Saturday, May 1, 2010

Wisdom V. Folly

1Wisdom has built her house...
3She has sent out her young women to call
from the highest places in the town,
4 "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!"

13 The woman Folly is loud...
she takes a seat on the highest places of the town,
15calling to those who pass by,
who are going straight on their way,
16 "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!"

On reading Proverbs chapter 9 I'm struck by the similarities between Wisdom and Folly, specifically in how they present themselves and where. Both in the high places, both with the same call, to a population aware of its ignorance and its desire to know. Which is really what this world is full of, the missional call being one that directs them towards Wisdom. (job 28:28) Anyway, my main point is the difference which needs to be made distinct. I think there is a parallel here in my life (surely in the life of all Christians) and that is the drive towards a heart of peace. That peace is found in Christ. However, we are constantly bombarded with sinful urges and desires, that trick us under the guise of givers of peace. They mock the grace that could be ours, and lie to us, saying: "if only I [insert sin] I will feel at rest and fulfilled." But the difference lies in do we know where this thought originates/is coming from? Is it rooted in truth? Is it backed by the Word? Can this spirit line up with the Gospel (1 John 4)? Because if it doesn't, surely it is Folly in the guise of Wisdom.

They even offer the same things. Sort of.

And to him who lacks sense she says,
5"Come, eat of my bread
and drink of the wine I have mixed.
6Leave your simple ways, and live,
and walk in the way of insight."

And to him who lacks sense she says,
"Stolen water is sweet,
and bread eaten in secret is pleasant."
18But he does not know that the dead are there,
that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

Bread and water/wine. I will not even begin to touch on the connection these have in the New Testament, but needless to say, they represent life. There is also no little matter that they are presented in parallel forms, starting with the same phrasing again. This was not just for the beauty of conformity, but I think to draw to attention that they are very similar. There are distinctions that need to be made. This leads to: do you know where this will lead you? Ultimately, how will you feel afterwards? When confronted with the desire to sin, (and always they are sins I am familiar with) I think: "I know now I desire, but afterwards? How empty I always feel." It is death. That emptiness is the death of Sheol. The Bible as roadmap as the Psalmist said (119) is very serious. Because it truly tells you where you will end up if you pursue these things. Wisdom will lead to insight and life. Folly to the shame of secrecy and the depths of death.

Now test all things against the Word, where these urges come from, and where you know they will lead.