Summary: Our response to Wisdom will determine whether our lives are marked by a whirlwind of destruction and death or the tranquility of peace, safety and eternal life.


Proverbs 1:20ff.

INTRODUCTION: A Storm is on the horizon - behind us & before us.

“When destruction comes like a whirlwind…” Ever witnessed a tornado or even a hurricane? Or maybe you at least see the movie with the flowing cows moo-ing as they flew to certain destruction?

Let me tell you, it is an awful and terrifying experience of a fury and power that knows no mercy - A fury and power that gives no warning, offers no second chances and is without escape!

At 8:45 AM Tuesday morning, September 11th, NYC, Washington, D.C. (and to an extent the world) was gravely impacted by a sudden, completely unexpected and indescribably terrible destruction that came “like a whirlwind.” Didn’t we? (Refer to redlined words of the track “America Under Attack: Who can protect us?”)

Fellow Americans and friends, terrorism is not the only whirlwind of destruction about which we must be extremely wary and prepared. Not in any way to diminish the horrible atrocity we are still dealing with, but it is utterly important that we recognize that there is another whirlwind of destruction on the horizon. One that makes even the unspeakable horror of September 11, 2001 seem like a stubbed toe in comparison.

Not only will this whirlwind of destruction be far more sudden, horrible, and everlasting, but it is one which we all deserve and none may escape except by one route.

Don’t take my word for it! Hear the words of the wisest man who ever lived, inspired by the source of all wisdom. . .

Proverbs 1:20-33 (NLT).

PROPOSITION: Our response to Wisdom will determine whether our lives are marked by a whirlwind of destruction and death or the tranquility of peace, safety and eternal life.


A. Wisdom is a divine attribute of God.

1. God alone knows it (Job 28:23); gives it

(Pr. 2:6) and displays its secrets (Job 11:6).

2. With it, God created all things (Pr. 3:19; Je. 10:12).

B. Wisdom is knowledge plus prudence (Pr. 1:22; Dt. 4:6-9;

Ps. 51:6).

C. Wisdom is clever and shrewd decision-making before God

(2So. 20:22; 1 Kg. 5:12; Je. 9:23-25).

D. Wisdom is to fear God (Pr. 1:29; 15:33) and to know God

(Pr. 9:10;30:3).

E. Wisdom is the mark of the righteous (Ps. 37:30; Pr. 10:31-32)

and beyond the reach of the simple , mockers , and fools

(Pr. 1:22;14:6).



A. “Simple Ones”

“pethiy” = easily misled/misinformed, believe everything, lacking good

or “common” sense.

B. “Scorners”

“luwts” = believed to come from a root word literally meaning “to make

mouths at“. As used in OT, means to mock, scorn, belittle the

words or ideas of another (in this case God)!

C. “Fools”

“keciyl”= stupid, one who delights in not understanding (the guy & gal in

school who thought it was cool to never do homework or answer

the teacher’s questions, and to fail everything), and one who enjoys


In one sense or another, this has or does apply to us all - even the most learned and seemingly wise or knowledgeable among us. The great 18th Century Revivalist & Theologian, Jonathan Edwards, put it this way:

redlined & highlighted phrases on pp. 6-7 of “Sinners in the Hands of an

Angry God.”


BE BLESSED . (V. 23)

It is not, and never has been God’s desire for us to in any way feel pain, sorrow, loneliness, or suffering - let alone eternally! From the beginning, He declared His creation to be “very good” (Gen. 2:31). And His plan from the beginning was to fellowship with (gen. 3:8a), delight in and bless us (Gen. 2:28).



Charles Spurgeon once explained our predicament something like this: What if a vile, venomous snake were to craftily slither into your home, through the house, into the nursery, up and into your child’s bed. Then, suddenly, the shiny snake strikes and bites your child, filling him or her with potent venom that quickly kills the innocent babe.

Will you admire the metallic beauty and natural grace of that snake? Will you awe at its size, stealth and power? Will you then take that snake and keep it as a dear pet to show off to your friends? Or perhaps kill it, but then take it to a taxidermist that it might be vividly displayed in your home for all to admire its beauty and power? Of course not, you will kill it and then hurt it some more! You will stomp it and cut it and desecrate it. You will get it out of your house and your life forever! From that day forward every snake you see will be seen as your sworn enemy to be avoided if not utterly destroyed!!!

And yet we embrace our sin/foolishness that killed the precious Son of God, Jesus! How sick?! How foolish?! What a mockery that is?!

My friends, there is a vast difference between being tempted, going into sin and then being sorry and repenting vs. when you go into sin AND YOU LOVE IT!

