When Wisdom is Ignored

“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, they would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies. For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.” Proverbs 1:28-33

As Madam Folly sows her seeds of evil in the shadows, Lady Wisdom cries out against Folly’s message as she calls in the streets, in the square, at the gates for all to hear. Wisdom both calls and rebukes with the focused purpose of imparting knowledge to her hearers, teaching and leading them in the path of righteousness. Those who hear and heed her instruction are truly blessed.

But what about those who ignore her words and don’t listen to her counsel? What of those who disdain her counsel and will have none of her rebuke? Such exposes those who hate true knowledge and don’t have the fear of the Lord. They will tragically follow after their foolishness and reap the consequences. When calamity comes upon them, Lady Wisdom will laugh at them (v. 26). Though they will call upon her, it will be too late (v. 28a). Though they are diligent to seek her, they will not find her (v. 28b).

We’re pointed to the urgency of Lady Wisdom’s cry, here. Listen to godly wisdom, turn away from foolishness, and turn unto God! It’s also important to remember that true wisdom is an aspect of God’s saving grace. However, there comes a point of no return for those who reject it. King David teaches this in his song after God delivered him out of the hands of Saul and his enemies in Psalm 18:41. He said, “They cried out, but there was none to save; Even to the Lord, but He did not answer them.”

Solomon goes on to describe the foolishness of not heeding Lady Wisdom in verse 31. He gives the illustration of a meal. Yet, the satisfaction of the fool’s appetite isn’t like the pleasure of finishing a nice meal. Rather, it’s the disgust of being a glutton as they fill themselves “to the full with their own fancies.” This teaches us how they are willfully unteachable. They will do whatever they want, whenever they want, even in excess if they want. Their complacency as fools shows that they see no need to learn anything from anyone. It’s very sad, but true that said complacency will eventually destroy them.

Do you know folks who are unteachable or complacent in this way? They know everything, seemingly have nothing to learn (or nothing they want to admit). They march to their own tune, full steam ahead. They are self-made and self-sustained in their minds. They have no need for wisdom and instruction from God in His Word. Very, very sad. I’ve known a few such men and women. Knowing their end if they don’t turn yet again furthers the urgency of wisdom’s call and prayer for God’s merciful work in their lives.

As we’ve learned the tragedy of ignoring God’s wisdom, take courage and comfort in the words of verse 33. As complacency leads to the fool’s destruction, security and true happiness belong to those who listen to wisdom’s instruction. God’s wisdom in action in the life of the Christian is a faithful guide and protection. Wisdom says those who listen are free from the fear of evil. In other words, though evils come upon us, though fools and foolishness be all around us, we are guarded by the peace of Christ in the midst. We march forward through the valley with quieted hearts and minds stayed on Him. Satan, our flesh, and world can do what they will, but God’s truth goes forth and abides still. By God’s grace, listen to wisdom and follow her instruction promptly, my friends! Encourage others to do the same. May the Word of our God, and His wisdom contained therein, even Jesus Christ Himself (the wisdom of God), always be our study and our pursuit to follow every day of our lives.