Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 1:27
"When your dread comes like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you"
This proverb uses four terms to describe the unexpected consequences of foolish behavior. Solomon is having wisdom talk here. Wisdom is pointing out that following your own selfish, impulsive, rebellious ways will go along fine for a while but then there will be a reckoning. The results of your behavior will begin to pour into your life, and it will not be good. You can only pursue a selfish, impulsive, rebellious course so long before the results of those choices come crashing back into your life.
This is the Hebrew word pahad which means dread. It refers to a strong feeling of fear over an impending or potential situation.
This is the Hebrew word ed which means calamity, distress, destruction, ruin. The idea is clearly that foolish behavior sets up the conditions for consequences to come and sweep you away. You did a few things illegal. You ticked off the wrong people. You cheated the wrong person. You selfishly pursued your own interests at the expense of others. If any or all of these are true, then you are waiting until you are found out and the whirlwind lands on your head.
The reason Solomon is saying this in this way is to make us realize that we should abandon these foolish ways before the consequences come. There is a way out of where we are; we don't just have to keep going. If you recognize yourself in these verses, then repent of your selfishness and embrace wisdom. There is a way to pursue the triple-win – no matter how dark your world has become.
This is the Hebrew word sara which means distress, difficult straits. The idea is something that is narrow and confining. You are boxed in and cannot maneuver and be free. Your choices or circumstances are limited.
This is the Hebrew word suqa which means distress or pressure. This word deals with the pressure of confining circumstances and situations much like the word above. It is an intensification of the idea of the confining and pressurized situation.
Solomon is saying that if you do not get off of the foolish track, it will end in a confining pressurized situation of which there will be little freedom and no escape. One thinks of prison, but Solomon did not have prisons so this was not in his mind. This is more that your opportunities are gone; your skills are limited; people don't trust you so they will not allow you to expand your world; your own addictions will narrow your world. The idea is that your foolish choices cause you to end in a place that you do not want to be. The choices that you make right now are setting up a path that is going somewhere. You must be smart enough to think through where these choices are going. If you choose to eat too much because you like it, you will end up fat. If you choose to steal and lie, you will end up caught and not trusted. If you give in to sexual temptations, you will end up with diseases and lonely. If you give into arrogance and pride, you will end up hated and disrespected. If you give into materialism and impulse spending, you will end up poor and in debt. If you hide from your problems through alcohol, drugs, food, sex, etc., you will become addicted and consume your life in hiding.
It is amazing how many people made choices to put themselves in the exact circumstances that they are living, but they are surprised by the results of their decisions. "How did I get here?" "This wasn't supposed to happen." Project out the choices that you are making. Do not fool yourself that the typical results won't happen to you. This will happen to you, and it will be awful when you get there. Start listening to wisdom while you still can. Repent. Turn to the Lord and ask Him to direct your life. You need a new captain running the ship. You need to do things differently and God is the only one powerful enough to handle the job. You need to act differently. One decision at a time.
Please consider asking God to take over the management of your life. Tell God that you have made a lot of bad decisions and selfish choices. Admit that you need forgiveness and a new ability to make righteous decisions. He offers all of this through Jesus Christ. Submit to Jesus Christ and His leadership of your life. Submit to His way of approaching God, His way of handling marriage, His way of being a part of a family, His way of handling yourself, His way of working, His way of being involved in church, His way of handling money, His way of being in a community, His way of interacting with friends. He has a whole new life for you if you will embrace it. Do not continue to be a fool with its pressure, dread, and calamity ahead.