{READ VV. 24-32}

Before I proceed let me also address the issue of Wisdom “laughing” and “mocking” during such horrible destruction and death. I’m sure many are privately, if not quietly, uncomfortable and questioning God at this. Let me make a few quick points for your consideration.

First, it is “Wisdom” that is laughing and mocking. It is largely a metaphor. It is like when a foolishly rest out of the car and slam the door on the back of my coat. Then, not realizing it strain and bounce back. My thoughts at that moment of sudden realization and wisdom is to laugh at and mock myself for such earlier stupidity.

God is not mentioned here as laughing & mocking. Yes, there are numerous other Scriptures which indicate that at the time of Judgement, after mercy has been extended and rejected, God no longer has compassion on those souls or their just punishment. Now, before you are too critical of God, ask yourself a few questions. Do you not value and believe in perfect justice? Should not evil be punished?

Imagine for a moment that you have just returned home and turned on the TV. There is a graphic report that while in service, our Special Forces surrounded the cave where Bin Ladan is hiding and blew with explosives such that it collapsed without any escape. But in the collapse Bin Laden was not mortally crushed. Instead he was permanently trapped in great pain and suffering. Days pass and he continues to live in this condition until he slowly dies of suffocation and starvation. How many of you here today would contend that he did not deserve this? How many may even go as far as to laugh or mock his predicament as a fitful result?

A. Responsibility for the outcome lies with each individual. (vv. 24-25, 29-30).

Because each individual chose it!!!

There is no justified blaming of God. He sent Wisdom crying out to each individual. Often many, perhaps hundreds or even thousands of times. Nor can any human make God angry or vengeful. Don’t fool yourself, you are not that powerful, none of us is. If He is angry or vengeful toward us it is simply because Justice and Holiness require it. If anything, we should be stunned in wonderment about how He could ever see any of us in any other way!

For each of us has sinned and fallen short. And each of us has ignored Wisdom’s cries of salvation and indignantly swapped away her hand of mercy.

B. The results of rejection are horrific.

1. Whirlwind of loss . (vv. 28-31)

In this whirlwind of destruction which we have invited ourselves, we lose much.

They lose any further opportunity for Wisdom.

They have lost their last chance - any hope of repentance, change or mercy.

They chose not to fear God and thus lost any chance of relationship with Him, receiving

His blessings.

2. Whirlwind of natural consequences .(v. 31)

Another way of phrasing v. 31 is, “You become what you do and you get what you have worked for and deserved.”

Much of this suffering and destruction occurs right in this present life according to the absolute law of Cause & Effect.

3. Whirlwind of death . (v. 32)

Note that death here is caused by chosen, individual waywardness and complacency in ignoring, mocking and running away from Wisdom and Truth - and ultimately from GOD HIMSELF.

a. Physical

b. Spiritual

Voltaire, the revered philosopher of antiquity, had as his life’s goal to disprove God and Christianity. To this end he built his house on top of the printing press and saw to it that every Bible he knew to exist was destroyed. Yet on his death bed, and in his final throes of agony, it is reported that he cried these words:

“While alive I believed in no God and no Hell, and now I know that there are both!”

It may not be very popular to say, but the truth is that this whirlwind of physical and spiritual death means a chosen and deserved eternity in Hell!

What does that mean?

1) It is the eternal absence of and separation from God and thus His blessings. Imagine that you no longer receive any love, but are surrounding only by anger, bitterness and hatred. Imagine that there is not even the hope of peace, but only chaos and suffering. Imagine what it would be like to be eternal separated from your loved ones? Or worse, to know that they too are suffering this indescribable abomination? There is no light, but that of fire! There is no beauty, but only ugliness and disgust.

2) Which ever way you want to look at it, it is either a total separation from other humans as well, or eternal confinement with the most abominable and miserable company!

3) Our conscience, memory and desires remain eternal but without any hope of fulfillment.

Luke 16:20-31.

3) It is forever!

It has been said that eternity is as long as it would take, if it were possible, to take all of the water in the universe and fill a cosmic tub with it. Then, let it drop out one tiny droplet at a time. Then, when all of the water has drained out one drop at a time, then not even 1 hour of eternity has gone by. You have much more yet to go.

Billy Sunday put it this way: As long as it would take, if it were possible, for a little sparrow to take 1 grain of sand from the earth, fly 1 million light years away and deposit that grain of sand. Fly 1 million light years back to earth and peck up another grain of sand. Fly 1 million light years out and deposit it again. So on and so on until the earth was no more. Even then, as long as it would take, not even 1 moment of eternity has passed. There is that much and more to go…

Most of us are familiar with the hymn “Amazing Grace.” Have you ever considering the converse to the 4th stanza: “When we’ve been there ten thousand years, just suffering in the pit, We’ve no less days to escape this blaze, than when we’d first begun.”

