“The Woman Folly”

Proverbs 9

“Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing.

She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city,

Calling out to those who pass by who go straight on their way,

‘Let all who are simple come to my house!’

‘Stolen water is sweet, food eaten in secret is delicious! (v.13-17)’”

The first nine chapters of Proverbs sets and prepares us for the teachings of the rest of the book.  Solomon is pleading with his son to seek Lady Wisdom and not Lady Folly.  The difference is obvious at the end of chapter nine.  Lady Folly calls to people from the city gates applauding stolen goods and secret plans.  Yesterday we saw Lady Wisdom at the city gate helping a people like Boaz for Ruth to make decisions that are insightful, knowledgeable, and life giving.  Decisions with her help lead to understanding the fear of God and create long lives.  We might also characterize it as the easy way out is often foolish while the “school of hard knocks” will help us learn the lessons we need to mature.  The momentary pleasure of the adulteress while enjoyable cannot be compared to the hard work of marriage that we pray will end in contentment and support as we learn to live with each others strengths and weaknesses. 

         The athletes competing in the Olympics right now did not get to their level of perfection without a lot of work and effort.  They had talent but they had to develop it and train it.  And they put themselves under good mentors to help them be their better selves.  We may not all be Olympians but we all play a part in the body of Christ, a part in this world, and we all have a gift to develop and share.  Ethel Waters, an African American Entertainer, devout Roman Catholic and iconic vocalist is known for saying, “God don’t make no junk.”  Likewise Lady Wisdom leads to eternal life while Lady Folly leads to death and destruction.

      One way of making decisions is to draw a line down a paper and on one side write the pros and on the other the cons.  Might I suggest the instead of pros, we might write, Wisdom points to…the long term benefits.  Instead of cons, we might write, Folly promises self pleasing and deception but there are hidden costs to the decision.

     Both women call to us at the point of decision, at the cross roads of life.  Let us pray that we will choose wisely.  Joshua who followed Moses in leadership and led the people of Israel into the Promised land died at the age of 110.  In his farewell he challenged the people,

         14 “Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in   faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the your ancestors served in the region beyond the     River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as or me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

May we choose wisely and listen to Lady Wisdom!

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