In the Bible it is written, “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.” (Pr 1:26 -7) These words are spoken by the personification of Wisdom to those who know not God. In doing so she helps us understand the nature of those who do know God, for merely hoping we know Him is not enough.
Her words drip with unflinching passion, an austere warning in the face of imminent danger, to awake lost souls to their dreadful condition. Yet they lounge at ease, heedless of her words, careless in the calm … just before the fury of a pending storm takes them full away.
What storm is this which comes upon the lost, upon every last one, as certain as death itself? Can it be anything else? “Distress and anguish” will “come upon” every lost soul as they part this earthly life … as the indignant fury of a holy God greets insane filthiness, blasting away lying strongholds with a terrible ferocity. This calamity is not an If, but a certain When.
Wisdom has been crying out in public open spaces, ensuring every ear will hear. She is yet pleading today, as on deaf ears, “How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?” (vs 22) Wisdom wonders when the haters will be sane. When will they turn to their Creator and seek His face? How long must she wait?
An answer never comes to Wisdom’s cry, for there is none. There never will come a day when the haters of God will seek Him, when scorners will turn from their scorning, when fools will pursue knowledge. She calls and all refuse, she stretches out her hands and pleads, inviting and waiting, yet no one will regard her … no, not one. (vs 24) She promises to reward their slightest turn; she will pour out her spirit unto them and make known her words. (vs 23) But they disdain her knowledge; they will not choose the fear of the Lord. (vs 29)
The lost are so because do not freely choose the fear of God; they do not seek Him, they do not search for Him. They rather choose to live for their own pleasure and convenience. This is hatred, hatred of Another being the center of all things, a disdain for One who will not exalt them and cater to their selfish wishes. From all appearances, when this nature is finally and fully exposed, the lost will all resent God eternally. When each little life curtain closes, a brief, defiant little dance completes, and one more lost soul begins to face Him, trembling in fear and seething with hatred.
“The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.” (1Co 15:56) They have trained their hearts in enmity against the Creator of the Universe, against an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and holy God — to whom shall they now cry? Ultimately to Wisdom herself (vs 28), looking for an out, a way to escape the very light of holiness, to find darkness once again (Jn 3:19), to continue to exalt themselves and disdain Him. (Ps 81:15) It would be laughable were it not so very real, so insidiously and terribly real.
The turning away of the simple has slain them (vs 32), for in turning from Wisdom they turn from God Himself, the One Who is always before them, Who always has been, and always will be before them. They’ve enjoyed living behind the veil of their own deceits, pretending God was far away, or not at all, and this veil is now gone. Every place is now the place of God, every look is into His face, every sense is of His presence. There is no other place than God, and they cannot but try and turn away as they have always done. They are completely filled with their own devices (vs 31), no room for any shadow of turning toward God. Yet how and where do these dreadful souls turn now? The silence answering Wisdom’s call is here as well … for there is no away from Him Who is, Who was and Who is to come.
The prosperity of fools has destroyed them. (vs 32) Their comforts gave them sufficient ease without God to harden themselves such that they cannot possibly tolerate Him now. Yet now they must. God will no longer hide … so they scatter and scream … looking for a place, any place away from Him … and there is none. (Rev 20:11)
The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? (Is 33:14)
Let no one think they know the God of Heaven who has not answered Wisdom’s call, who has not turned at her reproof, who has not chosen the fear of the Lord. (vs 29) No religion can save. No ritual. No work we could ever do. The refuge of lies and deceits is nothing more, a spider’s web before the fire.
If the thought of ending this life troubles your soul, looms as a threat to your comforts and ease … ponder carefully while you still can. Is prosperity destroying you? When your fear comes, and it will, where will you turn? Death is either your destruction or your homecoming. The healthy child of God longs to depart this world and be with Christ. (Php 1:23) Where is your heart? Do you believe?
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb 10:31) Wisdom is yet calling. She calls through the spilled blood of a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Until that Lamb bears your iniquities, justifying you perfectly (Is 53:11) before the mercy seat of God, you are yet in a dreadful way. “Give diligence to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things, you shall never fall.” (2Pe 1:10)
There is no place away from God. In the end, there is only one place: God Himself. Face Him now, nakedly and honestly. Seek His Face, trembling until He finds you. (2Co 5:11) He died that you may know. Seek the Lord until you have faith, until you are as sure of Heaven as Christ Himself, until you find within a New Covenant heart delighting in God, seeking His face and cherishing His laws. (Eze 36:26-27) Seek until you find that you are safely in His Son, washed from your sin and iniquity, bearing His perfect righteousness, having all things that accompany the salvation of God. (Heb 6:9) Then you will have harkened unto Wisdom; then you shall dwell safely, and be quiet from fear of evil. (vs 33)