A Woman Scorned . . .
Proverbs 1:20-33, Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; 21 At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city, she utters her sayings: 22 “How long, O naive ones, will you love simplicity? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing, And fools hate knowledge? 23 “Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. 24 “Because I called, and you refused; I stretched out my hand, and no one paid attention; 25 And you neglected all my counsel, And did not want my reproof; 26 I will even laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, 27 When your dread comes like a storm, And your calamity comes on like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come on you. 28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they shall not find me, 29 Because they hated knowledge, And did not choose the fear of the LORD. 30 “They would not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof. 31 “So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way, And be satiated with their own devices. 32 “For the waywardness of the naive shall kill them, And the complacency of fools shall destroy them. 33 “But he who listens to me shall live securely, And shall be at ease from the dread of evil.” (NASB)
Here we see Lady Wisdom shouting faithfully crying out in a very public manner. This is a call to repent and to come to a fear of the Lord, the beginning of wisdom. She is honest in her dealings as she describes the difficult road of growing in wisdom, involving her reproof. But she also points out that she shall pour out her spirit upon the repentant one.
But notice what happens starting in verse 24. She offered her wisdom and actively sought people and they rejected it. She was not hidden in some alleyway daring people to find her, she is stretching out her hand for them, but is scorned. Therefore, in verse 26 there is the dire warning that she shall not be present when their evil befalls them. And that is really important. It is “when” not “if.” To reject wisdom is to reject life. Though the way of folly seems good (though only to a fool) its way always ends the same, broken and destroyed, filled with regrets that cannot be removed.
Verses 26-27 give us three dire results:
- It shall come in its appointed and appropriate time (26b and 27c). God is not mocked, whatsoever we sow, so shall we reap and for these people there is a time in the mind of the Lord that the cost of rejecting Wisdom’s call shall come.
- It shall come at an unexpected moment (27a). The word is “calamity” and is the word that is commonly translated as “evil.” It comes without warning, but when it comes, it comes as an earthquake that suddenly erupts around you, filling you with nothing but terror. Believe me on this one, been in a big earthquake and there is nothing fun about it–utter helplessness.
- It shall come at an uncontrollable speed (27b). Like a whirlwind, or tornado that suddenly becomes the center of your existence as it come bearing down upon you, so is the recompense of the Lord.
And for those who find themselves in these situations the picture is very bleak. They shall cry out for that wisdom that they had made their habit to scorn and she will only laugh at them. What a horrible place to be, desperately in need of wisdom and finding none. The silence of God is a terrible thing for needy man to experience.
What is the answer? Simply this: hear Lady Wisdom and heed her. Come to her and you shall find life. And where is Lady Wisdom found? In our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 1:3).