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Proverbs 1:24

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Because I have called - These and the following words appear to be spoken of the persons who are described, Proverbs 1:11-19, who have refused to return from their evil ways till arrested by the hand of justice; and here the wise man points out their deplorable state.

They are now about to suffer according to the demands of the law, for their depredations. They now wish they had been guided by wisdom, and had chosen the fear of the Lord; but it is too late: die they must, for their crimes are proved against them, and justice knows nothing of mercy.

This, or something like this, must be the wise man's meaning; nor can any thing spoken here be considered as applying or applicable to the eternal state of the persons in question, much less to the case of any man convinced of sin, who is crying to God for mercy. Such persons as the above, condemned to die, may call upon justice for pardon, and they may do this early, earnestly; but they will call in vain. But no poor penitent sinner on this side of eternity can call upon God early, or seek him through Christ Jesus earnestly for the pardon of his sins, without being heard. Life is the time of probation, and while it lasts the vilest of the vile is within the reach of mercy. It is only in eternity that the state is irreversibly fixed, and where that which was guilty must be guilty still. But let none harden his heart because of this longsuffering of God, for if he die in his sin, where God is he shall never come. And when once shut up in the unquenchable fire, he will not pray for mercy, as he shall clearly see and feel that the hope of his redemption is entirely cut off.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The threats and warnings of Wisdom are also foreshadowings of the teaching of Jesus. There will come a time when “too late” shall be written on all efforts, on all remorse. Compare Matthew 25:10, Matthew 25:30.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Solomon, having showed how dangerous it is to hearken to the temptations of Satan, here declares how dangerous it is not to hearken to the calls of God. Christ himself is Wisdom, is Wisdoms. Three sorts of persons are here called by Him: 1. Simple ones. Sinners are fond of their simple notions of good and evil, their simple prejudices against the ways of God, and flatter themselves in their wickedness. 2. Scorners. Proud, jovial people, that make a jest of every thing. Scoffers at religion, that run down every thing sacred and serious. 3. Fools. Those are the worst of fools that hate to be taught, and have a rooted dislike to serious godliness. The precept is plain; Turn you at my reproof. We do not make a right use of reproofs, if we do not turn from evil to that which is good. The promises are very encouraging. Men cannot turn by any power of their own; but God answers, Behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you. Special grace is needful to sincere conversion. But that grace shall never be denied to any who seek it. The love of Christ, and the promises mingled with his reproofs, surely should have the attention of every one. It may well be asked, how long men mean to proceed in such a perilous path, when the uncertainty of life and the consequences of dying without Christ are considered? Now sinners live at ease, and set sorrow at defiance; but their calamity will come. Now God is ready to hear their prayers; but then they shall cry in vain. Are we yet despisers of wisdom? Let us hearken diligently, and obey the Lord Jesus, that we may enjoy peace of conscience and confidence in God; be free from evil, in life, in death, and for ever.
Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 558

Saith the Lord: “I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all My counsel, and would none of My reproof: ... when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon Me, but I will not answer; they shall seek Me early, but they shall not find Me: for that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: they would none of My counsel: they despised all My reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.” “But whoso hearkeneth unto Me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” Proverbs 1:24-31, 33. PP 558.1

The Israelites now humbled themselves before the Lord. “And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served Jehovah.” And the Lord's heart of love was grieved—“was grieved for the misery of Israel.” Oh, the long-suffering mercy of our God! When His people put away the sins that had shut out His presence, He heard their prayers and at once began to work for them. PP 558.2

A deliverer was raised up in the person of Jephthah, a Gileadite, who made war upon the Ammonites and effectually destroyed their power. For eighteen years at this time Israel had suffered under the oppression of her foes, yet again the lesson taught by suffering was forgotten. PP 558.3

As His people returned to their evil ways, the Lord permitted them to be still oppressed by their powerful enemies, the Philistines. For many years they were constantly harassed, and at times completely subjugated, by this cruel and warlike nation. They had mingled with these idolaters, uniting with them in pleasure and in worship, until they seemed to be one with them in spirit and interest. Then these professed friends of Israel became their bitterest enemies and sought by every means to accomplish their destruction. PP 558.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 41

