It's hard to recognize the voice of wisdom in our noisy world. Proverbs 9 shows you how.
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Proverbs 9 (ESV)
has built her house;
she has hewn her seven pillars.
2 She has slaughtered her beasts;
she has mixed her wine;
she has also set her table.
3 She has sent out her young women to call from the highest places in the town,
4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
To him who lacks sense she says,
5 “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed.
6 Leave your simple ways, and live,
and walk in the way of insight.”
corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,
and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.
8 Do not
reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
11 For by me
your days will be multiplied,
and years will be added to your life.
you are wise, you are wise for yourself;
if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
13 The woman Folly is loud;
she is seductive and knows nothing.
14 She sits at the door of her house;
she takes a seat on the highest places of the town,
15 calling to those who pass by,
who are going straight on their way,
16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
And to him who lacks sense she says,
17 “Stolen water is sweet,
and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
18 But he does not know
that the dead are there,
that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.
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Proverbs 9 Summary
Two women cry out for your attention:
On one side is Lady Wisdom. She proclaims:
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here! (v4)"
On the other side is Lady Folly. She proclaims:
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here! (v16)"
You live in a day and age where you're bombarded with all sorts of claims promising you peace & rest.
On one hand, the world beckons you with all sorts of offers of sweet water and pleasant bread (v17). But this beautiful house is the home of the dead and the guests there are in the depths of Sheol (v18).
On the other hand stands Lady Wisdom, calling your to "leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight (v6).”
The problem is these two women look so similar, especially from a distance. Both are attractive, though each in different ways. How can you know which voice to follow?
To begin with, understand your own limitation. Both women call out to those who lack sense (v4 & 16). This characterization describes all of us. Before you can enter the house of Lady Wisdom, you must first realize you don't have the sense to find her house on your own.
The answer to this predicament comes not at the end of this poem, but right in the middle, which is characteristic of Hebrew poetry:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight (v10).
This fear is simply an acknowledgment of God's omnipotent power, authority and control that transcends all of reality.
God doesn't expect you to figure life out on your own. Rather it's as you submit yourself to Him in an attitude of humility and reverence that He will guide you into Wisdom's insight. It's as you stand before Him as a trembling, sinner fearing His wrath that He multiplies your days and years by redeeming you through Christ's perfect righteousness.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father is the Holy One, who multiplies our days and adds years to our lives (v11).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to kindle an attitude of fear before Him so that He can give you wisdom & insight (v10).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: