Wisdom’s Appeal

Posted: September 27, 2012 in Proverbs

Proverbs 8-9, “Wisdom’s Appeal”

We get appeals all the time.  Someone is almost always trying to influence us for good or bad – be it the constant political advertisements, business commercials, even preachers giving Bible studies are presenting some sort of appeal in order that we might pay attention and consider what is being said.

In Proverbs 8-9, the wisdom of God is making her own appeal.  Chapter 7 showed the harlot of Lady Folly who enticed a young man to sin.  The young man was already looking for trouble, and he found it in her!  In response, Wisdom cries out to us – appealing to any who would hear to follow her ways, and thus in the ways of God.

The call goes out to all the world, and thus the only real question is: how will we respond to this particular appeal?  We’re given the choice between wisdom & folly.  One leads to life & the other to death.  The choice ought to be easy, but unfortunately many choose wrongly.

Proverbs 8
1 Does not wisdom cry out, And understanding lift up her voice? 2 She takes her stand on the top of the high hill, Beside the way, where the paths meet. 3 She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city, At the entrance of the doors:

  • Solomon pictures the open call of Lady Wisdom.  She stands at the gate of the city (the place of business, and where the elders would sit), and calls out to all who would hear.  She invites the whole city to respond to her.
  • The idea is highly figurative, symbolizing how God wants people to respond to His word, and how it is available to everyone.  It’s symbolic language, but a literal principle. Some people have a tough time with the idea of symbolic language in the Bible. They say, "Always interpret the Bible literally!"  The better idea is to always interpret the Bible accurately.  Where the Bible uses literal language, interpret it with literal meaning.  When the Bible uses symbolism, then in responsible interpretation, we recognize the language for what it is, in order to interpret it accurately.  Symbolic language, properly interpreted, will express a literal principle or reality – and that’s what we’re supposed to look for.  That’s not to say to we should rush to symbolic interpretation (there are many people who would ignore blatant literal language simply because it doesn’t fit their preferred theology), but we need to be willing and ready to recognize it where it exists. 
  • Lady Wisdom is one such case.  There is obviously not a 4th person of the Trinity here named “wisdom,” nor does this in any way picture an angel.  Certainly Wisdom is portrayed as perfect, so it must come from God, but this doesn’t actually seem to BE God here, in that Wisdom beckons & calls; she doesn’t command.  In addition, Wisdom is pictured as a wonderful lady, whereas God always expresses Himself as the Father (and other male language).  What’s going on here is a technique called “personification,” where a characteristic of God is pictured as a type of a person, with its own voice and life.  If we see a cartoon of a rock walking around, the rock has been “personified” – likewise here with the wisdom of God.  This is an aspect of God, but it is not the fullness of God; simply one part of His perfect character.
  • What does Lady Wisdom do?  She cries out to the whole city to respond to her – that the people would listen to her voice and take her instruction to heart and live.  No one is left out of the invitation.  Likewise with the call of God in salvation.  The gospel has gone out to all the world, and everyone has been beckoned to respond to Jesus.  No one is excluded from the opportunity to repent and place their faith in Christ, though no one is forced to do so.  Jesus calls, and we are the ones to respond to His wise and loving gospel call.

4 “To you, O men, I call, And my voice is to the sons of men. 5 O you simple ones, understand prudence, And you fools, be of an understanding heart.

  • Wisdom cries out from the gates, so the invitation is to everyone.  At the same time, she still calls to specific people: the “simple ones [&] fools.”  Obviously those who are already wise are not to forsake wisdom, but those without wisdom are to especially pay attention.  There is no reason the fool needs to remain foolish.  He could receive the wisdom of God and become wise.
  • No one needs to remain as they are, when they are without Jesus Christ.  Those who are sinning need not sin any more.  Those who are lost can be found – those who are sin-sick can receive healing – those who are hopeless can receive hope.  There is a change that comes when we encounter Jesus as Lord, because when we meet Him, the encounter is always supernatural.  We receive a new birth – we receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit – we become a new creation – everything is new!  People often think, “I’ll come back to Jesus when I get my life right again.”  Turning to Jesus IS the first step to getting your life “right.”  Repent, trust Christ, and let Him do His work within your life & see what He will do.  Just as it is a sick person who needs the treatment of a doctor, Jesus did not come to call the righteous, but the sinner to repentance. (Mt 9:12-13)

6 Listen, for I will speak of excellent things, And from the opening of my lips will come right things; 7 For my mouth will speak truth; Wickedness is an abomination to my lips. 8 All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; Nothing crooked or perverse is in them.

  • God’s wisdom is excellent.  Other translations say “noble,” which might give a broader picture.  The things that God teaches are honorable things, and bring honor to those who apply them.
  • God’s wisdom is right.  It is even – straight & set in the right way.  The man or woman who abides by the wisdom of God will walk soundly with Jesus, not getting off the path into sin.
  • God’s wisdom is true. It’s stable and sure.  Just as we might say a chair is true if we think it will hold our weight, so is the word of God true.  You can build your life upon it!
  • God’s wisdom is pure.  Nothing wicked is found in the word of God – “wickedness is an abomination” to Him.  Remember that an abomination is something that is disgusting & abhorrent.  Wickedness will never be found on the lips of God because it is disgusting to Him.  It’s antithetical to everything God IS.  God is righteous & holy – He is the very definition of righteousness, thus there is nothing in God’s wisdom that can ever be wicked.  The wisdom of God takes us in the opposite direction of wickedness.

9 They are all plain to him who understands, And right to those who find knowledge.

  • God’s wisdom is understandable.  To be sure, there are mysteries regarding the wonderful things of God.  His love and mercies are everlasting – His holiness is infinite – His counsels are beyond our capability to comprehend.  Yet when it comes to what God wants to communicate to us through His wisdom & word, it is “plain” – it’s understandable.  God does not desire to hide His wisdom from His people; He makes it straightforwardly simple to us.  If you lack wisdom, ask God & He’ll give it to you – and He’ll give it to you in such a way that you can actually use it.
    • Think of it in terms of the gospel.  Who can understand the gospel?  Anyone!  The same Jesus is presented in the university and in the preschool & anyone is able to respond to the same message and receive the same salvation.
  • Note to whom it is understandable: “to him who understands… to those who find knowledge.”  It’s not just that a 5 year old can understand the gospel as easily as a 50 year old; it’s that the word and wisdom of God is plainly understood by those who follow Christ.  After all, the wisdom of God is foolishness to those who are perishing (1 Cor 1:18).  To those who reject God, they will naturally reject His wisdom.  Solomon (and Lady Wisdom) will have more to say about that later.

10 Receive my instruction, and not silver, And knowledge rather than choice gold; 11 For wisdom is better than rubies, And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.

  • Wisdom is valuable!  We’ve seen this idea before in Proverbs, and Solomon revisits it here from the words & perspective of Lady Wisdom.  What the wisdom of God offers is far better than money and material possessions, in that Godly instruction stays with us all our life.  It makes all other things possible.  Solomon asked first for wisdom, when he could have asked for gold – and God not only granted him the wisdom he asked for; God granted him everything he did not ask for.
  • That’s not to say that God will make us financially rich if we seek His wisdom.  Nor does it mean that someone who forsakes the wisdom of God won’t find riches (there are many rich pagans!).  It simply means that those who seek the wisdom of God have the right priority.  They understand what it is that is most important.  After all, what good is it to a man to gain the whole world & yet still lose his soul? (Mt 16:26)
  • What can compare with the wisdom of the word of God?  Not a thing!  Not silver, gold, nor rubies – not the most precious items this world can offer.  And yet so many people sell themselves short.  Instead of seeking the wisdom of God, they go deeper in debt to get the latest iPhone.  Instead of applying the wisdom of God given in the Scriptures, they seek their satisfaction in imaginary relationships through pictures, or seek revenge in public places.  They get a temporary “fix” for whatever ails them, but they miss out on everything God offers them.  God offers so much more through Jesus Christ!  Don’t miss out!

12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And find out knowledge and discretion. 13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.

