20 Wisdom shouts in the streets
wherever crowds gather.
21She shouts in the marketplaces
and near the city gates
as she says to the people,
22“How much longer
will you enjoy
being stupid fools?
Won't you ever stop sneering
and laughing at knowledge?
23Listen as I correct you
and tell you what I think.
I remember once walking down Hollywood Boulevard and seeing a street preacher standing on a box shouting at the top of his lungs, “You must be born again!” He had a thundering voice like a built in loudspeaker, but the noise of the traffic and the bustle of the people drowned him out. The louder he shouted, the less people paid attention. He was just another source of noise.
Solomon describes wisdom like that street preacher, shouting out, trying to get the attention and appeal to the hearts of those passing by. The age in which we live is so noisy, with so many distractions, that we often fail to hear the clear voice of wisdom. There is a dearth of common sense. There is a multitude of bad choices made daily by people who should know better.
Wisdom stands on a soap box with a megaphone crying out for people to stop making foolish choices, to stop ignoring the virtues of biblical wisdom, to stop speeding down the freeway of careless living, heading towards an inevitable multi-car pileup.
God’s love for us compels Him to guide us and help us avert disaster. Like a parent who lovingly takes the hand of a child when crossing a busy street, God wants to take our hand and protect us from the oncoming traffic. All too often we pull our hand away and strike off in a different direction—often to our peril. Instead, we need to learn to turn down the volume of life, to listen when wisdom corrects us and follow where it leads us.
Father God, teach us to hear your voice. Teach us to distinguish between the noise of foolishness and the voice of wisdom. Give us the desire and the ability to follow the street signs of wisdom. Amen.