Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

25 October 2021

Proverbs 24:7

Wisdom is too high for fools;
    in the assembly at the gate they must not open their mouths.

The image here is that of men sitting at the gate of a city. This is where the elders of the town gather to discuss the Law and judge disputes. The fool does not join in because he cannot follow the discussion. He cannot comprehend their logic. It is not that they use esoteric words, but that he does not know how to reason and so cannot follow their reasoning. Though they are discussing practical application of the Law, they may as well be speaking of deep mysteries, as far as he is concerned.

This is a growing problem today. Young people are growing up learning to read words without comprehending what is being said. They cannot follow a continual line of argument. The constant exposure and movement of images have added to the problem of deliberate reasoning. This can be seen this in TV and movies in comparison to older shows. The camera angle and focus move much more often. We cannot tolerate a still camera. We lose our focus on what is being communicated.

This affects our whole society. As politicians already know, their task is not to use logic well, but to evoke feelings that make the hearers think they are hearing good reasoning. Sermons are made shorter because hearers cannot listen to a sustained discourse for a long period unless the sermon is propped with changing visual images.

We have the capacity to reason well, but with media relying on emotional manipulation to communicate and the education system dumbing down what is being taught, we are becoming fools unable to comprehend wise discourse. If only we would then be silent at the gate. Instead, we are taught to open our mouths more loudly so that folly can be heard by all.

 

Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”