They deny God and set cities aflame (Psalm 14:1, Proverbs 29:8). They’re sowers of discord and fear. They move in arrogance and prayerlessness. They wield words without reading the Word and speak like kings though they’re submitted to none.
Their end is certain. They will receive condemnation (Proverbs 19:29) and be “astounded and perish,” (Acts 13:41).
Who are the scorners of Proverbs, the fools of Psalms? Who sits in this abominable assembly content to live unblessed by God? (Psalm 1:1). Murderers? Liars? Thieves?
The answer is less dramatic to our unholy ears: Scoffers.
Experts in throwing shade or discrediting with a laugh and smile. Clever and smart—a mocking retort on the tongue’s tip. Bitterness rolled in sarcasm. An elegant eyeroll. A pedigree of pride that spreads its rot like mold in a damp basement.
A sin so putrid to God yet so common among his people.
The Apostle John tells us Jesus is life which is the light of men. He’s the invincible light that overcomes the darkest darkness and moldy basements. The Baptizer John tells us that making space for God’s light begins with repentance.
Repentance. The act that transforms the scoffer in the mirror to a mourner who is comforted, that empties the spirit of pride, revealing its poverty while preparing it for heaven.
Let God’s people with our varied ethnic expressions and lived experiences, our staggered social status and spectrum of comprehension, our measure of giftings and spiritual maturity, remember foremost, we are God’s people.
We’re the lost lamb that was sought. The rebellious prodigal who was restored. The bleeding woman who was healed. The wailing leper made clean.
Seasoned with salt, our words preserve truth and add flavor to bitter life. Our arrogant self-boasting is crushed, washed, recycled into Christ-boasting. Critical speck-finding becomes a plea for eyelog extraction. And the reward is great. It is living blessed. It is being known by God. It is like sheltering inside a house built upon rock, hearing the storm scream and slam against the exterior while knowing collapse is impossible. Impossible.
We can disagree but we can’t say, “I have no need of you.” We aren’t to scoff at one another or ridicule a weaker member of the family because they are, in the Apostle Paul’s words, “indispensable” (1 Corinthians 12:22).
And when we contrast scoffer’s synonyms--belittler, detractor, persecutor, tormentor with its antonyms--comforter, praiser, soother, champion—the point becomes crystal clear.
The One who could justifiably scoff, didn’t, but emptied himself becoming a servant, humbling himself unto death, even death on a cross so that the mouths of mockers would be filled with praise.
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the council of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD
and on his law he mediates day and night.
"Lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily entangles and run with endurance the race set before you. "