"And you neglected all my counsel and did not want my reproof"
Solomon continues to paint a picture of what happens to those who do not listen to the advice that wisdom gives.
When life goes bad, in many cases it is possible to go back and see where wisdom was rejected and selfishness was embraced. Many times we want to see life as fickle and arbitrary, but really our choices and the choices of those around us send us down the road we are on.
This is the Hebrew word para, which means to let go, to let alone, to draw away, to neglect.
The idea that Solomon is trying to get across is that wisdom was there when you made the decisions and yet you were far more interested in what was selfish, quick, or the rebel way. And for those reasons you let the guidance of wisdom sit there.
I am amazed, in counseling, at the number of times when I ask people, “What do you think you should have done other than what you did?” They will consistently come up with the right decision. “Why didn't you do that?” “I didn't want to at that time.” In many cases people can figure out what is the wise thing to do, but they do not want to do it. In many cases the wise thing is not a big enough win for them or an obvious loss for their rival. So they drudge down the path of the fool, inviting the consequences of selfishness, impulsiveness, or rebellion. This could be called stupid tax.
This is the Hebrew word etsah, which means counsel or advice. This is the information and suggestions that wisdom gives. It will result in getting through a problem. It will result in an everyone-wins scenario. It will involve in moving away from sinful activities. It will involve planning and strategy. It will require that you slow down the decision-making process until you can really see what you are doing.
In most cases it is the counsel that you come up with when you ask the question. What do you think you ought to do in this situation? It is also the counsel that comes from asking what Jesus would do in this situation.
This is the Hebrew word tokechah, which means rebuke, or correction. Many times wisdom's counsel comes in the form of a previous rebuke or a person who corrects you when you are just about to do something foolish. But we often reject this counsel because it is from a person we don't like or it comes from a authority or it comes with a bad attitude or with a cynical edge. We often reject wisdom's voice because it doesn't come from a sweet, encouraging voice.
We must realize that God is going to get you the wisdom that you need if you are at all open to it. But it may not show up wrapped in angels’ wings, singing sweet songs to you. But it will be wisdom.
We are about to see what happens to those who foolishly ignore what they should do and instead push ahead with what they selfishly want to do. It changes the course of their lives, and often they do not recover the full potential or possibilities that were available to them. Choices count. What you decide makes a real difference in the life you lead. Choose wisely.