A scoffer is an individual who mocks, ridicules and despises someone or something. The word “scoffer” appears several times in the Bible. In the Old Testament, the books of Proverbs, Psalms and Isaiah often use it in relation to rejecting God’s authority. In the New Testament, the book of Hebrews warns against it. This article provides an overview of what ‘scoffer’ means in the Bible, including background information, relevant data, perspectives from experts, and analysis.
In the Bible, the word “scoffer” is derived from the Hebrew term l’khah, which literally means “to mock.” In the Old Testament, it is used to describe those who actively resist faith in God. In the New Testament, it describes those who reject Jesus as the messiah and show pride, arrogance and contempt for God’s ways. Scoffers reject what they believe to be a lie and reject God’s authority over their lives.
Scoffers often take pleasure in ridiculing the faith of others, sparing no effort to tear down their beliefs. In the Bible, scoffers are condemned for their lack of respect for God and His people. In Proverbs, it is written: “Do not be a scoffer, or your tongue will make you sic” (Proverbs 19:29). In the book of Isaiah, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter, who seek their own interests above all else” (Isaiah 5:20,21).
Perspectives from Experts
Biblical scholars have interpreted the word “scoffer” as: “an attitude of contempt, mocking, and disdain that is often directed at God, the religious laws and values of the Bible, and the church.” The Bible points out that people who scoff and mock God are in danger of His wrath, and if they persist in their mockery, they will bring destruction upon themselves. The Bible also says that scoffers are also “dull of heart,” and that they either lack or refuse to accept the knowledge of God or the truth found in His Word.
The Bible clearly warns us against scoffing and mockery. It is seen as a form of rebellion against God and will eventually lead to destruction. Scoffers mock God, His Word, and His people, and display pride, arrogance, and contempt. While not everyone who scoffs is necessarily wicked and unrepentant, the Bible warned us that scoffers will come and go, but those how persist in their mockery will be brought to ruin.
God’s wrath is a very real possibility for those who scoff and mock the Word of God and the church. The Bible warns us that those who mock and reject God’s authority will ultimately face the consequences. The best course of action is to heed the warnings of the Bible and avoid mocking and scoffing at God and His Word.
The Bible makes it clear that by mocking and scoffing at God and His Word, people are rejecting God’s authority and will face His righteous judgment. In the book of Hebrews, it is written: “Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings for it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods, through which those who were thus occupied were not benefited” (Hebrews 13:9). Here, the writer cautions against scoffing and despising God’s teachings and warns that it will bring judgment upon those who do.
Impact of Scoffing
The impact of scoffing on the people around us can be tremendous. When we make fun of religious people or their beliefs in God, we are displaying an attitude of disdain and contempt for them. This can lead to feelings of insecurity, defensiveness, and even animosity. People who are scoffed at can feel as though their beliefs are invalid and worthless, leading them to potentially feel less confident in their faith.
Wisdom from the Bible
The Bible is full of wisdom on how to respond to scoffers. Proverbs states: “Do not answer the fool according to his folly, or you will become like him” (Proverbs 26:4). This advice warns us not to respond to scoffers with their own foolishness, as this will only lead to more mocking and ridicule. We must also remember to be humble and patient in the face of scoffing. Proverbs advises: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).
How to Stand Up to Scoffers
It can be hard to stand up to scoffers and mockers, but it is important to stand firm in our faith and in the truth of God’s Word. The Bible encourages us to “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men” (1 Corinthians 16:13). This means that we must remain confident in our faith, despite being scoffed at, and endure it with grace and patience. We must also be kind in our responses and not stoop to the level of mockers.
Long-term Implications of Scoffing
The long-term implications of scoffing are serious. For those who reject God’s authority, their mocking can lead to a life of despair, loneliness, and emptiness. The Bible warns that “The mockers of the [righteous] will be punished…” (Proverbs 19:29). Those who scoff and mock without repentance will ultimately face the consequences, often in the form of God’s wrath.
Importance of Respect
It is important to remember to have respect for those who believe differently than we do. People have a right to believe their religious beliefs and should not be ridiculed or mocked simply because they are different. We must instead show kindness, respect, and love, even to those who do not agree with our beliefs. The Bible reminds us that “in humility [we] consider others better than [ourselves]” (Philippians 2:3).
Encouraging and Building Up
Finally, when dealing with skeptics and mockers, it is important to focus on encouraging and building them up, rather than tearing them down. We must use our words to point out the truth and to gently show them the way of righteousness. As God’s Word is living and active, it will do its work in the hearts of those who are open to the truth.