Friday, January 25, 2013

Proverbs 9:13-18 No place to party!

In contrast to Wisdom, Solomon describes the woman, Folly:

The woman Folly is loud;

    she is undisciplined and without knowledge.  
She sits at the door of her house,

    on a seat at the highest point of the city,  
calling out to those who pass by,

    who go straight on their way.  
“Let all who are simple come in here!”

    she says to those who lack judgment. (Proverbs 9:13-16)

At first glance it seems there is not much of a difference in their approaches. Folly’s invitation to come is identical to that of Wisdom. However, Solomon describes her as “loud.” She is vying for attention and she knows how to get it! So she turns up the volume! She is “undisciplined,” unlike Wisdom who has spent a great deal of time in preparing her house for company. Wisdom’s appeal is straightforward and direct:

 “Come, eat my food

    and drink the wine I have mixed. 
Leave your simple ways and you will live;

    walk in the way of understanding.” (vs. 5-6)

But Folly tempts with a promise of pleasurable adventure:

“Stolen water is sweet;

    food eaten in secret is delicious!” (vs. 17)

Call Folly for a good time! She knows how to party! Really? The biggest contrast between these two women is in the aftermath of their gatherings. Wisdom promises you will come away from your time with her enriched: 

For through me your days will be many,

    and years will be added to your life. (v.11)

However, no matter how much great food, no matter how much fun you have with Folly, you will end up with worse than a hangover:

But little do they know that the dead are there,

    that her guests are in the depths of the grave. (vs. 18)

Folly’s ways seem attractive to the fool, to those who want an easier path. No need for discipline. No need for study. No need for change. Keep on keepin’ on! But her party leads to death - “to the depths of the grave!”

People, Wisdom requires discipline. It is not easy to receive her instruction, her rebukes, and correction. But those who desire to be wise will listen to her invitation. Solomon has spent nearly a third of this book encouraging us to choose Wisdom over Folly. He has been exhorting us to pay attention to what is coming in the rest of this book. Are we ready to listen? Next week we will begin chapter 10 and find treasure! Can’t wait!  

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