  • True wisdom brings improvement into all areas of life.  Wisdom not only has the skill & know-how implied by her name, but she also has prudence, knowledge, and discretion.  Although there are slight differences between all these things, they are basically synonyms from one other.  The idea here is that the wisdom of God gives us all that is good.  We know what to do, when to do it, as well as what to avoid and the best ways of going about these things.  God’s wisdom fully equips us to make sound judgments about the trials and challenges in our lives. … Regarding the word of God, this is exactly what the New Testament promises to do.  2 Timothy 3:16–17, "(16) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (17) that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." []  Which good works does God’s word equip us for?  Every good work!  Want to know what God wants in His relationship with you?  Look to the Bible.  Want to know how God wants us to act as parents, children, employees, spouses, and singles?  Read the Scripture.  Are you lost in how to respond to a certain person who has brought conflict?  Read the word of God…learn the wisdom of God!  Putting what He says into practice will guide you into all wisdom, prudence, knowledge, and discretion.
  • Notice that if we’re walking in the wisdom of God, we’re naturally going to be turning away from the things of the world. “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil…”  The person who loves his/her sin has a tough time saying he/she fears the Lord.  Certainly the fear of the Lord is not evident in that person’s life.
    • Contextually, how is this evil evidenced?  Pride.  Pride is just as sinful to God as impurity.  It’s just as wicked as evil intents are.  Pride and arrogance are the sins that took down the devil – the sins that took down Adam & Eve – the sin that caused Moses to stumble, etc.  We’re fooling ourselves if we think it will not cause our downfall as well.  Beware a proud heart!  Beware the thoughts that say, “I’m so glad I’m not like that person…  How dare that person not agree with ME?!  Of course I know what’s best…”  Those are perverse (crooked) thoughts that the Lord hates.

14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength. 15 By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice. 16 By me princes rule, and nobles, All the judges of the earth.

  • Righteous kings rule with righteous wisdom.  Obviously not all rulers use the wisdom of God as their standard (though it would be wonderful if they did!).  But when government officials DO follow the wisdom of God, it’s glorifying to the Lord.  Keep in mind that Solomon is the author here, and the context of “kings” is the royal lineage of Israel.  If anyone was expected to rule according to the wisdom of God, the house of David was!  When the kings who sat in Jerusalem did this, the people flourished – when they didn’t, the people experienced apostasy and a downfall.
  • Thankfully, we look forward to a day when the Ruler over the earth will rule exactly according to the wisdom of God!  King Jesus IS God, and absolutely exercises right judgment.  Today He reigns from heaven, but one day He will rule from the earth, embodying the very standard of what all other kings should have done.

17 I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me.

  • God’s wisdom can be found by anyone!  What a promise from the word of God!  If you ask for the wisdom of God, God WILL give it.  In fact, the Bible tells us that God will give it liberally & without reproach (Jas 1:5).  Don’t hesitate to ask God for wisdom.  And then when He supplies it, use it!

18 Riches and honor are with me, Enduring riches and righteousness. 19 My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold, And my revenue than choice silver. 20 I traverse the way of righteousness, In the midst of the paths of justice, 21 That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, That I may fill their treasuries.

  • Again, the wisdom of God has immense value.  When we follow the wisdom of God, we’re given so much more than what the rest of the world could ever offer us: eternal life through the gospel of Jesus Christ!
  • Beyond spiritual riches, there is also simple practical blessing that comes to those who follow the wisdom of God.  Whatever the sacrifice, it’s worth it to follow the word and calling of God.

22 “The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old. 23 I have been established from everlasting, From the beginning, before there was ever an earth. 24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, When there were no fountains abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills, I was brought forth; 26 While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, Or the primal dust of the world.

  • How long has God had wisdom?  Forever!  Wisdom originated in God, and thus existed long before the world ever came into being.  The wisdom and the word of God precedes the created world because it’s part of God’s character.

27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there, When He drew a circle on the face of the deep, 28 When He established the clouds above, When He strengthened the fountains of the deep, 29 When He assigned to the sea its limit, So that the waters would not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth, 30 Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him, 31 Rejoicing in His inhabited world, And my delight was with the sons of men.

