One of our bicycles recently needed repairs. We checked the extended warranty, fully expecting that (as in the past) it had just expired. To our surprise and delight, the warranty still had two weeks to go, and we were able to get the bike fixed at no extra cost!
Warranties, coupons, and special offers typically come with expiration dates. You may not know that the same is true for biblical wisdom. If we fail to pursue learning and wisdom as we should (see yesterday’s reading), eventually it becomes unavailable. Or in terms of the picture in today’s reading: If we repeatedly reject wisdom’s invitation, we won’t be able to find it when we need it (v. 28).
A firm rebuke for wisdom’s unanswered invitation is found in verses 20–23. Instead of embracing learning, the “simple” have embraced foolishness and ignorance. They need to repent of this sin but haven’t done so (v. 23). Their refusal is detailed in verses 24–27. To reject wisdom’s invitation is instead to invite calamity. Foolish people will reap what they sow—”they will eat the fruit of their ways” (v. 31)—and when that happens, wisdom will laugh. This isn’t very “nice,” but it’s biblically fair. They had multiple opportunities but disregarded and disdained them.
The consequences are further explained in verses 28–33. The foolish will ultimately realize their need for wisdom and change their mind, but it will be too late. They failed to choose the fear of the Lord—a fundamental mistake. They could have lived in peace and safety (v. 33), but now, “The complacency of fools will destroy them” (v. 32). This is a scary warning. God is so merciful and gracious that sometimes we presume on Him. The lesson for us is obvious: Choose the fear of the Lord and the pursuit of wisdom before it’s too late!
>> If you’re looking for more on this topic, read about biblical wisdom in Proverbs 8. This is a good chapter to reflect on and pray over as we pursue God’s wisdom.
To fear You, Lord, is to hate evil, to hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior, and perverse speech (Prov. 8:13). You brought forth wisdom as the first of Your works, before Your deeds of old (v. 22).