Proverbial Wisdom – The Woman, Folly

Two Women Want Your Attention: Foolishness As A Woman

Foolishness disguises itself as easy wisdom. Like Wisdom, it can be described as an attractive woman. But unlike Wisdom which attracts because of its elegance, Folly attracts because it looks cheap and easy.

Proverbs Chapter 9

– – –

    These boys had never known their Grandmother. Neither had their father. What memories he had of her were only thanks to his father’s constant reminding of little things she did and said. She was by all reports a lady. Elegant, appropriate, learned and especially wise. His own late father had used her as the model of poise and wisdom. He described her as the most beautiful woman and told his son that one day he would find a woman just as beautiful. He had. But his father had talked with some deep pain and regret that he had not always regarded wisdom as the most beautiful of women. Now a father himself he had become exposed to all the temptations that a man, and especially a high-profile, successful man. Men of struggle have their own challenges, but wealthy men have more so. Woe betide successful men who also have to bear the burden of good looks, for they in particular are subject to temptations that are highly susceptible to give in to. He knew his sons would be thus burdened. But if he could help his sons to regard women with respect – to see them as his mother or sisters, then they would greatly diminish their vulnerability. They needed to view wisdom as he had come to regard to the mother he never really knew-

      “Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table. She has sent out her young women to call from the highest places in the town, “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” To him who lacks sense she says, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.” “

    His time was nearly up. Every father knows that when his children reach a certain stage of life they no longer listen to the father in the same way they did when they were young. They begin to learn on their own. There was only one more warning he wished to give them. But before he could he needed to establish in their souls an openness to learn from the wise.

      “Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it.”

    Hopefully he had done enough.

      “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”(Prov. 22:6)

    But sons, there are many deceivers in this world. They are very difficult to recognise. They sound wise, but they are deceived by a Mistress called Folly.

      “Claiming to be wise, they became fools”(Rom. 1:22)

    These deceivers mock genuine wisdom. They scoff at prudence. They laugh at restraint. But one day they will realise they have believed a lie. They have been deceived by a devilish woman known as Folly.

      “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 Sheol.”

    They would soon live their own lives. He had done everything he could to prepare them for the world. He had introduced them to the road that leads to wisdom. He was confident they would chose it. Along this road he had left messages for them. He would continually encourage them for the rest of his life to keep trekking the wise road toward wisdom.

– – –
The introduction to the Book of Proverbs is now complete. The next 14 chapters are the collected sayings of Solomon which were largely transmitted to him by his father. The Apostle Paul, just like a loving father, wrote to those he thought of as his children and similarly encouraged them to avoid Folly – even though it claimed to be Real Wisdom – and seek Real Wisdom – even though the world called it Folly (First Corinthians 1-3). Jesus Christ, The Wisdom of God (1Cor. 1:24) claimed that the wise only build their house upon Him and His teaching (Matt. 7:24). If you are seeking to live wisely, you must give your life to Jesus Christ and allow Him to correct you.


About Dr Andrew Corbett

Pastor, Teacher, Theologian, Writer, Speaker, Coach.
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