June 28, 2020, Proverbs 9 – ISSL Reflections

For our final week in Proverbs for now, we will turn to chapter 9.

It appears to me we are presented with two speakers in this chapter – Wisdom and Folly. And both offer us the same invitation –

“You who are simple, turn in here!”
And to those without sense she says …”

Since both offer the same invitation, what are we to do? Whose house do we enter?

Well, when we call one, Wisdom, and the other, Folly, it seems very easy to know which way to turn, which door to open. But the decisions that come our way each day are not always as clearly named for the “simple” or the “naive.”

Since we probably don’t want to be known as simple or naive, it falls to us to pay attention to what the Proverbist is offering us.

So read the passage paying attention to the competing voices, to what each offers, and to where the road each offers takes you.


Proverbs 9
                           (vv 1 - 6)
Wisdom has built her house,
     she has hewn her seven pillars.
She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine,
     she has also set her table.
She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls
     from the highest places in the town,
“You that are simple, turn in here!”
     To those without sense she says,
“Come, eat of my bread
     and drink of the wine I have mixed.
Lay aside immaturity, and live,
     and walk in the way of insight.”
                          (vv 7 -12)
Whoever corrects a scoffer wins abuse;
     whoever rebukes the wicked gets hurt.
A scoffer who is rebuked will only hate you;
     the wise, when rebuked, will love you.
Give instruction to the wise, and they will become wiser still;
     teach the righteous and they will gain in learning.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
     and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
For by me your days will be multiplied,
     and years will be added to your life.
If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;
     if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
                          (vv 13 - 18)
The foolish woman is loud;
     she is ignorant and knows nothing.
She sits at the door of her house,
     on a seat at the high places of the town,
calling to those who pass by,
     who are going straight on their way,
“You who are simple, turn in here!”
     And to those without sense she says,
“Stolen water is sweet,
     and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
But they do not know that the dead are there,
     that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

What do you learn of Wisdom in verses 1 – 6? What do you learn of Folly in verses 13 -18?

What do you make of how Wisdom prepares her house before she invites you in? How does Folly prepare to receive guests?

What does Wisdom offer at the dining table? What does Folly offer?

Give some thought to the two invitations, and we’ll get back together later and see which we want to accept.

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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