The Fearful Position of Those Who Reject God’s Reproof and Drawing — Expressed in Proverbs 1
Updated: Feb 8
Proverbs 1:20-31 declares:
“Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:  She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,  How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?  Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.  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.”
Consider some important points on this text.
1. God the Son, “Wisdom,” (Pr 8:14; Lk 7:35; 1 Cor 1:30) does work in the lives of the lost, to draw them to Himself as promised (Jn 12:32), but “the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man” (Gen 6:3). He calls, cries (meaning to shout aloud, a ringing cry), to three groups of lost sinners in this passage: simple, the fool, and the scorner (vv 20-22) — for the simple to turn from his simplicity, the fool from his hatred of knowledge, and the scorner from delighting in his scorn. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Pet 3:9).
It is Gods explicit will for the lost to repent (which is in fact granted by His goodness), to turn with their mind (Matt 21:28-32), their will (Jn 12:24-25; Mk 8:34-37) and emotion (2 Cor 7:9-10), from their sin and wicked ways (Lk 13:1-4; Rev 9:20-21; 16:9-11; Matt 21:28-32; Ac 19:18-21; Jon 3:5-10), from self (Jon 3:5-10; Lk 14:26; 18:9-14; Jn 12:24-25), from their riches and stuff which are idols before God (Lk 12:16-21; 14:33; 18:22-25; Lk 19:1-10), and from their people (Matt 10:32-39; Lk 14:25-26; 17:29-33) with submission and surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus warned, “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Lk 13:1-5).
2. God the Son promises that if you will “Turn . . . at my reproof,” “behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.” (v. 23). The Holy Spirit is gifted to those who respond to His convicting and drawing with repentance. He regenerates the sinner (Ti 3:3-7), and indwells and seals the saint until the day of redemption. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for [i.e. on account of] the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Ac 2:38). “[T]hat holy Spirit of promise, . . . is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession,” (Eph 1:13-14).
The Lord also will “open their eyes,” and fill them with wisdom and knowledge so that they know and understands God’s words. Regeneration results in receiving Jesus Christ, “who of God is made unto us wisdom,“ (1 Cor 1:30), and “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col 2:3). The saved saint knows and understands Gods truth, just like God promises: "I will make known my words unto you.” (v. 23). We read that in 1 Jn 2:20-21, “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.” “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.” (Pr 3:13ff — keep reading to v. 18 to see what wisdom brings).
3. But many sinners won’t repent. This includes false professing “believers,” especially those who are religious, who are “stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears,” for they “do always resist the Holy Ghost” (Ac 7:51), Who “reproves the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (Jn 16:8). Instead of responding to the conviction by repenting, which is granted by Gods goodness to all people (Rom 2:1-5; Ac 5:31; 11:18), God says they “set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof . . . They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.” (vv. 25, 31). So, “after thy hardness and impenitent heart” they “treasure up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Rom 2:5).
4. This is where things take a turn for the worst for the sinner, quite scary if I could say so. Fearfully frightful. You see, these sinners in a soon coming day will arrive at the point of fear or terror, for whatever reason, not Biblical fear of the Lord mind you, but inexplicable terror through calamities, and this is the end result of their rejection of Gods free and most marvellous gift of salvation: “I [God] also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear [i.e. terror] 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” (vv 26-28).
God will laugh at your calamity when it comes, and it will come. Notice it’s not “if” but “when.” God gave you opportunity to be saved, having mercy and grace upon your wicked and deceitful heart (which is all of us, until we are converted: Jer 17:9; Mk 7:21-23), but you shut Him out. You couldn’t be bothered. You deceived yourself and sadly, she won’t be right mate. Now He has shut you out and closed the door and sealed your fate. “The door was shut” and though you may cry, “Lord, Lord, open to us” He will answer you, “Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” (Matt 25:10-13). “Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.” (v 31).
Dear sinner, you don’t have innumerable occasion to be saved. The opportunity to repent will end. Don’t turn from His reproof and conviction. God, being compelled by great love for His creation, doesn’t want anyone to perish and enter into unquenchable hell fire that He made for the devil and His angels. Being right with God is more important than anything in this life.
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” (Is 1:18-20).
5. Why will God not answer when you enter the calamities of an accursed life, and you face the consequences of rejecting Him and end up in terror in the midst of your destruction and desolation — why won’t you be able to find Him? Because “[you] hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: [you] would none of my counsel: [you] despised all my reproof. Therefore shall [you] eat of the fruit of [you] own way, and be filled with [you] own devices.” (vv 29-31). You hated knowledge and didn’t choose the fear of the Lord. You cannot be saved without either. People that remain lost, “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2 Th 2:10). They reject the absolute truth of Gods Word and do not give heed to its instructions. They don't like the feelings that come with fear of the Lord. Conviction of sin is bad in their minds. You will reap what you sow.
Do you want to find the knowledge of God and understand the fear of the Lord? In this very context, God instructs us how this is achievable:
“My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” (Pr 2:1-5).
We are saved through the Word of God, so His Word (in English, the King James Bible) you should read.
That corresponds to Isaiah 55:6-7:
“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
The Bible warns that today is the day of salvation. We’re not promised tomorrow.
“Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” (Pr 27:1)
We are “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. . . . And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” (1 Pet 1:23-25)
“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.” (Pr 14:27)