Study from God’s Word… Proverbs topically presented … WISDOM … Proverbs 8: 1 – 36; Prov. 9: 1 - 6; Prov. 2: 1 – 22; Prov. 3: 13 – 24; Prov. 1: 20 – 33; Prov. 9: 13 – 18; and Prov. 4: 1 – 27 … Passage for Reflection: Proverbs 9: 13 - 17… NIV 13 The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge. 14 She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, 15 calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way. 16 "Let all who are simple come in here!" she says to those who lack judgment. 17 "Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!"
My Journal for Today: I must admit that I was drawn by curiosity to the title of today’s devotional entry by Dr. Smith as he takes his readers into the book of wisdom which we call PROVERBS. Ordering and editing these poetic reflections on life, mostly authored by Solomon, Smith uses topical divisions for the daily reading segments to help his readers focus on the wisdom being presented by the various proverbial authors. And he begins with probably one the major themes Solomon reflected on in these poems; and that was the essence of “wisdom,” hence today’s title which points, maybe too personally for me, to the opposite of the wise man … that of being what we humans often call … “The Nincompoop (aka, “the fool”).”
Smith helps us see that Solomon uses a word picture to depict a battle between two women, who personify “Wisdom” and “Folly” by his writings. These early proverbs I believe were written during a point of Godly discernment, early in Solomon’s life, when he had sons whom he needed to impart the wisdom God had given to him as king [and of course, as a father as well]. Later in his life, however, we read, for example in Ecclesiastes, how Solomon had become a very cynical man, one who had recognized himself becoming the fool he wrote about in Proverbs while trying to have his progeny avoid such foolishness. But here in Proverbs, inspired by God’s Spirit, we read Solomon writing about the woman, “Wisdom,” whom we are to pursue and the enchantress, “Folly,” whom his sons (and we) should avoid.
Wisdom, as Smith teaches, is the straight up teacher of truth, lauding Godly virtues and promoting knowledge and understanding Folly, on the other hand, is a cunning liar who makes wrong seem right. As Smith puts it, Folly “… knowing that if simpletons fall tor her ridiculous ploy, they will fall for anything.” And all you have to do is look into the headlines of today to see the battle between Wisdom and Folly being played out in our world.
The question becomes, “Who believes he (or she) is following Wisdom; and who is falling for Folly?” And Smith is right; it is the classic battle of life; truth versus falsehood, good versus evil, and right versus wrong. As Smith asks, “Why anyone would side with Folly is a mystery?” Maybe it’s because others can’t see that they fall for the con game of “Folly,” not being able to see the truth of “Wisdom.” And I’m afraid that lack of discernment will be with us into eternity, guided by those who ultimately have, by their choice of faith, received the Holy Spirit to allow the Godly wise to avoid the worldly folly.
But having made this choice in life and having been one who followed “folly” in my past, I can now see the fate of the “simple,” who cannot discern Folly from Wisdom. As Smith refers, we, who know Christ, and have the advantage of Godly discernment, might have weak moments of human follow. And too often we may make reference to those in the world who don’t get it, as being “simple-minded” as a “dimwit, dunce, dumbbell, ignoramus, moron, knucklehead or a nincompoop!” Hopefully we avoid such invective name calling; but I have to admit that what I see now as a Christian makes me rail with pain when I see so many falling for those, representing “Folly,” who spout untruth, selling it as truth. They are those which call bad, good and wrong, right; and people fall for it. My wife often says, “You just can cure dumb!” And she is so, so right.
For so many years I was one of those “nincompoops,” dumbly following “Folly” in the public arena of life; and being the gullible sort I am, I was a pretty easy prey for Satan and his minions, who were leading me so deftly and coyly down the path to eternal damnation. But so fortunately for me, the lady, “Wisdom,” came into my life, speaking the truth God had her to speak to me through other Christians who followed her truthful path. And I was slain by the Spirit of Christ, Who came after me as the Hound of Heaven, allowing me to see His Gospel Truth; … and allowing me to make the decision to see His truth wrapped in His lady, “Wisdom.” And from April 13, 1983 until the present I have been pursuing “Wisdom” rather than falling for “Folly.”
I pray that is your path as well.
My Prayer for Today: Oh, Lord, help me to continue to be able to see Your truth and avoid the world’s ways as I delve deeply into Your word, where I know I will always find Your will for my life, allowing me to follow Your light and to avoid the darkness of the world. Amen