In my Sunday School class we have recently started going through the Proverbs chapter in the Bible, one of my very favorite books. As many times as I have read it – this is the very first time that I have actually paid close attention to this section of Chapters 8-9 and made the connection as far as what we should be listening to.
Wisdom herself – (if you understand the poetic license taken on this passage relating to the personification of the word wisdom being given life and a voice of course) says in Proverbs 8:12-21
“I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. 13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power.15 By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just;16 by me princes govern, and nobles—all who rule on earth. 17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. 18 With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. 19 My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver. 20 I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, 21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me and making their treasuries full.”
So these are all the things that Wisdom can offer us should Seek her out and follow her guidelines. When presented with an offer to have riches, honor, and enduring wealth and prosperity – how can anyone NOT want to find Wisdom? To me this is the angel on your shoulder offering you the sound advice that you should follow.
On the other shoulder is another voice. One that is very easy to listen to and one that, upon looking around this world, too many people are actively listening to.
Proverbs 9:13-18 introduces a new woman named Folly.
Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing. 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 to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 17 “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious! 18 But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.
This woman appears to offer short term happiness and wealth for people who don’t want to put forth the effort to sow before reaping. This woman is attractive, alluring, lovely, she is the other voice on your shoulder giving you the easy way out. The only long term outcome that this woman can offer you, however, is eternity in the company of the dead.
She is one who can easily take advantage of people.
So what I am taking out of this section of Proverbs is that I should be spending more time listening to the voice of Wisdom – her long term outcome in my life can benefit me in ways that I cannot begin to comprehend, instead of listening to Folly who will point me in the direction of quick results and easy rewards – her long term outcome for me is death and destruction.