We have in this passage a great contrast between “the appeal of the wicked” (which is usually done in SECRET) and “the appeal of wisdom” (which is done OPENLY). The former is a call from wicked men to join them in their lives of treachery and deceit; the latter is a call from “Lady Wisdom” to heed her words in order to be spared a life of sin and degradation with its serious consequences. Wisdom in this passage clearly speaks of “God’s wisdom,” which He desires to impart to all men (see James 1:5). We will quote the passage in sections (using the NKJV) with very brief comments on each one.

Verses 10-14: “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, ‘Come with us, let us lie in wait to shed blood; let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; let us swallow them alive like Sheol, and whole, like those who go down to the Pit; we shall find all kinds of precious possessions, we shall fill our houses with spoil; Cast in your lot among us, let us all have one purse.” Who of us has not experienced what we read here, which is PEER PRESSURE? The worldly unbeliever invites us to “become one of them” in their life of crime, promising us material riches and security by being “part of the gang.”

Verses 15-19: “My son, do not walk in the way with them, keep your foot from their path; for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. Surely, in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird; but they lie in wait for their own blood, they lurk secretly for their own lives. So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its owners.” Notice, as in verses 10-11 those who seek to rob the innocent are willing to “shed blood”; in other words, they are willing to injure and possibly murder one to enrich themselves. Yet “Wisdom’s Voice” says, “Don’t do it, for if you do you’ll ‘reap what you sow’ (see Galatians 6:7); you will lose your life!”

Verses 20-23: “Wisdom calls aloud outside; she raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses, at the openings of the gates in the city she speakers her words: ‘How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge. Turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.” Wisdom calls out to the SIMPLE (those who are easily influenced), the SCORNER (those who “mock” wisdom), and the FOOL (those who “despise wisdom”—see Proverbs 1:7), urging them to REPENT after hearing her words of REPROOF. If they do, wisdom’s “mind will be poured upon them, along with a true understanding.”

Verses 24-28: “Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, when you destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. ‘Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.” If one rejects Wisdom’s call to repentance and blessing, they will, as we saw earlier, “reap what they have sown.” They will also be “at the point of no return,” for if at some point they decide to “call on or seek wisdom,” she won’t answer or be found.

Verses 29-33: “Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, they would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies. For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.” Once more “Lady Wisdom” warns men who hate her words that they will “eat of the fruit of their own way”; they will be DESTROYED! Yet she pleads with them again to heed her words which would result in being richly blessed with SAFETY and PEACE.

Has my reader “heeded the words of wisdom” by repenting of their sins and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior? If you do not listen to God’s call to repent you will indeed be DESTROYED in the Lake of Fire (see Matthew 7:13; 2nd Thessalonians 1:7-9 & Revelation 20:11-15). If you do heed Wisdom’s call and receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior (see John 1:12) you will be blessed with SAFETY and PEACE now and throughout eternity (see John 5:24; 10:9, 27-28; 1st Peter 1:3-5 & Revelation 21:1-4.  (348.3)  (DO)