The ninth chapter of proverbs offers a practical side to wisdom. It speaks to us about how our future is established by following wisdom.. tells us of our need to be wise in the way that we relate to others.. and the indispensability of wisdom in resisting the tempting voice of foolishness.
"Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars." (v1) "Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.” (v6)
Jesus said that before we build a house we should count the costs involved. I have found that wisdom often costs me in the short haul.. sometimes it is harder to do the wise thing.. may times my flesh and ego takes a hit when I act wisely. Good to count the costs because rejecting wisdom always costs us more in the long haul.
"Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury." (v7)
We really need wisdom to know when, how and who to correct. Many people do not want to be told that they are wrong.. not that I have ever rejected correction :) I think that there is just something humbling about being corrected.. and so often our pride just can't handle it.
"If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it." (v12)
This verse simply seems wrong at first glance.. it is almost like Solomon is saying that there is a selfishness to wisdom.. but I do not think that is what he is talking about. He is saying that wisdom is out there.. we are responsible to apprehend it and follow its lead.. if we reject wisdom then we alone are responsible for the consequences.
"The woman Folly is loud ... calling to those who pass by ... “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol." (v13a, 15a, 17-18)
Interesting how Folly is depicted having a loud voice.. so often wisdom comes with a quiet subdued voice.. you can miss it if you are insensitive to the Spirit's voice. The voice of Folly is one of temptation.. it screams at us and presents sin as sweet and desirable.. and it often is for the moment.. but the end of Folly's path is death.. a sobering reminder.
If you liked this post then please click here to catch some of my other ponderings on the book of Proverbs.