Solomon talks to us about choosing our friends; those we hang around with. Associate with the wrong people, get pulled into the muck. Steer clear, stay clean.
I know, we have dealt with scoffers before but the Holy Spirit feels it needs repeating. Maybe He says nearly the same thing in so many places because it takes repetition before we really get it. If I had to repeatedly go over my multiplication tables as a child, it makes sense that I would need to revisit the lessons that are critical for my faith.
I went back to look up the definition of scoffers again. Not that I couldn’t figure it our or hadn’t seen it before, but to refresh my heart and mind as to the depths of trouble this kind of person can generate. In looking, I wound up at my favorite site; GotQuestions.org. They have a whole section on scoffers but I only visited the first one. That one alone gave me the definition I was searching for, in a BIG way. Check out the above link (words in red) for the full read. For now though I’m just going to give you their words.
“The word translated “scoffer” in English can mean “one who mocks, ridicules, or scorns the belief of another.” In Hebrew, the word translated “scoffer” or “mocker” can also mean “ambassador.” So a scoffer is one who not only disagrees with an idea, but he also considers himself an ambassador for the opposing idea. He cannot rest until he has demonstrated the foolishness of any idea not his own. A scoffer voices his disagreement, ridicules all who stand against him, and actively recruits others to join his side. In the Bible, scoffers are those who choose to disbelieve God and His Word. They say in their hearts, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1), and make it their ambition to ridicule those who follow God.”
This person wants to argue with you over EVERYTHING! It’s no wonder Solomon says “Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out, and quarreling and abuse will cease” (verse 10). This makes perfect sense. When you refuse to let someone who is mocking you into your circle, anger diminishes.
My ex-husband used to LOVE to argue. He would constantly beg me to argue with him. I HATE to argue! I had no interest in the subjects he wanted to argue about. I compromised by allowing him to voice his side but didn’t engage unless the subject was something of great importance. My faith I would defend! I also directed his attention to others who enjoyed arguing. It got me off the hook and filled his desire.
I wanted to say how much quieter it is in my home now with my current husband but I can’t truly do that. I don’t have to contend with someone who tries to tear down me and everything around me. But I am treated to the opinions of others, VERY loudly. A good portion of those opinions have to do with old wounds. Another subject is the decline in our world, including predictions of what is to come and how to prepare for disaster. I have to keep bringing these things to the Lord because very little of what I say changes the tone or the topics.
The opposite of the scoffer is the one whose speech is gracious. This person does not berate others or put them down. When they have to state facts or correct someone it is ALWAYS done in love. They build up instead of tear down. Their words are sweet and draw the listener in. There is no profanity or mean spirited joking in their conversations. Their words are full of wisdom and are of benefit to all who seek their counsel. That is why they are a “friend to the king”.
This person seeks truth and honesty. They are not led away by rumors. They diligently check out the facts BEFORE they pass them on. They value God’s word above all else and study it to find the pearls of wisdom contained within. And they listen to His Spirit as He speaks into their lives.
THIS person is the one I want to imitate! And this is the kind of person I want in my ‘inner circle’ of friends. Peace comes from surrounding yourself with such people. Arguments and abuse have NO place in the circle made up of these friends.
Father God, help me to become the person who “is a friend to the king” and is gracious in speech. Would becoming such a person mean that I couldn’t say ‘off the wall things’ that make my husband laugh? I enjoy brightening his heart, even for just a few minutes. Maybe I could just keep them in our home alone. Thank You for just now sharing with me that ‘joking’ is not out of bounds; only mean spirited or rude joking. Thank You that You shared this with me BEFORE others read out time together and feel unjustly condemned.
THANK YOU for a husband that shares a relationship with You like I do. Thank You that he asks for and seeks insight. Thank You that there are very few arguments between us. Help me speak sweet words to him when his mind refuses to leave an area of bitterness. Let the words I speak, even in his angriest times of despair, bring healing and peace to him. You know the times I’m talking about Father. Let me overflow with Your grace in my actions, TONE and words.