Those who choose to make excuses and continue in sin and conformity to the world will be left to their idols. There will be a day when they will not beg to be excused, when not one will wish to be excused. When Christ shall come in His glory and the glory of His Father, with all the heavenly angels surrounding Him, escorting Him on His way with voices of triumph, while strains of the most enchanting music fall upon the ear, all will then be interested; there will not be one indifferent spectator. Speculations will not then engross the soul. The miser's piles of gold, which have feasted his eyes, are no more attractive. The palaces which the proud men of earth have erected, and which have been their idols, are turned from with loathing and disgust. No one pleads his lands, his oxen, his wife that he has just married, as a reason why he should be excused from sharing the glory that bursts upon his astonished vision. All want a share, but know that it is not for them. 2T 41.1

In earnest, agonizing prayer they call for God to pass them not by. The kings, the mighty men, the lofty, the proud, the mean man, alike bow together under a pressure of woe, desolation, misery inexpressible; heart-anguished prayers are wrung from their lips. Mercy! mercy! Save us from the wrath of an offended God! A voice answers them with terrible distinctness, sternness, and majesty: “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all My counsel, and would none of My reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh.” 2T 41.2

Then kings and nobles, the mighty man, and the poor man, and the mean man, alike, cry there most bitterly. They who in the days of their prosperity despised Christ and the humble ones who followed in His footsteps, men who would not humble their dignity to bow to Christ, who hated His despised cross, are now prostrate in the mire of the earth. Their greatness has all at once left them, and they do not hesitate to bow to the earth at the feet of the saints. They then realize with terrible bitterness that they are eating the fruit of their own way, and are filled with their own devices. In their supposed wisdom they turned away from the high, eternal reward, rejected the heavenly inducement, for earthly gain. The glitter and tinsel of earth fascinated them, and in their supposed wisdom they became fools. They exulted in their worldly prosperity as though their worldly advantages were so great that they could through them be recommended to God, and thus secure heaven. 2T 41.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, 81

At this time I prized the Christian's hope. The scene before me brought vividly to my mind the day of the Lord's fierce anger, when the storm of His wrath will come upon the poor sinner. Then there will be bitter cries and tears, confession of sin, and pleading for mercy, when it will be too late. “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all My counsel, and would none of My reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh.” 1T 81.1

Through the mercy of God we were all landed safe. But some of the passengers who manifested much fear in the storm made no reference to it, only to make light of their fears. One who had solemnly promised that if she were preserved to see land she would be a Christian, mockingly cried out as she left the boat: “Glory to God, I am glad to step on land again!” I asked her to go back a few hours, and remember her vows to God. She turned from me with a sneer. 1T 81.2

I was forcibly reminded of deathbed repentance. Some serve themselves and Satan all their lives, and then as sickness subdues them, and a fearful uncertainty is before them, they manifest some sorrow for sin, and perhaps say they are willing to die, and their friends make themselves believe that they have been truly converted and fitted for heaven. But if these should recover, they would be as rebellious as ever. I am reminded of Proverbs 1:27, 28: “When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon Me, but I will not answer; they shall seek Me early, but they shall not find Me.” 1T 81.3

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Ellen G. White
Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, 86

At this time I prized the Christian's hope. This scene brought vividly to my mind the day of the Lord's fierce anger, when the storm of his wrath will come upon the poor sinner. Then there will be bitter cries and tears, and confession of sin, and pleading for mercy; but all too late. “Because I have called and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof; I also will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your fear cometh. 2SG 86.1

Through the mercy of God we were all landed safe. But some of the passengers who manifested so much fear in the storm, made no reference to it, only to make light of their fears. The one who had so solemnly promised that if she was preserved to see land she would be a Christian, as she left the boat mockingly cried out, “Glory to God, I am glad to step on land again.” I asked her to go back a few hours, and remember her vows to God. She turned from me with a sneer. 2SG 86.2

I was forcibly reminded of death-bed repentance. Some who serve themselves and Satan all their life, as sickness subdues them, and a fearful uncertainty is before them, manifest some sorrow for sin, and perhaps say they are willing to die, and their friends make themselves believe they were converted and fitted for heaven. But if they should recover, would they not be as rebellious as ever? I am reminded of Proverbs 1:27, 28. “When your fear cometh as desolation and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you, then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me.” 2SG 86.3

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