She is naive and knows nothing.
She sits at the doorway of her house,
On a seat by the high places of the city,
Calling to those who pass by,
Who are making their paths straight:
"Whoever is naive, let him turn in here,"
And to him who lacks understanding she says,
"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.
- Compare and contrast wisdom and folly using verses 1-6 and verses 13-18?
- Often a person's true character is seen when adversity strikes. How do you deal with adversity? Read Matthew 7: 24-27 and Proverbs 10:25.
I have to admit wanting to do this post before yesterday's! The side-by-side descriptions between verses 1-6 and 13-18 are so much fun to take apart.
Folly is "boisterous" (vs 13), but Wisdom is not quiet. Remember Proverbs 1:20--Wisdom shouts in the streets. 'Boisterous', however, has a different vibe than shouting; it implies rowdiness, clamoring for attention, which is what Folly or Foolishness tries to accomplish.
The strikingly different verse is 17: "Stolen water is sweet; and bread eaten in secret is pleasant." Spoken like Folly, all right! The adulteress is back. Reading this makes me wonder why folks would choose stolen water and secret bread over a specially prepared meal with the prospect of life and understanding. Makes me want to clean out my ears, because I have obviously missed the finer invitation of Wisdom at certain points in my life.
Those who hear the voice of Folly catch the "sweet" and "pleasant," but because they lack wisdom, and they do not realize where they are headed--"the dead are there...in the depths of Sheol." (vs 18)
Our thought question authors ask us to think about how we deal with adversity. The passage we just read doesn't specifically deal with adversity, but if we think about the blessings of wisdom, it certainly would help us to be wise when life's situations challenge us.
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell--and great was its fall."--Matthew 7:24-27
Do you remember what we read about Wisdom's house the other day? Wisdom built her house and carved out its seven pillars (seven, the Biblical number of perfection). Solid foundation? You bet! I'm reminded, too, of the post from the other day in which Wisdom takes a stand at the decision points of our lives--standing firm, not swaying. On the rock! We remain strong when we stay with wisdom.
If we do not hear Wisdom calling, if we do not act upon Wisdom's invitation, then we are left to the ways of Folly, and will be "like a foolish man." Says Proverbs 10:25, which we'll visit in a few short days, "When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more, but the righteous has an everlasting foundation."
Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Questions:
Proverbs 10: 1-11
- Did you realize that God had something to say about laziness? Reread verses 4 and 5.
- What proverb in today's passage spoke to you and why? (This will be a daily question.)
Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation, specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB). I will quote other sources if used in a post.
I also use Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (with notes from the King James Version).