  • God created the world through wisdom – goes back to Ch 3.  Proverbs 3:19–20, "(19) The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens; (20) By His knowledge the depths were broken up, And clouds drop down the dew." []
  • Because of the way this is phrased, many have wondered if wisdom (as pictured here) isn’t simply another way of picturing the pre-incarnate Jesus.  After all, Jesus is begotten of God the Father (though never created), and the Father created the world through the Son.  Nothing that is in the world was made without Jesus.  John 1:1–3, "(1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) He was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." []  With all that in mind, it would seem that although Jesus possesses all wisdom and (as God) is the originator of wisdom, the picture of wisdom here is not a picture of Jesus.  Certainly there’s much here that seems to point to the relationship between God the Father and God the Son, but at the same time there seems to be a difference.  Wisdom is treated as a work of God, rather than as an equal with God.  Wisdom is different from the rest of creation (in that it precedes it), but it seems to be more of a tool in God’s hand used in creation, rather than the Creator Himself.  That said – there are a variety of viewpoints here, and many solid Bible teachers believe that this indeed a reference to Jesus.
  • Why would God refer to wisdom in this way through Solomon?  (1) God is creative.  Just as we might write a story in a creative way, so God is teaching about His wisdom creatively.  (2) It certainly does introduce the Hebrew mind to a greater aspect of God than what the Hebrew may have originally thought.  There is more to this one-unified-God that meets the eye, and it helps lay the groundwork to talking about the co-eternal Son of God who has perfect fellowship with God the Father within the One unified Godhead.

32 “Now therefore, listen to me, my children, For blessed are those who keep my ways. 33 Hear instruction and be wise, And do not disdain it.

  • Lady Wisdom moves to a personal appeal.  First she cried out from the gates – then she spoke about her nature and her origin – now she turns back to an invitation to those who will listen.  She was used by God in the creation of the world…surely this is someone who is qualified to teach other people about the ways of God.
  • It’s always interesting to see how differently people treat the word of God.  To some, it’s a nice paperweight by the bed – to others, it’s a book full of nice advice, some to be taken, and some to be ignored – and of course others recognize it for what it is: the word of God to mankind.  The word of God is not to be ignored or passed over…what God has to say is too important!  After all, who is better qualified to speak to us regarding the issues of life, other than the One who gave us life?  Be wise – don’t disdain the wisdom and word of God!  Pay careful attention to it, and heed its commands.

34 Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors. 35 For whoever finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the LORD; 36 But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; All those who hate me love death.”

  • Ever watch intently for someone’s arrival?  Kids stay up late Christmas Eve waiting for Santa Clause.  Adults stay waiting by the door for the UPS or FedEx driver.  We watch intently for those we think are bringing us something we want or need.  That’s the same sort of intent we’re to have when we come to the word of God.  We come expectantly every day to see what the Holy Spirit has to say in our hearts through the Scripture.  We “wait at the doors,” eager to hear and understand the wisdom of God.
  • When we do find that wisdom, we’re blessed!  God’s wisdom brings life and grace.
  • Yet what happens when we pass over or disdain the wisdom of God’s word?  We only harm ourselves.

Proverbs 9
1 Wisdom has built her house, She has hewn out her seven pillars; 2 She has slaughtered her meat, She has mixed her wine, She has also furnished her table. 3 She has sent out her maidens, She cries out from the highest places of the city, 4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”

  • Can you picture it?  Lady Wisdom has prepared her own household.  She’s gone to lengths to prepare a meal in a glorious house, and now cries out her invitation waiting to bless those who might respond.  “Come in, come in!  Come partake of what the wisdom of God has prepared for you!”  Those who respond would come into a lavish meal and be fed with the daily bread of the word of God, finding God meeting their every need.
  • The invitation of God is good!  So many people hear the call to turn to Jesus, and they run the other direction.  They don’t want to give up their sin, and they think that what Jesus offers them won’t be nearly as good as what they currently enjoy.  How sad & false!  To be sure, Jesus calls people away from their sin, but what He offers them is so much better than anything else in the world.  He offers life!  He offers peace!  He offers grace!  He offers abundance!  When we come to the table of God in fellowship with Jesus Christ, we come to a place of blessing, rest, and life.  John 7:37–38, "(37) On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. (38) He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”" []  Anyone can come & anyone can experience the blessings of the living water (the Holy Spirit) to which Jesus referred!

…As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, 5 “Come, eat of my bread And drink of the wine I have mixed. 6 Forsake foolishness and live, And go in the way of understanding.

