Drinking Deeply

Sunday, June 25, 2006 at 7:39 PM

Proverbs 1: Wisdom's Call (11)

After giving the promise of understanding, of a pouring out of Wisdom's spirit to those who turn at her rebuke, she gives the consequences of not turning and not listening to wisdom's call

Proverbs 1
24Because I have called and you refused to listen,
have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
25because you have ignored all my counsel
and would have none of my reproof,
26I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when terror strikes you,
27when terror strikes you like a storm
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.
If you don't turn to Wisdom when she calls. If you don't listen to her, if you don't seek her, then the consequences of not having Wisdom is exactly a lack of what Wisdom promises back in v1-4) no wise dealing, righteousness, justice, equity, prudence, discretion, understanding, or guidence.

Kind of sucks eh? But the picture gets worse, because the natural consequence of a person not governed and guided by God is made clear.
26I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when terror strikes you,
27when terror strikes you like a storm
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.
Now note, this laughter isn't that nice chuckle "oh hey, that was funny." This is a laughter of scorn. This is a laughter of mockery. Steve Hays over at Triablogue calls certain passages "taunt-songs." Songs sung in rejoicing over the death of the unrighteous. This is what Wisdom will do. This is what God does (see Psalm 2). God will laugh when calamity comes.

Some things that we can draw from this:

1) The rejection of God (Wisdom) has very real consequences, even though it may not appear so at the time.

"I will laugh when terror strikes you." It's not an "if terror strikes," but a "when." Now, we may go back to my original post about the context of Proverbs and ask "well, it's not a bunch of exact cause and effect rules, there's no guarentee that terror and calamity will strike." Now, that's true that most of Proverbs are not cause and effect rules, but here God is speaking directly in the personified form of "Wisdom," and thus we do get the "cause-effect" sense. Wisdom will lead to life, and rejection of wisdom will lead to calamity and terror. This may come in a flash. The passage describes it as a "storm" or a "whirlwind." Both of these are natural disasters. Here today, gone tomorrow.

2) There will come a time when God will no longer suffer our rebellion anymore.

Know that this calamity does not come by causes outside of God's control. No, God being the sovereign Lord is the one who forms light and creates darkness, is the one who makes well-being and causes calamity as Isaiah 45:7 states:

I form light and create darkness,
I make well-being and create calamity,
I am the LORD, who does all these things.

This calamity, this disaster will come not by "natural" causes working independantly of God, not as a result of the natural laws laid down by a watchmaker, but will come about by God's sovereign act.

In Paul's speech in Athens(Acts 17) states after a clear presentation of the rebellion of the people:
30The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead."
And that is the message that wisdom gives. The time to turn from our blindness is now, before it's too late, before judgment comes and Wisdom laughs and mocks us in our suffering.

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