As I studied the book of Proverbs in this series on the four types of people in it, I had a hard time, at first, understanding what mockers were. But as I’ve gained life experience I have a clearer picture. But before we continue, I want to make sure you know about the Proverbs Every Day Challenge. That’s where were are reading the chapter of the Book of Proverbs that corresponds to the day of the month, covering the entire Book of Proverbs in one month. If you want to know more about it, watch this video—linked below.
There are four types of people mentioned over and over in the Book of Proverbs—and we’ve already covered three of them: the Wise, the Simple, and the Fool. Let’s define each of their relationships to wisdom:
the wise seek it
the simple don’t have it
the fool ignores it. Today we are covering the final type of person in the Book of Proverbs: the Mocker.
Let’s define the word mock: to tease, to ridicule, to scoff. Mockers, therefore, are those who don’t simply ignore wisdom like the fool, but actively oppose wisdom by demeaning those who are wise. Mockers are openly hostile to wisdom and seek to tear down those who live wisely and righteously. They’re aggressive, think they know everything, and think you’re an idiot.
We’ve always had mockers. In one of the oldest books of the Bible, Job, which takes place between Genesis eleven and twelve, we see Job say: “I am surrounded by mockers. I watch how bitterly they taunt me” (17:2). And we know from the New Testament, that mockers will not only be with us to the end, but will increase in number. Paul wrote this to his protege, Timothy:
“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Then a reminder from Peter:
“Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires.” (2 Peter 3:3)
Then a final reminder in Jude:
“They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires.” verse (18)
We’re not going to escape mockers. Jesus warned us: “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first” (John 15:18). So if we can’t escape from mockers, what should we do?
Over and over again in the Book of Proverbs, we see wisdom given on how we should deal with mockers. I’ve condensed it down to three things.
First, once you’ve established that a person is a mocker – as opposed to a simpleton who can learn or a fool who can be shown the error of their ways – disengage from trying to impart wisdom to them. They’ve rejected wisdom and you will only get hurt.
Proverbs 9:7-8 says, “Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you.” This sounds harsh, but some people can only learn from the pain of their consequences.
“A mocker refuses to listen to correction” (13:1). Jesus taught this in the Sermon on the Mount: “Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you” (Matthew 7:6). It’s for this reason I don’t engage in debates on social media—it’s a waste of time and brings unnecessary pain.
Second, if mockers won’t leave you alone, remove them from your life. Again, I know this sounds harsh, but sometimes this is the only option.
Proverbs 22:10 says, “Throw out the mocker, and fighting goes, too. Quarrels and insults will disappear.”
Proverbs 29:8 says, “Mockers can get a whole town agitated, but the wise will calm anger.”
When it comes to criticism, I’m all for it. When it comes to discussing different ideas, I’m all over it. I love to learn from other people in the right context. But there is a difference between debating and correcting and personal attacks and insults. I’ve learned not to put up with it. Here on YouTube, I see comments and criticisms of my work all the time. But, if things get personal, I block people with no remorse. Here’s a free nugget of wisdom: Praise publicly, criticize privately. That’s how you win friends and influence people.
Third, mockers should be punished for the benefit of others. Now, this one only belongs to those who have the authority to punish—no vigilantes here. Proverbs 19:25 and 21:11 are very similar: “If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded will learn a lesson. . .” and “If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded become wise.”
Think back to your childhood. Do you remember when this happened in school? A kid that was a mocker had to face the consequences of his actions and that taught you to not do that. You know what I’m talking about. As a society, I’m afraid we’ve forgotten this lesson. Parents swoop in to rescue kids from their laziness and stupidity, only to further set their children back in the future. Even governments bail out bad actors ensuring everyone that consequences don’t matter if you know the right people. If we, as a society, want to become a wise people, we must help connect the dots between poor decisions and bad outcomes.
That’s it—we’ve now covered all four types of people from the Book of Proverbs. What’s one thing that you have learned from these past four videos? Let me know in the comments below—it really helps the channel when you comment and it helps me know how well I’m communicating when you tell me what your takeaways are.
I hope you did learn something in this video. If you did, would you consider sharing it? And subscribe so you can catch the next Bible Tidbits video when it drops.
See you next time—grace and peace.