Spiritual Order: Woe to you who have forsaken patience; what will you do at the coming of the Lord?
The Book of Ben Sira, like all books in the Bible that teach the science of wisdom, seeks to show us the order that lies behind physical perceptions. But this order cannot be perceived rationally, but through the gift of knowledge, which is a gift from God. That is the reason of why according to sapiential books, being wise as God is wise is so important, it is to the wise man who corresponds the perception of the great mysteries of the universe. For many people the creation of God does not make any sense, there is no retribution after this life, and everything is the result of chance, but this is not the case. Pessimism and sadness are not part of wisdom.
We see in the old testament an expression of the spiritual order, that sustains God's creation, with the psalm of the two paths: "For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction" Psalm 1:6. This order implies rewards and punishments; rewards are to encourage us in spiritual growth, and punishments are to teach and correct us. Wisdom does not threaten, wisdom persuades gently and sweetly, but we must also recognize that there are people who learn more easily than others, some people learn from the mistakes of others and others from their own mistakes.
Wisdom teacher Ben Sira gives us an example of this order with three misfortunes, similar to the misfortunes of the Gospel of Luke, for those who lose their trust in the Lord:
"Woe to faint hearts and unwilling hands, and to the sinner who treads a double path.
Woe to those with timid hearts who have no faith and who therefore will be unprotected.
Woe to you who have forsaken patience; what will you do at the coming of the Lord?" Ben Sira 2:12-14.
The misfortunes are anticipations of what awaits us if we choose the path of error, forgetting our relationship with God and with the spiritual order that he established in the universe. We choose between wisdom and foolishness.