“How long, O naive ones [you who are easily misled], will you love being simple-minded and undiscerning?
How long will scoffers [who ridicule and deride] delight in scoffing,
How long will fools [who obstinately mock truth] hate knowledge?
“If you will turn and pay attention to my rebuke,
Behold, I [Wisdom] will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
“Because I called and you refused [to answer],
I stretched out my hand and no one has paid attention [to my offer];
And you treated all my counsel as nothing
And would not accept my reprimand,
I also will laugh at your disaster;
I will mock when your dread and panic come,
When your dread and panic come like a storm,
And your disaster comes like a whirlwind,
When anxiety and distress come upon you [as retribution].
“Then they will call upon me (Wisdom), but I will not answer;
They will seek me eagerly but they will not find me,
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord [that is, obeying Him with reverence and awe-filled respect],
They would not accept my counsel,
And they spurned all my rebuke.
“Therefore they shall eat of the fruit of their own [wicked] way
And be satiated with [the penalty of] their own devices.
Three questions reveal three classes of those needing wisdom, and the downward progression of sin:
1. The simple or naive, who are ignorant
2. Scorners or mockers, who commit more serious, determined acts
3. Fools or obstinate unbelievers, who will not listen to the truth
Proverbs aims its wisdom primarily at the first group. God’s wisdom brings to bear against the sinner indictments for sin that demand repentance. To the one who does repent, God promises the spirit or essence of true wisdom linked to divine revelation. Sinners who respond with indifference and mockery at God’s indictments increase their guilt and bring upon themselves the wrath of God’s mockery and indifference. Some wait to see God until it is too late. Calamity, terror, destruction, distress and anguish. All these terms describe the severe troubles of divine judgment. When sinners who have rejected wisdom call on God in the day of judgment, God will respond to their distress with derision. God’s rejection of sinners is carefully detailed. This is the aspect of God’s wrath expressed in His abandonment of sinners. No prayers or diligent seeking will help them.