“Wisdom calls aloud outside; she raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses, at the openings of the gates in the city she speaks her words: “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? (vs. 20-22)”
Proverbs has some interesting imagery. Here wisdom is personified as a woman calling out in the city for people to cease their simplicity. It’s a picture that is at once disquieting and intriguing. It’s disquieting because if wisdom is out imploring people to come to her, they aren’t trying hard to seek her. They don’t desire wisdom. It’s also intriguing since if wisdom is active and “on the streets”, where exactly do you find her? Might you bump into her accidentally (I shouldn’t take the idea too far)?
Wisdom desires that there is an end to the scorn and hate that fools have for her, and charges them to “turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my spirit on you. I will make my words known to you. (vs.23)”
The nature of wisdom seems much aligned to the nature of God, which shouldn’t surprise.
In this passage wisdom is lamenting that no one has responded to her pleas; she “stretched out [her] hand and no one regarded.(vs.24)”
Wisdom says because there is no response by the simple other than rejection and hate, she will laugh at their calamity. She will mock when their terror comes. When everything in their life falls apart, she will leave them in their disgrace and folly. (vs.25-27)
Is this fair? You bet it is. Godly wisdom doesn’t come to you out of the blue when trouble arises, especially if you have disdained it all your life; it takes years to gain wisdom, and it is foolish to only pursue it when you really think you need it.
Verse 29 and 30 say “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…”
If a fool treats God as a use-as-needed helper, He will let them “eat the fruit of their own way and be filled to the full with their own fancies. (vs.31)”
It is a foolish thing to despise godly wisdom. It is like eating your own fantasy. Poof. No substance. It’s a waste of your life.
There is a promise here that bodes well for true searchers of wisdom; “Whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.(vs.33)”
When you listen to wisdom from God, He will keep you secure and at ease.
If this be so, surely our choice is clear. Listen to her. Amen