“I called and you refused”. Proverbs 1:24
Solomon pleaded with his son-and, by extension, with all of us-to heed the warning voice of wisdom.
A good question is, WHY?
Why must Solomon plead? Why do we ignore God’s reproofs, those in Scripture as well as that come through other means?
Looking back at the sayings preserved for us in Proverbs 1, I discover at least four reasons we do not heed reproof. We’ll examine two now. Prepare yourself. These may sting!
“I called and you refused” Proverbs 1:24.
Mark the last word, “Refused”. The Hebrew text uses an intensive form of the verb to convey the idea “directly refuses,” “stubbornly refuses”. In the Old Testament it is used for defying established authority. In another of Solomon’s sayings, the sluggard refuses to get a job (Proverbs 21:25). This kind of refusal is nothing but unyielding to wisdom and the consequences will certainly be total destruction.
In many cases the strong will can be a positive trait; when a person is standing against injustice, eg, slavery, exploitation and corruption etc, that person’s stubborn character is praised always. And we call them “HEROS” because they were right! Moreover, they acknowledged and embraced the consequences of their actions, willingly sacrifices their own well-being for the good of others.
Stubborn refusal to heed the warnings of others, however, reveals an arrogant spirit and dull mind. Pray for humility and wisdom, both of which God longs to provide His people.
“I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention” Proverbs 1:24
When Solomon said that “no one paid attention” he emphasizes lack of listening and awareness. It would correspond to the New Testament concept of being “dull of hearing”. If you have ever tried to penetrate the shell of an insensitive individual, you’ve experienced God’s frustration. You can also affirm the old adage “There are none so deaf as those who will not hear.”
Perhaps the best example of insensitivity and unconsciousness would be pedestrians wearing earbuds. They are unaware of their surroundings, shutting themselves into their own music world. Try to get the attention of someone lost in earbud oblivion and you understand something of God’s frustration.
Though wisdom “stretches out her hand,” many people lack awareness and fail to listen to her voice.