At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
“A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: But knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth”Proverbs 14:6
Not that we should routinely look to him for wisdom, but Oscar Wilde once said that a cynic is someone who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.
It says here that a scorner seeks wisdom. He is hunting for wisdom, looking for it. His search is in vain, however, because he continues to use a metric fashioned by his spirit of scorn and mockery. He assumes that there must always be “a catch,” there will always be a “fatal flaw.” If he doesn’t identify the fault right away, he is fully capable of identifying the potential fault, the potential flaw, right away. What could go wrong?
The one who understands is the one who does not over-engineer things. He understands already, and so it is that knowledge comes to him easily. The task may be hard, but the wise man does not throw any extra complications from the heart into the mix.
So we have to hold this in tension with other truths that we find in the book of Proverbs. Hard work is the way of wisdom, and hard work is, well, hard. But the need for hard work is not hard to understand, just hard to do. Running a marathon is conceptually easy. Just run around the block and you have it down—one foot ahead of the other. It nevertheless takes discipline and training.
The scorner is capable of mocking the whole enterprise—the race, the training, the discipline, the idea, the running shoes, and so forth. And then later, when he wants to go home with a medal, he “findeth it not.” It turns out that the more a man hustles, the luckier he gets.