Reading: Proverbs 9
1 Wisdom 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.”
7 Whoever 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.
10 The 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.
12 If 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.
Proverbs 9 wraps up the first collection of proverbs in the book. It has a definite structure.
vss. 1-6 The House of Wisdom
vss. 7-12 A Taste of the Words of Wisdom
vss. 13-18 The House of Folly
For the final time we are shown the contrast between Lady Wisdom and Lady Folly (the strange woman). Both have their houses. Both are inviting us in. Both are serving up a meal. Both are calling to the simple and “he who lacks sense,” which includes all of us if we are humble enough to see it.
After the invitation of Lady Wisdom, we get a little taste of what she is serving for supper (vss. 7-12). A wise man knows how to take a rebuke and learn from it. A fool will only hate you. A wise man knows how to receive instruction and teaching and learn. Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord (vs. 10). This is a reminder of where we began in Proverbs 1:7. Wisdom lengthens your life. Ultimately, you cannot be wise for someone else. Each person must choose wisdom for himself to be wise (vs. 12).
After the invitation of Lady Folly, we get nothing, for she knows nothing (vs. 13). Her guests get only death. (vs. 18)
As we come to the close of the first major collection in the book of Proverbs, it is important to do what the author has been urging us to do from the beginning. Choose the way of wisdom. What would this mean for you to do today? What are you going to do?