Because we finished our walkthrough of the Bible before Christmas break, today we are going to start a new series. This series is going to be on the book of Proverbs, which is a poetry book in the Old Testament. Since Stuart has already done the first two chapters for us, I am going to walk us through chapters 3-9. As you might remember Proverbs is the recordings of Solomon, one of the wisest of all kings, passing his God-given wisdom to his son. The book of Proverbs is God trying to give you wisdom to be able to spare you from the heartache that foolishness brings, so that you will be able to get the maximum amount of joy out of your life.
I believe that everyone has this in common: that they want to be happy. They do not all agree on what brings the greatest happiness, but they do all long to have it. And this longing is not bad. It is good. Evil consists in trying to find happiness in ways that displease and dishonor God. However, true joy, consists in finding happiness in ways that please and honor God. We can conceive of a world in which we might be called upon to do right at the expense of our ultimate happiness. But that is not the world in which we live. God has established this world in such a way that doing good through faith in Christ always leads to greater happiness eventually. We do not live in a world where we must choose between our eternal happiness and God’s glory! God has created this world and its moral laws in such a way that the more we choose to glorify God, the happier we will be.
In these passages that we are studying today the overall theme is will you follow Lady Wisdom or Madame Folly? It is important to point out the differences between wisdom and folly. For example, it has nothing to do with intelligence. A person can be extremely smart in the classroom, but still be a fool. Example would be computer hackers. You can be smart and know how to do all kinds of things with computers, but if you use it for evil than you are a fool. Another example would be Evolutionist.
You can obtain all of the highest degrees from the top universities, but if you cannot not see that this world was created and that there is something special about humans, then you are a fool. Therefore, since wisdom has nothing to do with intelligence, likewise, being a fool does not mean silly or ridiculous, but acting as one who rejects God or God’s revealed will. It is better defined as one that has no hope. Because the rejection of wisdom means the rejection of God, which means their future will be in Hell where there is no hope.
Lady Wisdom and Madame Folly are compared best in chapter 4 verses 18 and 19:
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know over what they stumble.
Lady Wisdom is further described in verses:
(Proverbs 3:13-18 ESV)
Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called blessed.
(Proverbs 4:5-9 ESV)
Get wisdom; get insight;
do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
love her, and she will guard you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever you get, get insight.
Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
she will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a graceful garland;
she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”
(Proverbs 7:4-5 ESV)
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
and call insight your intimate friend,
to keep you from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words.
However, Madame Folly is described in these verses:
(Proverbs 4:15-17 ESV)
Avoid it; do not go on it;
turn away from it and pass on.
For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
For they eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
(Proverbs 5:3-6 ESV)
For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil,
but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
sharp as a two-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
her steps follow the path to Death;
she does not ponder the path of life;
her ways wander, and she does not know it.
(Proverbs 7:25-27 ESV)
Let not your heart turn aside to her ways;
do not stray into her paths,
for many a victim has she laid low,
and all her slain are a mighty throng.
Her house is the way to Death,
going down to the chambers of death.
(Proverbs 9:13-18 ESV)
The woman Folly is loud;
she is seductive and knows nothing.
She sits at the door of her house;
she takes a seat on the highest places of the town,
calling to those who pass by,
who are going straight on their way,
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
And to him who lacks sense 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 the earth.
So in conclusion, I hope that you see that Lady Wisdom offers deep eternal joy that never fades, whereas, Madame folly only offers short-terms pleasures, but leads to an eternal death where there is no hope. So how can you make sure that you are following lady wisdom?
- Make sure that you have accepted Christ as your Lord, Savior, and Treasure. Because when you become a Christian God gives you the Holy Spirit and He will help you determine what is wisdom and what is folly.
- Study the Word of God. The Bible was given to us not to bind us, but to help set us free from the bondage of sin.
- Make sure you are hearing good preaching that is based on God’s Word, so that you will better understand it.
- Make sure that you are in a small group setting so that you can ask questions about what is wisdom and what is folly.
- Learn from those that are older that you recognize as wise, not only by their actions, but by asking them questions that you have.