09 May A Proverbs A Day // Proverbs 9
The 9th // Proverbs 9
Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.” –Proverbs 9:6
Today is the first day of my 29th year. I have experienced 28 Christmases, 28 4th of July’s, 28 Thanksgiving tables, 28 Easter brunches… I’ve dressed up for 28 Halloweens and I’ve blown out the candles on 28 birthday cakes [well, 27 considering I’ll be eating my birthday cake this evening.]
28 is an interesting age. I’ve actually had a weird reaction to this birthday and I typically LOVE birthdays… I think it’s because 28 marks a big change for many. You’re no longer in your early twenties [and thank God for that!], but you’re not 30… It’s time to be a grown up now… even though, for me, I had to grow up a little quicker getting married at 23 to a man 10 years older than me, this birthday makes me feel like more of an adult now than ever.
Somewhere around 25, I had a realization that I could choose to be the person I wanted to be… I made lifestyle changes and became rather choosey with my friend selection. I focused on growing in my relationships, namely my marriage, and poured into my job as an educator. By my 27th birthday I had given birth to my first child and launched this blog. And now, here I am a year later, so grateful for the person I chose to become and, through the grace of God, have realized.
And today, on my 28th birthday, I feel that very same stirring in my heart again! God is working in me and, through this study, showing me that I’m still a work in progress…
Reading chapter 9, I picture two women. They live in the same neighborhood in similar homes, just across the street from each other. They both sit on their front porches and smile at you as you walk by… The woman on the left’s home is beautiful… a group of happy people sit down for a dinner party inside. The woman on the right’s house is lavish and there’s a line to get in the door for her party… the music is pumping and the dancing is in full swing. As I walk by, both women call out to me and invite me in… Who’s home do I choose to enter?
In chapter 9, Solomon once again personifies wisdom as a woman, but this time there’s a second woman… folly. He describes their homes and the way they call others in as they go on their ways… both women call out to those who pass with the exact same words,
“Let all who are simple come to my house!” –Proverbs 9:4 & 16
Those who pass by have a choice… who’s house do they want to enter? From the outside, this choice is simple, but Solomon tells us the truth… He tells us what lies behind the doors so that we can choose what is best for us!
The first lady has a dinner party that she has worked to prepare all day. [9:2 & 5] She has sent her servants out for the night, so she is in a place of prosperity. [9:3] Her home is built upon 7 pillars that she has placed there so that nothing can destroy her home. [9:1] The second lady has a, clearly, much more popular party. People are hammering to get in. From the outside this house looks like the place to be, but Solomon warns us of what is inside. Her guests don’t even know that they are partying with the dead! [9:18]
What is the difference between lady wisdom and lady folly? I mean, how am I supposed to know which is which? Their homes are similar, they cry out with the same words and they both draw you in! Solomon gives us a few verses that further demonstrate a key difference between the two:
Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.” –Proverbs 9:9
Pride. That’s it. Pride.
The mocker, the foolish, cannot be told that their ways are wrong. Whoever corrects them will be met with insults, hate and abuse. [9:7-8] But the wise, when you correct a mistake or help them change a habit, will listen and add to their wisdom. [9:9] The foolish believes they know it all, but the wise understands that growing in their knowledge only brings them closer to God [9:10], so they listen, apply it to their lives and in turn, Solomon says they are blessed 9:22].
We get to choose which house we enter. We get to choose which woman we want to become. We get to choose between wisdom and folly. Here I am on my birthday being reminded by my creator that I can choose to be whoever I want to be! Which woman am I? Is she the woman I want to be?
Today, on my birthday, I’m deciding to choose wisdom. I want to be a good friend, a humble person, confident in my capabilities, a loving wife and a servant to others around me. I want to pursue wisdom [pursue God] daily. I want to be the dinner-party-lady, Lady Wisdom, always learning and growing and never assuming I know it all.
Whose house are you going to enter?