June 9, 2021 – Proverbs 9
This proverb contrasts the difference between wisdom and folly (or foolishness), both personified as women. As we begin reading about wisdom, she is well prepared and very invitational. The invite is to “Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment” (verse 7). As we read this, we begin to wonder, “How does one gain this kind of wisdom and how do we accept the invitation?” The answer comes in verse 10, “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.”
And after this is where we meet folly. She’s the opposite of wisdom and obviously does not understand what ‘fear of the Lord’ or ‘knowledge of the Holy One’ is. Folly is personified as ignorant, sitting above everything else, intervening in the lives of others, and ultimately, she leads to death.
Proverbs are memorable observations that contain general truths. They were written so that people could remember them to help guide their daily decision-making. They might seem odd to us today; wisdom literature doesn’t really exist in our world anymore. But, as you read, enjoy the personification, the detail, and the smoothness and rhythm of the words. Maybe you’ll remember some nuggets of biblical wisdom!
Questions for reflection:
- Read through this proverb two or three times. Is there a word or phrase that continues to stick out to you? Pray about it. What do you think God might be trying to highlight for you today?
- Reflect on verse 10. What does it look like in your life to have ‘fear of the Lord’ and ‘knowledge of the Holy One?’