Proverbs 1:24-27

Proverbs 1:24-27 "Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you."

In Proverbs 1, Solomon did more than present wisdom; he personified wisdom.  He drew a picture of wisdom and gave it human life.  Given his primary intended audience, he made wisdom a lovely lady and gave her a lovely voice.  He crafted wisdom’s words very carefully and projected them in the streets, allies and meeting spaces of the city.  In verse 22, wisdom urged those who lacked her companionship to take a good look at the dangers of their present companions: simplicity, scorning and foolishness.  In verse 23, she extended a romantic invitation to those who lacked her companionship.  Whoever did that would be showered with her love and affection. 

Because verse 24 takes an immediate turn in tone, perhaps Solomon intended for some space to be in between her warm invitation in verse 23 and her resilient promise in verse 24?  Perhaps when originally teaching this lesson and telling wisdom’s story, Solomon intentionally went silent for a few moments after wisdom gave her invitation?  

There she stood in the midst of the simple ones, eyes fastened on any who would accept her invitation...   
There she stood at the corner of a busy intersection where scorners gathered, hands outstretched to any who would accept her invitation…
There she stood on the streets where fools come and go, a heart waiting for someone to say, “yes!”

After some time, she realized that there were no takers.  After seeing no interest, she quickly came to the conclusion that she was not wanted by these souls.  Ignored and rejected, her tone changed.  Before she withdrew herself, she proclaimed the inevitable consequences that awaited her rejecters.  Wisdom told fools that she would mock them, not IF fear came but WHEN fear came.  Wisdom told the simple ones who rejected her that she would laugh, not IF anguish came upon them but WHEN distress and anguish came upon them.  
Wisdom teaches us that there are certainties to virtue and to vice.  Ignorance WILL lead to fear.  Foolishness WILL lead to calamity.  Scorning WILL lead to destruction.  Virtue sows a blessing and vice sows a curse.  The harvest of both virtue and vice are certain.  The bitter fruit of vice may take days or it may take years to come forth but it’s only a matter of WHEN, not IF it will come forth.  The sweet fruit of virtue may take days or it may take years to come forth but it’s only a matter of WHEN, not IF it will come forth.  Wisdom knows this certainty and it was for that reason that Solomon chose her words the way he did.  Like a scorned woman, wisdom offers nothing to the soul of him or her who rejects it.  In this descriptive passage, wisdom pledges to laugh at the imminent doom awaiting the fool.  She promises to mock when the scorner faces the unavoidable anguish his scorner will bring.  

This revealing scene teaches us all that wisdom is most attractive before we get ourselves into trouble.  This scene teaches us that wisdom is not attractive nor amiable when we find ourselves in distress and in anguish.  Wisdom doesn’t do the fool any good when his foolishness smothers him with folly.  Wisdom doesn’t do the simple any good when his ignorance leads to paralyzing fear.  Wisdom doesn’t do the scorner any good when his scorning hastens his demise.  Wisdom Rejected eventually becomes Wisdom Resented.  It is precisely for this reason that people hate sound counsel in the midst of a calamity that their foolishness has caused.  

This pre-invitation and post-invitation change in wisdom defines its value – wisdom is given to keep us out of trouble, not necessarily to get us out of trouble.  God has designed wisdom to be most valuable to us in preventing problems rather than in getting us out of problems.  Furthermore, these verses teach us that there is great danger in rejecting wisdom.  The person who Rejects Wisdom will grow to Resent Wisdom.  The person who Denies Wisdom’s Invitation will grow to Despise Wisdom’s Information.  The person who Ignores Wisdom will eventually grow to Abhor Wisdom.  In such a tragic case, wisdom’s virtue and counsel will be of no use to the person who finds himself in grave danger.  Find a person who hates the wisdom of God’s word and you will have found a person who rejected true wisdom at some earlier point in their life.  Find a person who hates the wisdom of sound counsel and you will have found a person who rejected true wisdom at some earlier point in their life.  

Wisdom is most attractive to the person who has fallen out of love with his ignorance.  The person discontented with his foolishness will see wisdom as beautiful and stunning.  To these souls, wisdom offers to pour out her spirit and affection on them.  But to the person who is madly in love with his foolish philosophies and self-subscribed intellect, true wisdom is hideous.  To this person, wisdom offers no such affection.  Instead, she promises to laugh and to mock at his calamity. 

Ladies & Gentlemen, if we ever find ourselves viewing Biblical Wisdom as unattractive, then we will soon find ourselves in sore trouble.  Mothers & Fathers, let us pray that our children do not reject the beauty of Biblical Wisdom early in their lives lest they grow to resent such wisdom later in their lives. 

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