“So, my dear friends, listen carefully;
those who embrace these my ways are most blessed.
Mark a life of discipline and live wisely;
don’t squander your precious life.
Blessed the man, blessed the woman, who listens to me,
awake and ready for me each morning,
alert and responsive as I start my day’s work.
When you find me, you find life, real life,
to say nothing of God’s good pleasure.
But if you wrong me, you damage your very soul;
when you reject me, you’re flirting with death.”
Lady Wisdom has built and furnished her home;
it’s supported by seven hewn timbers.
The banquet meal is ready to be served: lamb roasted,
wine poured out, table set with silver and flowers.
Having dismissed her serving maids,
Lady Wisdom goes to town, stands in a prominent place,
and invites everyone within sound of her voice:
“Are you confused about life, don’t know what’s going on?
Come with me, oh come, have dinner with me!
I’ve prepared a wonderful spread—fresh-baked bread,
roast lamb, carefully selected wines.
Leave your impoverished confusion and live!
Walk up the street to a life with meaning.” (MSG)
To live a new life is to embrace wisdom. To be blessed is to graft wisdom into one’s daily life. To go about life with meaning, humility, and confidence are the unmistakable evidences of wisdom’s work within a person. It would be difficult to overstate the great importance of wisdom. Indeed, there is no such thing as too much of it.
The wisdom literature of the Old Testament Proverbs contrasts two approaches to life, personified in the book as Lady Folly and Lady Wisdom. Lady Folly relies on clandestine encounters, secrets, and seduction in promising satisfaction and a happy life. Yet, in the end, imbibing her drink poisons the soul and kills the spirit. Conversely, Lady Wisdom operates openly and in the daylight. She gives a clarion invitation to a genuinely good life and persuades others without manipulation to feast at her banquet. Eating from Lady Wisdom’s table is open to all, both the simple and the sage. She offers a perspective which brings insight and clarity to confusing situations and bewildering circumstances. Lady Wisdom sets up a person for a truly blessed life.
Perhaps an illustration would assist. Today is my youngest daughter’s 25th birthday. When my dear wife was only three months pregnant with her, she went into labor. The result was that, although our little baby girl remained secure in the womb, my wife spent the next 128 days on total bed rest. To put that season of life in the context of Proverbs, there were many days that Lady Folly showed up to offer the easy path of getting out of bed, just taking a short stroll, perhaps getting outside a bit, and enjoying life. To my wife’s great credit, she did not listen. Instead, she liberally ate at Lady Wisdom’s table every morning. Had she gone the route of Lady Folly my daughter would likely not be having a birthday today. Yet, this day my family celebrates life and a baby who has grown to be a blessing to the world.
You see, it is eating and drinking at wisdom’s table which brings enduring patience, proper perspective, needed perseverance, and satisfying provision for life. Impatience, narrow-mindedness, lack of following through, petty squabbling, and ignorance are the sad results of folly’s empty promises for a better life. Foolishness leads to death.
Wisdom is acquired through making daily routine decisions of faith and patience, of putting one foot in front of the other in a slow process over time. In contrast, folly seeks to circumvent time and process and speaks of deliverance and happiness now, right now, without all the fuss and hardship.
So, then, in our current social and economic climate; in our world dominated with the effects of pandemic; in our own personal lives; just what is Lady Folly barking at us about and Lady Wisdom inviting us to?…
Your answer and your response just might be the difference between life and death.
Thank you, Wise God, for being present, available, and inviting me to approach you in my times of need. Thank you for bending your gracious ear to listen and to care. There are times I feel weak, helpless, even afraid. Yet, I cling to the knowledge that God is with me. I know that you are Lord, and I am not; and, I know that you hold all situations in your good strong hands. Therefore, I trust you and I trust the process you have me undergoing to become wise and just. I ask for strength and for wisdom that I would be able to endure and handle everything in a way that will bless both you and the world; through Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit I pray. Amen.
Click The Perfect Wisdom of Our God written by Stuart Townsend and sung by Keith and Kristyn Getty to help inspire us in the way of wisdom.