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Proverbs 1:26-28 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when terror strikes you,
27 when terror strikes you like a storm
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.
28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
Calamity (אֵיד ed) is an event or act that results in a great loss or misfortune, which causes ruin, harm, and violence to those who have ignored wisdom. Terror (פַּחַד pachad) is a severe fear, dread, distress over the impending trouble that the rebellious, defiant, stiff-necked ones will experience for having chosen to ignore the counsel of wisdom, resulting in their day of judgment. wisdom will respond to their mental agony with disdain.
1:26-28 is the final stage of the passage in a succession of warnings that will now come true. Just as wisdom had repeatedly warned, these foolish ones are now suddenly hit by the consequences of their headstrong, unreasonable, obstinate rebellion and defiance. Terror will come on them like a storm; calamity comes over them like a whirlwind; distress and anguish come upon them. Once they are in the midst of their judgment day, it will be too late to turn back to wisdom for help. The stiff-necked ones have laughed and mocked at her, and now there is a reverse in their positions as wisdom now mocks and laughs at these foolish ones. These once rebellious, defiant ones are now calling on wisdom, but there will be no answer. With great diligence, they will seek out wisdom, but she will not be found, for there is no escape now.
Some might think that wisdom is stooping to the level of these foolish ones by mocking and laughing at them, it might seem petty and heartless. Remember, “wisdom” is being personified and refers to God himself. God deals in the natural cause-and-effect consequences. Therefore, this laughter and mocking are merely showing that these foolish ones cannot escape the consequences of rejecting the corrective counsel that wisdom lovingly offered. You may recall in verse 24, wisdom called, and these rebellious, defiant ones refused to answer; now the tables have been turned, and they are calling out to wisdom, and she refuses. The primary focus of wisdom is an act of love in that she is trying to help all of us to avoid the troubles of Satan’s world as we make our way to the second coming of Christ. She has gone to great lengths to reach out a helping hand to the foolish ones of this world, and they have, in essence, slapped her hand away. Her hand will not remain outstretched forever, and her helping hand does not keep us from suffering pain, nor does it make it easy to get out of trouble that we may find ourselves in, but if we heed wisdom’s counsel, life is easier than if we had not.
We must accept that there is a cutoff point when wisdom will no longer offer her hand and the foolish will suffer the consequences of their rebellious, defiant attitude. At this point in time, she will not step in to rescue them from their own foolishness but rather, she will in scornful observation reject them. Timing is everything. Her laughter is merely an expression of her superiority over others. (Ps 2:4) We must not presume that our current spiritual walk with God is what is expected of us. The Apostle Paul exhorted the Christians at Corinth to “examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.” (2 Cor. 13:5) Why should Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians be of interest to us? We can do the same today. It will protect us from being uncertain as to whether we are walking in the truth. What standard do we have for testing whether we are in the faith, and why is that the perfect standard? If we are going to take a test to see whether we are truly in the faith, namely, truly walking with God, we must measure our conduct in light of the Word of God. “Wisdom is not abstract, secular, or academic but personal and theological. To reject wisdom is to reject God.”
Remember, wisdom is being personified and that she is not some goddess. When Solomon writes, “they [the fools] will call upon me, but I will not answer,” he is not speaking of a literal prayer to some goddess of wisdom but rather, he is building a word picture for the fool who, after rejecting wisdom [Jehovah] is now trying to find his way out of the trouble that he now finds himself in. The phrase “call on” merely refers to the fool is only ready to turn to and accept Jehovah and his advice, but as he was warned of many times, it is too late.
 Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 72.
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