  • Here’s the invitation from Wisdom: “Come in & eat – come in & drink.  Come partake of what I have prepared for you & be blessed!”
  • What happens when someone responds to the invitation?  They “forsake foolishness and live.”  Think of it as a road: you’re either going one direction, or you’re going the other.  When you respond to and obey the word of God, you’re following after righteousness & understanding.  When you deny they word of God, you’re following after foolishness.  God doesn’t want us to follow foolishness – it only leads to death.  The wisdom found in His word leads to life & that is His desire for us.

7 “He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. 8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

  • God invites all to respond to His wisdom, but not all do.  Some choose to stay on the road to foolishness.  How can we determine who has responded & who hasn’t?  One way is by looking at how they respond to Godly rebuke.  Those who know Christ and intently seek His wisdom and word will respond to His voice.  Perhaps they’ve gotten caught up in some sins from their past, and a godly friend comes alongside them & shares the truth.  It may be shocking at first, but the person truly submitted to Christ will respond in repentance.  It’s a joyful thing to receive a godly rebuke from a friend, because it saves us from certain harm.  Yet for someone who is continuing in rebellion against the Lord, that person doesn’t WANT to hear from God, and godly rebuke will be rebuffed.  The loving friend who attempts to bring it will be rejected & perhaps even suffer harm.  The way someone responds to godly counsel says much about their own relationship with the Lord.
  • It’s easy to think of someone else at this point, but let’s think about ourselves.  How do you receive rebuke?  How did you respond the last time a loving friend tried to bring you godly correction?  Did you respond in humility, or did you throw it back in that person’s face?  May God give us a heart to receive wisdom!  We don’t want to be those to rebel against the discipline and the wisdom of God; we want to be those who receive it.
  • And what’s the principle regarding those who respond well?  “He will be wiser…he will increase in learning.”  The wise become wiser.  Those who seek after Christ will grow in their relationship with Christ.  This is something of which we can never get enough!  Too many Christians are content to stay in a place of immaturity.  They love claiming the promises of salvation, but they don’t want to grow in their character.  After all, it’s easy to stay in a place of “I’m right & everyone else is wrong!  I’m already saved, so how can you question me on this?”  That goes directly back to the issue in Ch. 8 of pride…something which God hates.  This isn’t something in which Christians should engage.  We ought to want to continue to grow & mature.  Yes, we’re saved by faith, but we also grow in our faith.  2 Peter 1:5–7, "(5) But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, (6) to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, (7) to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love." []  Grow!  Gain more of the wisdom of God!  Seek the face of Christ, and seek to be conformed more & more to His loving character.

10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

  • If we want to grow in wisdom, where does it begin?  With the “fear of the LORD.”  This is basically how Solomon began the book (“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,” Ch 1:7), and Lady Wisdom reiterates it here.  We cannot know godly wisdom without knowing God.  We cannot grow in our knowledge of God if we do not recognize who He is in the first place.  We cannot even respond to the gospel if we’re not willing to recognize God as God.  After all, how can someone put their faith in Christ Jesus as God, if they do not acknowledge God as He is?  A false idea of God cannot save.  If someone believed that Jesus was a son of Zeus, or just “another” son of God like many other sons, then that “Jesus” cannot save them.  That’s not Jesus as He is: the only begotten Son of God.  We need to see God rightly, if we’re going to respond to the gospel of Christ.
    • That’s not to say someone needs to have all kinds of theological I’s dotted & T’s crossed if they’re going to be saved.  No one needs any sort of training prior to responding to the gospel.  But we DO need to know who it is we’re responding to: the one true God of all the universe.
  • It all begins with the fear of the Lord.  (And notice that this is a reference to the personal name of God – the fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom.  Not Baal, Zeus, or any other false god we can come up with.) The person who fears the Lord DOES understand who God is, because this person responds to God rightly.  The person who understands that God is worthy of worship and reverence because He is the all-powerful creator God is the person who is at the point that he/she can receive the wisdom & word of God.
  • What’s the flip side?  If someone does NOT humble themselves before the Lord in reverent fear, then there is nothing of God’s wisdom that he/she can receive.  Those who continually reject the Lord will naturally reject the wisdom that He offers.  Even when the commands of God are put to them simply, they reject it.  Why?  They don’t fear the Lord, thus they cannot receive of the things of God…it’s foolishness to them. (1 Cor 1:18)

11 For by me your days will be multiplied, And years of life will be added to you. 12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, And if you scoff, you will bear it alone.”

