“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” (Proverbs 1:24-28).
Wisdom has made every effort to attract the attention of people. But many place no value on her counsel; they refuse to accept her reproof. Because they have rejected her and the principles she would have taught them, she is powerless to help them in their time of trouble.
Wisdom’s laughter and mocking at the calamity of those who reject her is not the expression of a perverse desire to utter the final, cosmic, “I told you so.” It is, rather, a way of saying that those who reject wisdom will remember her voice; they will recall her invitation, an invitation that if accepted would have spared them from desolation, destruction, distress, and anguish. The wisdom they rejected will mock them. The people who reject wisdom will discover — when they finally decide they need it — that it is too late.
It is not that wisdom obtains perverse pleasure from watching her enemies suffer; it is simply because wisdom cannot be obtained in a moment of time. It cannot be grabbed on the run. It comes as the result of a committed, diligent, faithful, lifelong pursuit.