Invitations of Wisdom and Folly
Wisdom has built her house; she has carved its seven columns. She has prepared a great banquet, mixed the wines, and set the table. She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come. She calls out from the heights overlooking the city. “Come in with me,” she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says, “Come, eat my food, and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment.”
Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. But correct the wise, and they will love you. Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more.
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.
Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.
The woman named Folly is brash. She is ignorant and doesn’t know it. She sits in her doorway on the heights overlooking the city. She calls out to men going by who are minding their own business. “Come in with me,” she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says, “Stolen water is refreshing; food eaten in secret tastes the best!” But little do they know that the dead are there. Her guests are in the depths of the grave.”
Proverbs 9:1-18 NLT
(A Short Story Created by Cecilia Bacon)
My Thoughts: Today we receive invitations for two different parties!
The first invitation’s theme in verses 1-12 is called “The Way of Wisdom” and the host is Lady Wisdom. Lady Wisdom has built her home and filled it with wonderful things that will bless you beyond measure if you choose to attend. In fact the theme of her party is this:
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For by me your days will be multiplied, And years of life will be added to you.” Proverbs 9:10-11 NKJV
(Billy Graham defines the fear of God as this: “The use of ‘fear’ means to have reverence and respect, to hold in awe. The fear of the Lord refers to a proper perspective of God’s power and sovereignty and your complete dependence on Him.”)
Our host, Lady Wisdom, has built her home on the foundation of God, she is serving provisions (wisdom) that will nourish and feed our bodies that are hungry for this food. Her invitation is open and clear and includes an opportunity for you to meet God, have a relationship with Him and become more like Him by gaining wisdom and knowledge, then mirroring that in your own life.
The second invitation’s theme in verses 13-18 is called “The Way of Folly” and the host is Lady Folly. Lady Folly is a prostitute and her home and party are filled with items that are stolen. She appeals to your senses and promises that her party will be fun! Everything looks glamorous, there is loud music and raucous laughter. You can hear it clearly as you pass by. “Come in,” she says, ” what are you afraid of, don’t you want to have fun? Come on, you can hear, everyone is having a blast, just come on in. I promise I have a surprise in store for you at the end. Don’t you love surprises?”
The theme of her party is secretive and focused on the surprise ending of her party. She teases and lures you with the promise of a wonderful surprise.
You stand in the street and look to Lady Wisdom’s party and you see all kinds of people entering into her home. All are embraced and welcomed as they enter through her door, no matter what they look like or what they are wearing, they are encouraged to enter her door which, oddly enough, is kind of narrow. Although the opening isn’t very wide, you can still see the people who are attending her party. Most have a look about them that is peaceful and their faces glow with love. The food looks delicious and the drink looks satisfying.
You look again at Lady Folly’s party and notice her dress is very alluring and her guests are also wearing provocative clothing. You’ve never seen so many people dressed so elegantly entering through her doorway. By contrast her door is a wide opening. It’s so wide you can see the flashing lights, hear the loud music, and you have a clear view of the people who are partying inside. The food is rich and decadent and never have you seen so much wine and spirits. The air is thick with smoke and servants dressed in beautiful clothing pass trays with mind altering drugs. The people are laughing harder, the music is loud, men and women are pressing their bodies against each other. Everyone seems to be having such a great time!
Lady Wisdom’s party doesn’t have as many people in attendance, but it looks like they are having a good time. When you look again you see God is speaking and everyone is gathered around Him listening, completely enraptured. Your heart seems to be telling you to go in, because it will be good, better than you can imagine.
By contrast the party across the street looks fun! A voice in your mind is telling you to pick that one! It will be great, you can do whatever you want, there are no rules or restrictions! Besides, they have a surprise for you and don’t you love surprises?
Both hosts meet you in the street and ask you to make a decision. Lady Wisdom waits patiently for your answer, but she extends her hand and says she is happy to go in with you.
Lady Folly begins to pull on you, telling you to ignore Lady Wisdom, she’s dull and boring, and you must hurry and go in through her wide door, because she is about to close her doors. She reminds you she has a huge surprise at the end of the party and she is about to hand it out right now. “Hurry! Run through the door before it’s too late!” She says with urgency. She taunts you with more dares and points out to you that her party has more people and it is more fun! The people in the party call out to you and tell you to come in, they tell you that everything you could ever want is available.
There are so many people at Lady Folly’s party and so few at Lady Wisdom’s party. You look back and forth, finding it difficult to decide. Lady Folly begins to back away slowly whispering for you to come with her. “It will be like nothing you’ve ever experienced!”
Lady Wisdom says nothing, but continues to hold her hand out to you. Then she smiles and tells you she loves you.
You take one final look through the door of Lady Folly’s party and you make your decision. Turning to Lady Wisdom, you place your hand into her extended hand and go through her narrow door.
Lady Folly and the people at her party curse and belittle you as she closes the wide door to her party.
Then something completely shocking happens! As you take one final look at Lady Folly’s closing doors, words begin to materialize on them as they close tightly. You see what the surprise gift is painted in bold, dripping red letters on her wide door.
Horrified you ask Lady Wisdom, “How? What?”
Lady Wisdom smiles and tells you, “Because you chose wisdom your eyes have been opened and you can clearly see.”
Lady Folly’s surprise gift is this:
“But he does not know that the dead are there, That her guests are in the depths of hell.” Proverbs 9:18 NKJV
“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”
Proverbs 14:12 NKJV
In that moment you know you made the right choice.
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 NKJV
Closing Prayer: Father God, folly is so alluring and it seems this truth is even more loud and alluring than wisdom has even been for man! Father so many choose the widest door, the loudest party and the promises of freedom which we know only bring shame, imprisonment, and eternal death. Open the eyes of the hearts for those I love and lead them to the narrow door, Father, before it is too late. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.