes. And it’s easy for us to see the mistakes of others, especially when we’ve made them ourselves! The Bible helps us determine right from wrong, and deter us to make future mistakes. But, what do we do when the Bible isn’t black and white about a subject? Should we take action anyway and find out our mistake later? Before we make any decision or take any action, we should seek to make them in the context of wisdom. The only source of wisdom is from our Creator. If we need it, we can ask God, and He’ll give it to us (James 1:5).

The Wisdom of Proverbs

Solomon was the wisest man who lived upon the face of the earth. He wrote many proverbs to expound wisdom in the matters of the heart. So, what’s real wisdom? It’s obedience to God. Scripture tells us the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). Therefore, proverbs were written to help us perceive and receive the Word of God.

Proverbs 1 identifies 4 different types of people and their response to God’s wisdom (and His Word). One group of people think nothing will happen to them. This group is the simple or naive. The second group of people realize an outcome, but they don’t care. This group is comprised of fools. The third group realizes a finality in their life, but don’t want the truth preached to them. These are the scornful. Lastly, the group of people is the wise. They realize the need for wisdom and instruction. These are the 4 chairs of proverbs and we’ll continue to learn about them in detail below.

The Chair of the Simple (Naive)

The simple person constantly gets into trouble. They’re stubborn and don’t want to listen and they typically learn lessons the hard way. When a wise person speaks into a simple person’s life, the person perceives them to be an extremist (Proverbs 21:11) and doesn’t take their words to heart. Scripture teaches us that we can gain understanding if we watch and listen to others (Proverbs 7:6). God sends people into our lives to help instruct and edify us. Look for opportunities to learn! Above all, we should trust God and follow Him in all things. An obedient heart preserves our future; disobedience will bring destruction.

The Chair of the Fool

Fools know the difference between right and wrong but just don’t care; they don’t think their sin is a big deal. It’s a game or a sport to do mischief to a fool and they want the whole world to know what they’re doing (Proverbs 10:23). Fools will continue to repeat the same mistake over and over again without learning a lesson (Proverbs 15:2). The only way for the fool to change is to face the full consequences of their decisions. They may have to hit the bottom of the barrel in order to wake up and become right with God. Scripture warns that that companion of a fool will also face great harm. Fools will lead their children in their footsteps as well as their close friends (Proverbs 13:20). Be careful who you allow into your life and stay away from the fool.

The Chair of the Scorner

Scorners (scoffers) have chosen to be critical of those who are doing things right. If you try to disciple or preach to a scorner they will hate you (Proverbs 9:8). On the contrary, wise people welcome rebukes because they learn from the instruction. Scorners feel like they are the judge of everyone else and try to control with criticism (Proverbs 4:29). Their ultimate goal is to drag everyone else down with them; they don’t want to see anyone do what’s right.  Scripture teaches the church that the only thing we can do is drive them out (Proverbs 22:10); only a miracle can save them. We must pray for the scorner!

The 3 Bad Chairs

If we sit in any of these 3 chairs, it gets harder and harder to receive wisdom. Grace is available to the occupants of these chairs, but these people don’t want to receive it. They’re bitter, stubborn, and don’t want to change their ways. If we’re sitting in any one of these chairs today, we need to change our seat and begin to fear the Lord (Proverbs 10:9). When we begin to recognize the holiness of God, this will lead us to the beginning of wisdom.

The Chair of Wisdom

We need to seek the wisdom of God daily, but seek it in the right places. Wisdom is better than rubies; nothing in the world can compare to it (Proverbs 8:11). Scripture teaches that if we’re wise in our hearts, we’ll think in an eternal mindset. We’ll strive to follow God’s commandments (Proverbs 10:8) and to save souls (Proverbs 11:30). In the parable of the 10 virgins, the 5 foolish knew the Lord was coming, but they didn’t care enough to keep oil in their lamps (Matthew 25:1–13). The 5 wise made sure they had enough oil (Holy Ghost) stored up. If we seek to have a close relationship with the Lord, we will care for His wisdom and desire to keep it close to us more than anything in this life.

If we want true wisdom in God, we need to acknowledge God in everything. If we seek Him, He’ll help us to keep keep our lives straight and simple (Proverbs 3:5). We must seek to sit in the chair of the wise and stay out of the others. Pray for wisdom so that we may hide the Word of God in our heart that we might not sin against Him.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on February 13, 2019 with Guest Speaker Brother Koonce