24 But since you refuse to listen when I call
and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand,
25 since you disregard all my advice
and do not accept my rebuke,
26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you;
I will mock when calamity overtakes you—
Addressing the simple, fools and mockers (v.22), Wisdom now warns of the consequences of apathy. Though this appears harsh, we ought to remember that wisdom initiated the dialogue, and has first sought to prevent this prediction from becoming reality. Yet she knows that some, if not most, will ignore her.
The apathetic ridicule wisdom when things are going well for them, but when disaster strikes their absurdity is exposed. And strike it will, as no one is exempted from the realities of life and death. Now is the time to listen to wisdom, to gain prudence and grow in understanding. Those who wait until calamity overtakes them will find the opportunity has passed, and their suffering is all the more humiliating for lack of wisdom.