How Could I Be So Stupid: the Taunt of the Conscience!
(This reading is based on Proverbs 1 and is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of SDAs.)
"I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes." Prov. 1: 26
How often as a boy walking on the road and flagging down someone who refused to give me a ride have I wished that the car would suddenly breakdown and I'd get the opportunity to laugh at the individual driving, or just simply refuse to help him where I could. This just seems to be a natural part of the human psychic and our fundamental idea of justice.
I believe it would be a misapplication of Scripture to view the laughter of wisdom at our calamity as another way of saying that God (the epitome of wisdom) laughs at us. Instead I believe this laughter refers to our own consciences that hound us when we have to come to terms with the folly of our foolish choices - knowing that we had the opportunity to have made the wise choices. Finding ourselves in such a position usually produces the expression, "If only I knew - " a statement that always comes too late.
The tragedy with our failure before God however is that for the most part we can't say, "If only I knew;" because we by and large all do ("For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; SO THAT THEY (WE) ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE," Rom 1: 20). Instead therefore, we'll more appropriately utter, "How could I have been so stupid; I had it in the palms of my hands, and I let it slip through." This is where our consciences will batter us and it'll be like wisdom, which we ignored at the time it could have helped us, is now laughing at us.
This in no way implicates God however; If He cannot help us, it's because His hands are tied - as expressed in Heb. 2: 3, "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation." Through the prophet Ezekiel He says, "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live," Ez. 33: 11. Though painful God will respect our choices.
So Father, while mercy's door stands ajar, and wisdom may do her work for us yet, help us to so "number our days and apply our hearts to wisdom" we pray, in Jesus' name, amen.
To read and/or listen to Proverbs 1 and to read other related blogs, please click here.