Proverbs 1:28-30

Too Late For Wisdom!


1. Fools despise wisdom and instruction. (1:7)

2. The fools have been attempting to lure this young man into their evil ways. (1:11-19)

3. Lady Wisdom is calling out to all who will hear. (1:20)

4. She promises that all who will turn and listen will receive wisdom from her. (1:23)

5. She will laugh at those who mock her and refuse to listen to her words. (1:24-26)

6. Those who reject her will experience fear, destruction, desolation, and calamity. (1:27)

7. Now, the saga continues. Lady wisdom suggests that there comes a point when it is too late! (1:28-31)

28Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:

1. They shall call upon me… they shall seek me early…

a. Even in the life of a fool, there comes a point when they discover that they really need wisdom!
• In vs. 20-27, we have Wisdom calling out to the fools…
• Now we have the fools calling out to wisdom…

b. A fool may wander aimlessly through life… he may think himself happy go lucky… he may not have a care in the world… doing whatever he pleases. But even the fool will eventually come to a crossroad in his journey…

c. At that point, he will NEED wisdom… even the fool despairs of danger… even the fool becomes afraid at what might happen to him at some point!

d. Even the fool who thinks he can play with fire eventually finds himself surrounded by a wall of fire—and afraid!
• It likely will come during the time of calamity or destruction (vs.26-27)

e. Like a rock that skims the water, so too a fool can only skim along the surface of life for so long before he starts to sink.

f. The fool will eventually find himself sinking… going under… and desperately WANT wisdom. (Like the boy who joked at the kids taking swimming lessons. When he finds himself sinking in the water—the joke will be on him!)

g. The boy sinking in the water—who mocked the other kids who took swimming lessons—may in that last desperate hour cry out for wisdom… cry out that he wished he had taken those lessons…

h. How many times over is this kind of scenario repeated?
• The foolish boy who jokes about his schoolmates doing their homework—only to wish he had done his when he finds himself flipping hamburgers at McDonalds!
• The foolish young girl who laughs at all her prudish friends… and then finds herself pregnant at 16… on a dead end street for many years to come… she might cry out for the benefits of wisdom at that point… but it’s too late!
• The foolish believer who scoffs at all his Christian friends who warns him not to marry that unsaved girl—only to discover after the wedding what all the warnings were about—but it’s too late!

2. But I will not answer… But they shall not find me…

a. When Lady Wisdom called to the fools, they did not answer her. (vs.24)

b. Now, the fools are calling out to Wisdom, but she will not answer them!
• The fool will come to a point in his life where he finally realizes how much he needs wisdom—but when he calls out—he discovers it is too late!
• The fool shall not find wisdom—he doesn’t even know where to look!
• The fool will probably seek wisdom from his associates—who will also be fools… the blind leading the blind…

c. This pictures opportunity past… the offer of wisdom is no longer extended… the chance to take advantage of the benefit of wisdom is over…
Ezek. 8:18 – God’s offer of mercy came to an end for Israel. God came to a point where He said, “Mine eye shall not spare.”
• God would not hear their cries any more.
Jer. 7:16 – God told Jeremiah to stop praying for the people. They had become hardened in their sin and God would no longer listen to prayers for them!

d. The point is NOT that it is impossible for older folks to BECOME wise.
• Older folks CAN get saved later on in life. It is never too late!
• Older folks CAN repent of their folly and choose a path of wisdom.
• But that is the exception to the rule. Proverbs does not deal with all the exceptions to the rule. Proverbs deals with the main thrust of the rule itself! (explain what a proverb is!)

e. The point being made is that, in general, when a fool spurns the wisdom offered and flies down the road of his own making, he is irreversibly headed for destruction!
• In other words, there is not much hope for a fool!
• A fool doesn’t listen to reproof or instruction. (vs.24)
• Therefore, his course is paved for him… and his runners are greased and headed for destruction!
Prov. 29:1 – In general, when fools reject light and truth, they become MORE hardened to it!
• That is why most people who get saved, do so when young—before the heart has time to harden too much to respond to the truth!
• If God is speaking to your heart today about getting saved—DON’T put it off. You may be too hard tomorrow!
• If God is speaking to our heart as a believer about repenting of our sin or a bitter spirit or an ungodly attitude—REPENT NOW—because it only becomes MORE difficult with time… our heart can become MORE deeply embittered and hardened by sin!
• Don’t be a fool—get right with God now!

