The Mocker’s Chair

If you are a mocker you alone will suffer. Proverbs 9:12

In my second year of teaching at Greenside High School a student teacher was assigned to me for six weeks of teaching practice. The day the teacher arrived I was busy with a group of thirty grade eight students who were poring over their technical drawings. Much to our surprise the teacher was a woman. This was quite a shock. Not because she was a woman, but because in those days Industrial Arts was a subject taught only by males. Thus it was an atmosphere of heightened expectancy when the new teacher entered the classroom, introduced herself with obvious nervousness, and moved off towards the relative safety of my desk. I had barely resumed the lesson when a splintering sound and a piercing scream caused me to wheel round in time to see the poor woman collapsing to the floor in a tangle of skirts and chair legs. Instead of going to the chair at my desk she had sat down on a broken chair I’d left propped under the chalkboard. Well, suffice to say bedlam ensued. There was no restraining a class of high-spirited boys and the unfortunate teacher could do nothing to save face.

The chair is fixed now and standing at our kitchen table. I think of it as the mocker’s chair. It reminds me not only of the student teacher, but also of these Scripture texts:

“Blessed is the man who does not . . . sit in the seat of mockers” Psalm 1:1.

The scoffer is a “proud and arrogant man . . . hates knowledge . . . (and) behaves with overweening pride” Proverbs 1:22; 21:24.

“Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended” Proverbs 22:10.

When the scoffer is “punished, the simple gain wisdom” and “learn prudence” Proverbs 21:11; 19:25.

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked” Galatians 6:7.

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