Rev. Bob Pope suggests we imagine if we would, hearing the cries emanating from Hell: “God, I have been here what seems 1,000 years in this fire, won’t somebody turn down the heat? Won’t somebody give me 1 second of relief? …

God, I’ve been here 5,000 years. I thought surely I’d get used to it by now. How much longer, Lord, how much longer?

And the only answer is the demons’ cry, “Forever, forever, forever!!!”

I imagine many here today are questioning, “Pastor, why must you preach on such topic - especially while we are yet grieving?” But I ask, how can I not? And how can you live without witnessing to others and giving them a chance? Imagine if you knew on September 10 about the plan to attack America and yet you did nothing! You knew people who would be in those planes and those towers, working in the Pentagon, but you kept the news to yourself because you feared the reactions you might receive at the news. You feared being rejected, dismissed, mocked, ridiculed, being called reactionary, being accused of just trying to scare people, of imposing your theories and ideas on others. And now you have to live with their suffering and deaths. Is it worth it? Dare I ask, would it be wise?

Many may also wonder, but how can a loving God condemn people to such a horror? The “simple” answer is because He is a Holy and Just God and perfect justice requires it. But let me relay what I understand to be a true story that may shed further light on the subject.

A distinguished pastor, Dr. Scarborough, once related the conversation he had with a female parishioner, who told of her abusive husband. Frequently the woman was abused by her husband, but each time she would tell him, “Honey, I love you and no matter what you do, you can not beat that love for you out of me.” Another day, he grabbed her and forced her onto the couch. Getting his stinking, drunk’s breath into her face, he then proceeded to shout vulgarities at her and brag about all of the times he desecrated their marriage vows. Still, she replied, “Honey, I love you and no matter how much you cheat on me, you can not cheat the love I have for you from my heart.”

But one day, she said, he came home in a drunken rage, walked right past her and into the baby’s room. “There he forcefully grabbed my baby and hit it again and again and again, until it was bruised and bloody and … and dead!” Then she looked at Dr. Scarborough in the eyes and said, “Preacher, if I had a butcher knife, I would have cut his heart out! Yes, I would and I would enjoy every bit of it! Can you understand that?”

Dr. Scarborough later said, “In a moment’s time, I saw divine love turn into divine wrath.”

John 3:16, Romans 6:23

Note, every time God’s love is mentioned in the NT, it is mentioned through Jesus! No Jesus, no love.



And there is the GOOD NEWS! There is a way out - a way to avoid the whirlwind of destruction. And that way is the Old Rugged Cross.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the way out!


Not have you come to church?

“ “ “ been baptized?

“ “ “ done some good works?

“ “ “ have you tried hard?



1) Embrace God’s Wisdom for yourself.

2) Tell others of Wisdom’s call to them.

3) Warn others of the whirlwind of destruction.

4) Tell others of the promise of eternal peace & security in Jesus.

17-year-old Brian Moore had only a short time to write something for the fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting. It was his turn to lead the discussion so he sat down and wrote. He showed the essay, titled "The Room" to his mother, Beth, before he headed out the door. "I wowed ’em." he later told his father, Bruce. "It’s a killer. It’s the bomb. It’s the best thing I ever wrote." It also was the last. Brian’s parents had forgotten about the essay when a cousin found it while cleaning out the teenager’s locker at Teary Valley High School.

Brian Moore died May 27, 1997, -- the day after Memorial Day. He was driving home from a friend’s house when his car went off Bulen-Pierce Road in Pickaway County and struck a utility pole. He emerged from the wreck unharmed but stepped on a downed power line and was electrocuted.

***************************** THE ROOM...

In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features except for the one wall covered with small index card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endless in either direction, had very different headings. As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "Girls I have liked." I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one. And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was.

This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn’t match. A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching. A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends have betrayed." The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I Have Read," "Lies I Have Told," "Comfort I have Given," "Jokes I Have Laughed at."

Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I’ve yelled at my brothers." Others I couldn’t laugh at. "Things I Have Done in My Anger," "Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents." I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my years to write each of these thousands or even millions of cards?

But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature. When I pulled out the file marked "Songs I have listened to," I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn’t found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music but more by the vast time I knew that file represented.

When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts," I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded. An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: "No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn’t matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards.

But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it. Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it. The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel With." The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand. And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt. They started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.

But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn’t bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one? Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn’t anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn’t say a word. He just cried with me.

Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card. "No!" I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was "No, no," as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn’t be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood. He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don’t think I’ll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished."

I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.