A Proverb a Day… Day 09

Read Proverbs 9 

Have you ever been mistaken for someone else? This happens to me all the time! It’s the weirdest thing! I’ve never met someone who really looks like me, yet people will often think that they have met me before or know me from somewhere. I suppose I just have “one of those faces”.

In this chapter of Proverbs, wisdom and foolishness look eerily similar and I’m sure that some people followed the foolish instruction, thinking that they were doing something wise. Let’s read their pleas again and see how similar the two are:

Lady Wisdom goes to town, stands in a prominent place,
    and invites everyone within sound of her voice:
“Are you confused about life, don’t know what’s going on?
    Come with me, oh come, have dinner with me!
I’ve prepared a wonderful spread—fresh-baked bread,
    roast lamb, carefully selected wines.
Leave your impoverished confusion and live!
    Walk up the street to a life with meaning.”

That sounds pretty good, right? I love bread, especially fresh-baked bread, so I would’ve been over at Lady Wisdom’s house in record time! Her call is wonderful; it’s full of life and hope and meaning. Now, let’s look at the plea foolishness gives:

She sits on the front porch
    of her house on Main Street,
And as people walk by minding
    their own business, calls out,
“Are you confused about life, don’t know what’s going on?
    Steal off with me, I’ll show you a good time!
    No one will ever know—I’ll give you the time of your life.”

The call to foolishness and sin begins the same as the call to wisdom. They both ask if someone is feeling lost and confused. Both claim to be able to solve that problem, but only one of them can truly follow through on their promise.

Wisdom flourishes in the open, sin breeds in secret. 

The biggest difference between the two, I believe, is that one happens out in the open, while the other is hidden. In the story, Lady Wisdom leaves her home and goes to the town square that is open and bustling and full of life. Folly stays at her house, on the front porch, where she can be seen, but just barely. Wisdom asks you to come in for a delicious meal, whereas foolishness is asking for you to steal away, without disclosing exactly what will be shared. Wisdom tells you what you can expect, but folly doesn’t want to tell you until it’s too late.

There are times when sin and folly look like wisdom, but upon second glance or after a closer inspection, it becomes clear that everything isn’t as it seems. We have the capability to spot the difference and not be led astray by sin and folly, as enticing as they can be. More than that, we can help lead others to the warm, welcoming, and inviting house of wisdom where they can find peace and clarity in the midst of a chaotic and confusing world. What an amazing privilege!

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