“Because I have called, and ye refused, I will laugh at your calamity,” etc. (Prov. 1:24-26). Supposed to refer to the sinner’s refusal to accept the Saviour’s offered grace. But this is an error. God is the moral governor of the world, and in the Book of Proverbs we have a divine code of earthly morality—“Laws from heaven for Life on Earth.”—Wm. Armor. We are there informed of the conduct of which He approves, and which therefore conduces to happiness, and ensures immunity from those forms of suffering which are the fruit of wrong doing. Our passage is designed to pint out to thoughtless readers and wicked men the certain consequences of their folly, to counsel them to amend, and to warn them that if they do not do so they will be filled with remorse when it is too late to avert the results of their folly. Personal Wisdom, or the Lord Jesus, is the speaker. Those addressed are “simple ones,” “scorners,” and “fools” (Notice the descending degrees of moral degradation). The exhortation is not to “believe” or “become religious,” or any thing at all analogous to the evangelical construction which we dispute, but consists of “reproof” and “counsel,” emphasized by a promise. The reproof is for the folly specified. The counsel is to “turn” or abandon it. The promise (v. 33) is a peaceful life and immunity from forebodings of evil. Regarded thus the verses are pertinent, important, and in harmony with the scope of the book.
Some regard the words as especially applicable to the Jewish nation, who scorned the rebukes of God-sent prophets, and who, in the day of their calamity appealed in vain for deliverance from those who took them into captivity (Isa. 65:12; Jer. 7:13, 14).