I Will Mock When Your Terror Comes

{20} Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. {21} She cries out in the chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words: {22} “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge. {23} Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. {24} Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, {25} Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, {26} I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, {27} When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. {28} “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. {29} Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD, {30} They would have none of my counsel [And] despised my every rebuke. {31} Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies. {32} For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them; {33} But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil.” [Proverbs 1:20-33 NKJV]

Years ago (true story) a family was buying a house. It was an older house and all the appliances were used. The real estate agent suggested that the new owner purchase a home warranty to cover if any of the appliances should break. The purchasers decided that it was highly unlikely that more than one of the appliances would break any time in the near future and thus the cost of the warranty wasn’t justified. As luck would have it, in the first year every major appliance in the house died and had to be replaced. However, now that calamity had struck, it was too late to buy the protection.

What does this have to with Proverbs 1? In this passage wisdom is picture as woman calling out to those who are sure to face trials and trouble ahead:

{20} Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. {21} She cries out in the chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words: {22} “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge. {23} Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. [Proverbs 1:20-23 NKJV]

However, those who are passing by refuse to stop and take heed:

{24} Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, {25} Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, [Proverbs 1:24-25 NKJV]

How many reasons do we have for not gaining the wisdom of God’s word today?

  • We are too busy.
  • We aren’t having any real problems right now.
  • Our marriages are OK or we aren’t married yet.
  • Our kids are still young or we don’t have kids yet.
  • Things are good at church.
  • We don’t know (or aren’t looking for) anybody to talk to about the gospel.
  • And on and on and on…

But, then calamity strikes:

  • We are stressed out over problems at work.
  • Our relationships with our friends are struggling.
  • We are married to someone who is tearing us down spiritually.
  • Our marriage is falling apart.
  • We can’t agree on how to the raise kids.
  • Our kids behavior is terrible or they have become unfaithful to the Lord.
  • There is strife in the church.
  • I need to talk to a close friend about why what they believe and I don’t know what to say.
  • And on and on and on…

Suddenly, in the midst of the storm we need wisdom, but we aren’t prepared. Now what?

{25} Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, {26} I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, {27} When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. {28} “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. {29} Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD, {30} They would have none of my counsel [And] despised my every rebuke. {31} Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies. {32} For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them; [Proverbs 1:25-32 NKJV]

Now, it’s too late. It’s too late to board up the windows of a home after the hurricane is blowing rain into the broken windows of the house. It’s too late to buy the warranty after the appliances are broken. And, too many times, it is too late to seek wisdom when the storms of life hit. What was needed to avoid the issues was the wisdom beforehand. Wisdom to…

  • Recognize that spiritual wealth is more important than the wealth of the world.
  • Build relationships and friendships built on a common faith in the Lord instead of the transient pleasures of this world.
  • Not marry someone with different spiritual goals in life.
  • Discover if your spouse will share your views on child rearing and assure those views are built on the principles of God’s word.
  • Raise your children from infancy on the principles of God’s word instead of waiting until their hearts are hardened to serve the devil. (Note: Even children raised correctly can go astray, but too many times the foundation is not laid until far too late.)
  • Set an example of faithfulness, service, and love for children instead of only paying lip service to honoring the Lord in our lives.
  • Study God’s word to have the wisdom to know what is opinion versus what is truth and know when the truth must be defended and when opinion must sacrificed in love.
  • Study God’s word to make our faith our own and not just something we heard at church all of our lives.

The beauty of the advice comes in the final line for those who will seek wisdom ahead of time before the storm hits:

{33} But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil.” [Proverbs 1:33 NKJV]

Will you stop and listen to wisdom’s call before the storm hits and it’s too late?

Dan Fontenot

(Note: Verse references are clickable links that will open the verses in context in BlueLetterBible.org)

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