Wisdom’s Call Refused
Brian D. Dykstra (Teacher at Hope Christian School, Walker, MI) - Originally written as a devotional for Christian school teachers
Proverbs 1:24-31: “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 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. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: They would none of my counsel: They despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.”
In these verses we still have wisdom speaking. In the verses preceding we learned the voice of wisdom can be heard everywhere. The call of wisdom has a positive effect upon God’s children. They recognize His voice, know their sin and their only deliverance from it, repent and walk in the Spirit.
In these verses we read of what happens to those who do not obey the voice of wisdom.
When wisdom called, she did not call with pleading. The call was not some type of gracious, general offer. God knows who are His. We read of these people in Romans 9:21-22: “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction ...” God does not yearn after these scoffers and desire to save them, if only they would listen. God’s will is not frustrated as He shows Himself to be the God of omnipotence and justice.
Remember, the voice of wisdom is heard everywhere. Those who reject the testimony of God’s Word do so to their own destruction. By God’s making the voice of wisdom heard everywhere, the wicked are left without excuse. They heard the call, but refused. They saw the gracious hand, but thought nothing of it. They knew the counsel, but accounted it to be worthless. They heard the reproof of their sins, but desired the pleasures of this world.
Perhaps they believe God to be similar to the simple-minded people of our time. All a person need do is express remorse, no matter how superficial, and nearly everything, except intolerance, smoking, drinking and gun owning, can be exonerated. If a person admits to some wrongdoing, there is no choice but to give forgiveness and forgo any punishment. No one is to be made to suffer for his behaviour, as long as he admits to it. They must believe God to be as foolish as themselves. They will sneak into heaven’s back door with a last minute confession. They will attempt to satisfy God with a confession, while there is yet a smirk on their faces which expresses, “My, but that was still fun, though!”
Those who lived such lives of unrighteousness and rebellion against God’s Word will be given a surprise. It is now God’s turn to laugh and mock their fear. God will not answer their cry when their destruction and anguish come. God will make them reap what they have sown. God is not mocked. His holiness will not allow it.
The wicked then claim such judgment to be inconsistent to the nature of the God of love. Perhaps they believe, “He will not require me to reap what I have sown because He is the God of love. Because He is the God of love, He must love me, too.” Yes, He is the God of love. What the wicked have forgotten is that His love has an object. God’s love is not some universal, warm, fuzzy glow which cannot help but to envelope everybody. What is forgotten is that God loves Himself in perfect covenant fellowship. He loves His own perfect holiness. Those who would experience this love must be holy, even as He is holy. Of ourselves, our situation would be hopeless, but in His grace He has given the one perfect sacrifice to cleanse us from our sins.
The ark of the covenant was the picture of God dwelling with His people in covenant fellowship. This fellowship is only possible because God is merciful, which is why on top of the ark was the mercy seat. Remember though, the mercy seat on the ark did not sparkle with the glitter of solid gold. That mercy seat was covered with the blood of a sacrificial lamb. Where God does not see the blood of His Son, He will not dwell in love, but in judgment.
The message of these verses is still unsettling to us as teachers. We are to teach our students in the light of God’s Word. We would prefer that Word to be a one-edged sword sometimes, bringing only the fruit which we consider to be positive. It grieves us to hear of former students who have departed from God’s way. There will be students who will show that they hate the knowledge of God, do not fear Him, do not hear His counsel and despise His reproof. Such news brings sorrow. Then we must pray for grace to submit in humility to the will of the Potter who has power over the clay. We must apply His Word in our teaching, and His Word, a two-edged sword, will have His desired effect.