Yesterday I was impressed with the differences in outcome (Chapter 7 compared to 8), today I’m impressed with how alike Folly and Wisdom can sound. How’s a guy supposed to know the difference?!
I can just imagine this on a typical Monday morning (direct quotes from Pr. 9):
Wisdom: has sent out her maids, and she calls from the hightest point of the city.
Folly: sits at the door of her house on a seat at the highest point of the city.
Wisdom: “Let all who are simple come in here!” she says to those who lack judgment.
Folly: Let all who are simple come in here!” she says to those who lack judgment.
Wisdom: Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed.
Folly: Stolen water is sweet: food eaten in secret is delicious!
Can you spell “plausible”? Which is right? They sound the same! Both can make complete sense to one looking for truth and guidance.
The key is in verse 10. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. The one who fears and trusts the true and living God has an edge. The LORD can nudge him away from folly and toward wisdom, even when they sound remarkably alike, and frequently they do.
I’ve been taken a time or two, haven’t you? Generally speaking, the times I’m most vulnerable are those times I try to discern or reason through things under my own power rather than lay the matter before the Lord and quietly pray, “Lord, show me … which YOU prefer?” I can illustrate from personal history if that’ll help; there’s room in the comments.
Wisdom and Folly can look alike (I think Folly tries to look like Wisdom) but the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. I hope I never forget that!