Proverbs 9

Two Invitations. Two Choices.

“Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment.” – Proverbs 9:6 NLT

In this Proverbs, Solomon portrays wisdom and folly as two women. One is industrious, a planner, and highly hospitable. She offers those who are “simple” the chance to dine at her table and gain good judgment and wisdom. She offers them a chance to leave their simple ways behind and really begin to live. Wisdom offers long life, the capacity to fear God and know Him intimately and deeply. The other woman, Folly, also calls out and offers an invitation, but it is an invitation of another sort. Folly is portrayed as a prostitute. She is brash, ignorant and doesn’t even know it. She too calls out to the simple and those lacking in judgment. “‘Come in with me,’ she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says, ‘Stolen water is refreshing; food eaten in secret tastes the best!'” (Proverbs 9:16-17 NLT).

Two women. Two invitations. But depending on which invitation you accept, two diametrically opposed outcomes. One ends in life, the other in death. One offers wisdom and good judgment in place of foolishness and simplicity. The other can only offer sensual pleasures and immediate gratification of the senses, but really delivers disappointment and, ultimately, death. The picture Solomon paints portrays life on this planet for each and every man and woman. Every day we are faced with two basic options: the way of wisdom as offered by God, or the way of folly or foolishness, so tantalizingly and temptingly offered by the world. And every day, we are faced with a choice to choose one or the other. The things of this world are so appealing. The ways of this world seem so logical and sensible. They appeal to our sin nature and are aimed at our senses. They have little to do with wisdom, understanding, common sense, or good judgment. And we’re not talking about intelligence, because even men with high IQs can be guilty of foolishness and live the life of the simpleminded. The Hebrew word used by Solomon for the “simple” person refers to one who is easily persuaded and enticed. They are naive. Satan and this world thrives on these kind of people. And every person who walks on this planet IS that kind of person if they don’t have a relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son. They may be smart, successful, well-to-do, and even powerful, but they will still be simpleminded. They will be dominated by their flesh and driven by their desires. They will be susceptible to temptation and prone to live like fools. Why? Because they lack good judgment, common sense, wisdom, understanding and the fear of God.

The key seems to be found in Wisdom’s invitation. “Leave your simple ways behind.” There has to be a point in time when you decide to acknowledge your propensity to be easily persuaded and enticed. Then you have to be willing to abandon that lifestyle for another. We have to choose to accept God’s invitation to sit at His table and feast on His wisdom. We must trade in our desire to satisfy our senses for God’s offer of understanding. We need to understand the times in which we live, the dangers that surround us, our own tendencies to live like fools. We need to understand and comprehend our incapacity to survive in this world without God. Without Him we are easy targets for the enemy. God offers us wisdom. The world offers us folly. And every day we have a choice to make.

Father, give me the capacity to see life clearly – from Your perspective. Without You, I am a man who is prone to foolishness. I can easily fall prey to the temptations of the enemy and the allures of this world. But Your Spirit and Your Word give me the wisdom and insight I need to see this world for what it really is – my enemy. This world hated Christ and it hates me. Don’t let me listen to its lies and take its lures. Open my eyes and help me really live, based on Your wisdom and according to Your way. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men

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