  • Again – finding and applying the wisdom of God brings a blessing.  Life is added, and the wise person is individually edified (“you are wise for yourself”).  To reject this kind of grace from the Lord in order to embrace foolishness is foolish itself!

13 A foolish woman is clamorous; She is simple, and knows nothing. 14 For she sits at the door of her house, On a seat by the highest places of the city, 15 To call to those who pass by, Who go straight on their way: 16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here”;

  • Lady Folly contrasts with Lady Wisdom.  Wisdom had prepared her house & table, inviting all to come, partake, and be blessed.  Lady Folly also invites people to come, but she has nothing to offer.  Her house is not set in order, nor is she capable to teach anything of value.  Yet she still invites people to come (using the exact same words as Lady Wisdom)…and people do.
  • How many examples we have in the world that offer the same things as the Lord Jesus, yet in a corrupted, empty way!  Jesus promises forgiveness; booze promises forgetfulness (for a time).  Jesus offers true peace; religion & philosophy offers platitudes.  Jesus offers abundant life and joy; illicit sex & hedonism promise happy excitement right here & right now.  The world calls out, just as Jesus does.  The invitations sound so similar, but the end results are vastly different!

…And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, 17 “Stolen water is sweet, And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” 18 But he does not know that the dead are there, That her guests are in the depths of hell.

  • The difference between Ladies Wisdom & Folly is seen in what they each offer.  Wisdom invited people to forsake foolishness & come to the table featuring what she had prepared.  Folly invites people to continue in foolishness and eat what she has stolen.  “Stolen water” might be a reference to sexual adultery (Ch 5:15), but at the very least it’s a reference to that which is forbidden & illicitly gained.  Instead of partaking of things that can be done in public (like what Wisdom offered), this has to be done in secret – in a vain attempt to hide our sin.
  • Wisdom offers that which leads to life; Folly offers that which leads to death.  Sin is deceptive!  It always kills.  Spiritually, the wages of sin is death.  Even in our day-to-day lives, sin brings death to relationships between people, and death in our relationship to God.  Even in reference to a born-again Christian, the Christian who engages in sin is putting on the death of the past – walking around in corpse clothing.  Sin always brings harm & is always to be avoided.  Fortunately, it CAN be avoided.  Folly may call to sin, but Wisdom still calls us to follow after God.

Conclusion:
So what is your response?  The call of Wisdom has gone out – God has invited us to follow Him and His ways.  It begins with the righteous fear of the Lord, and God’s wisdom and word transforms every aspect of our lives.  The question is: will we follow?

The problem is that too many people (even Christians) don’t follow God’s wisdom.  We’re content to listen to the word of God and agree with it, but we stop short of actually applying it.  Ch 8:32 told us, “Now therefore, listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways.”  Listening is certainly important, but so is obedience.  Too many Christians (and I’ve been there myself) hear the wisdom of God, nod our heads in agreement, even state a hearty “Amen!” & then go off to do our own thing as if we hadn’t heard a word.

God appeals to us in His wisdom!  Not just to listen, but to follow!  God doesn’t want us to get caught in the traps of sin.  God doesn’t want us to experience the pain that comes from wrong choices.  God’s desire for us is that we would walk with Him, being equipped by Him for every situation we might face.  That’s not something He will ever force upon us, but it is His desire for us.

Maybe there’s something in your life in which you know the right thing to do.  You know what God has been telling you.  You’ve seen it in the Bible, and godly friends have given you proper counsel about it.  Yet to date, you’ve spurned their counsel & just haven’t done anything about it.  Go do it.  If you can, do it tonight – if not, get it done as soon as possible.  Maybe it’s extending forgiveness to someone – maybe it’s seeking forgiveness for something you’ve done.  Maybe it’s taking drastic measures to get rid of the opportunity to sin in a certain way from your life.  Maybe it’s taking someone to coffee & expressing some hard truths in the most loving way possible.  Whatever the case, go do it!  May we be the ones that not only hear the voice of wisdom, but actually go and apply what God has said.

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