10/08/2010

Are You Wise, or Are You Foolish? (Proverbs 9:1-18)

While preparing this post, I accidentally deleted everything after I had finished typing out all of Proverbs 9 with much research and thought. I felt so foolish and stupid and shocked when everything I had typed suddenly disappeared in a flash! Now I have to do it all over again. Oh, what an exasperation! Someday, I may retrive what I had lost. Now I have to start all over again.


The wise, through prudence, enjoy life to the full; the foolish, through stupidity, plot their own demise. Proverbs 9 concludes the first section of Proverbs (1:8-9:18). It personifies Wisdom (1) and Folly (13) as women inviting us to a feast (5,17). Interestingly, Wisdom and Folly's words of invitation are exactly the same: "'Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!' And to him who lacks sense she says..." (4,16). Proverbs 9:1-18 can be divided into:

1) The feast of wisdom (1-6).
2) Are you wise or wicked? (7-12)
3) The feast of folly (13-18)

9:1-6 "Seven" (1) is symbolic of perfection. Wisdom's invitation to "come, eat...drink" (5; Isaiah 55:1,2) is for us to find joy and satisfaction in life. This invitation finds its ultimate fulfillment in Christ, who said, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty" (John 6:35).

9:7-12 How can you tell the difference between the wicked and the wise? Observe their response to correction and rebuke (7-9). They each respond in the 3 ways. When rebuked, the wicked:
1) insult (7a)
2) abuse (7b)
3) hate (8a).
In contrast, when rebuked, the wise:
1) love (8b)
2) become wiser (9a)
3) increase in learning (9b).

9:10 "The fear of the Lord" (also 1:7) is the foundation, grounding and basis for all of the appeals to wisdom throughout this first section of Proverbs (1:1-9:18). When we have no fear of God, we cannot but become increasingly foolish, especially regarding the ultimate things in life.

9:13-18 The ultimate tragedy of the foolish is that they have no clue and no idea whatsoever of the death and destruction that they are reaping and heaping upon themselves (18). They even think they are so much smarter than the foolish!