This Proverb says, “He who corrects a scoffer gets insults for himself. And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer lest he hate you. Reprove a wise man and he will love you.” There are many people in this world who do not believe in God and do not believe the Bible has any merit. Therefore, they reject the Bible as being irrelevant and out of date for the current time. Some even ridicule or scoff at what the Bible says. This Proverb tells us not to waste our time counseling a scoffer or a wicked man to walk according to what the Bible teaches. It will do no good.
Jesus said, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not cast your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet and tear you to pieces.” Jesus characterized those who reject God and His Word as being pigs or dogs. He viewed such people as beyond saving. They were firmly aligned with Satan and given over to sin.
On the other hand, this Proverb says that we are to counsel or reprove a wise man who has slipped into sinful behavior. A wise man believes in God and the Bible. Such a man will respond to wise counsel that is according to God’s Word. Such a man will appreciate wise counsel and respond favorably. God’s Word will not be wasted on a wise person. Furthermore, God will reward us for our wise counsel.