f. When the heart becomes hardened… (neck—becomes more obstinate) the fool is even LESS likely to hear reproof or the words of wisdom!
• In that condition, since he WILL NOT hear wisdom… he CANNOT hear!
• Light rejected is light denied!
• Wisdom is withdrawn in that sense… it is out of his reach!
• It is NOT that God is holding back wisdom from him… but HE has closed his eyes to the truth and therefore CANNOT see the truth.
• Truth—wisdom has been made out of his grasp—but it is the fool’s own doing—not God’s!

g. Thus, the fool SHALL NOT FIND wisdom… wisdom will not answer his call!
• Try to imagine a novice skier on the top of a triple black diamond trail.
• In his folly he says, “I can handle this!” Out of concern for him, his friends give him some words of wisdom: “Don’t take that trail! It’s dangerous!”
• Out of pride, the fool decides to reject the words of wisdom and he pushes off—only to discover that he wishes he didn’t!
• He might call out for wisdom—but it’s too late! He may really WANT to follow wisdom’s advice now—but it’s too late!
• He is headed for disaster—because he would not listen. Now, wisdom is out of his grasp…
• In the meantime—he may have to pay a price for his action!
• Young people may hear advice and reproof and warnings about sex, and alcohol, and drugs, and the use of credit cards — but if they don’t listen to the words of wisdom—and they pursue that dangerous course, they may discover that they have traveled too far down that road to return safely!

h. Wisdom is not something to be sought after as an afterthought… or when we are skidding out of control and headed for disaster. Wisdom is something to be sought after with all diligence! (2:2,4)

29For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.

REASONS for Wisdom withdrawal of the offer

1. These two verses say essentially the same thing. It is the REASON why wisdom will not answer the fool.

2. The reason is that he doesn’t WANT it!

a. They HATED the knowledge offered them!

b. They CHOSE not to fear God!

c. They WANTED none of wisdom’s counsel!

d. They DESPISED all of wisdom’s reproofs!
• Which part of NO don’t you understand!?!
• The fool has made it perfectly clear that he does not want what wisdom has to offer.
• Eventually, the one offering gets the message and withdraws the offer!

e. The point is that as long as their heart attitude is unchanged, wisdom is no longer being offered to them!
• If they repent and seek wisdom with a whole heart, wisdom CAN be found!
• Why? Because as soon as they repent and seek wisdom with a whole heart—they are no longer a fool!

3. The fool hated wisdom… rejected wisdom… despised wisdom… refused her out stretched hand…—and now, it is out of his reach.

a. God is longsuffering, but His longsuffering comes to an end.

b. The Lord is pictured knocking at the door in Laodicea—but there is a last knock!

c. My Spirit shall not always strive with man…

4. NOW is the accepted time… (II Cor. 6:2)

a. This is a principle that applies to all of the invitations of God.

b. Wisdom begins with fearing the Lord. (Prov. 1:7 – and we ought to fear God’s hell and believe and be saved !)

c. Wisdom is also found in Christ… in Him is ALL wisdom. If you want wisdom, you must know God—a personal relationship to Christ is the only road to true wisdom! (Col. 2:3)

d. God’s wisdom is calling men first to salvation. Only the FOOL says NO to God’s call to salvation!

e. But even to the believer, Gods’ Wisdom calls us to forsake our folly too… to respond to His Word… the words of wisdom…

f. NOW is the accepted time for a believer to respond to God’s wisdom too.
• Why wait and risk an embittered, hardened heart?
• Why wait and risk quenching/extinguishing the ministry of the Spirit in our life?
• Why risk entering into Divine chastisement?
• If God’s Word/wisdom speaks to our heart—we ought to respond!
• Be DOERS of the word and not hearers only!

g. Isa. 1:18-20 – Isaiah told the people that NOW was the time to listen to and respond to the voice of God.
• Respond in faith and obedience would bring blessing…
• Respond in unbelief or disobedience, and it would bring a curse.

6Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, [NOW!!!!] and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.