The Semi-Continuous Old Testament reading for yesterday was from Proverbs 1:20-37. Scholars generally believe that Proverbs was written in its current form around the fourth century BCE. This proverb could have just as easily been written yesterday. Take a look:
“Wisdom cries out in the street;
in the squares she raises her voice.
At the busiest corner she cries out;
at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
‘How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
and fools hate knowledge?
Give heed to my reproof;
I will pour out my thoughts to you;
I will make my words known to you.
Because I have called and you refused,
have stretched out my hand and no one heeded,
and because you have ignored all my counsel
and would have none of my reproof,
I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when panic strikes you,
when panic strikes you like a storm,
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.
Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently, but will not find me.
Because they hated knowledge
and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
would have none of my counsel,
and despised all my reproof,
therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way
and be sated with their own devices.
For waywardness kills the simple,
and the complacency of fools destroys them;
but those who listen to me will be secure
and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.’”
Wisdom cries out and the willfully stubborn ignore it and do what they want to do.
Wisdom cries out and the mockers continue to mock.
God has no need to punish – ignorance and mocking are there own punishment and they are self-imposed. The writer of the proverb tells us that they shall eat the fruit of their way. How interesting this phrasing is. It reminds us of the fruit in the garden. And like the fruit in the garden, it leads a similar end. Willful ignorance is costly.
Let us learn this lesson.