Are you ?I hope not and if you are it doesn’t have to be forever.
We are continuing, on our weekly Wednesday odyssey, having undertaken a search and rescue mission for wisdom. Understanding that enlightenment is within our reach we shall seek and find the knowledge and inspiration necessary to uplift, support and enhance our collective journeys as well as our own personal paths.
We are involved in an extended study of wisdom as taught in the Book of Proverbs. If you’d like to know more about The Passion Translation and why we are using it for this undertaking, you can find a recap near the end of today’s conversation.
When the Bible keeps talking about the same thing over and over, that’s because it is important. That’s why Solomon continues on the themes of loving wisdom and treasuring her.
Along with that we choose to understand that honoring the commandments of God will prevent us from making complete messes of our lives. They are our service, protection and give us life, joy, and everlasting blessings.
These analogies are not about reminding that there are alternatives and that the resources we need to avoid these pitfalls are readily available.
What are those tools?
Wisdom And understanding.
That’s why we continue along this discourse here on our shared path on “Becoming Today”.
In last week’s discussion concerning “Searching Your Caller ID”, we read in the final section of chapter eight, that Lady Wisdom encourages us to realize that she is worth waiting for.
In verses 33 through 36, we are told, “Listen to my counsel, for my instruction will enlighten you. You’ll be wise not to ignore it.
If you wait at wisdom’s doorway, longing to hear a word for every day, joy will break forth within you as you listen for what I’ll say.
For the fountain of life pours into you every time that you find me, and this is the secret of growing in delight and the favor of the Lord.
But those who stumble and miss me will be sorry they did!”
Don’t become one of the sorry. Aren’t there enough sorry people in the world already? Rather embrace the possibilities. Accept wisdom’s guidance and receive the gift of an enlightened and better illuminated journey here along this shared path we call “Becoming Today”.
Now let’s turn the page and prepare for Proverbs 9.
Let’s read together as this chapter begins with:
upon seven pillars to keep it secure.[c]
She has made ready a banquet feast
and the sacrifice has been killed.[d]
She has mingled her wine, and the table’s all set.[e]
She has sent out her maidens,
crying out from the high place,
inviting everyone to come
and eat until they’re full.
“Whoever wants to know me and receive my wisdom,
come and dine at my table and drink of my wine.
Lay aside your simple thoughts and leave your paths behind.
Agree with my ways, live in my truth,
and you will find righteousness.”
If you try to correct an arrogant cynic,
expect an angry insult in return.
And if you try to confront an evil man,
don’t be surprised if all you get is a slap in the face!
So don’t even bother to correct a mocker,
for he’ll only hate you for it.
But go ahead and correct the wise;
they’ll love you even more.[f]
Teach a wise man what is right
and he’ll grow even wiser.
Instruct the lovers of God
and they’ll learn even more.
The starting point for acquiring wisdom
is to be consumed with awe as you worship Yahweh.
To receive the revelation of the Holy One,[g]
you must come to the one who has living-understanding.
Wisdom will extend your life,
making every year more fruitful than the one before.
So it is to your advantage to be wise.
But to ignore the counsel of wisdom
is to invite trouble into your life.[h]
A Spirit Named Foolish
There is a spirit named Foolish,
who is boisterous and brash;
she’s seductive and restless.
And there she sits at the gateway to the high places,
on her throne overlooking the city.
She preaches to all who walk by her
who are clueless as to what is happening:[i]
“Come home with me.”
She invites those who are easily led astray, saying,
“Illicit sex is the best sex of all.
Our secret affair will be sweeter than all others.”[j]
Little do they know when they answer her call
that she dwells among the spirits of the dead,
and all her guests soon become citizens of hell![k]
Yes, that’s it. A short one today, just 18 lines.
However these less than 400 words continue to serve us with advice that has survived, uplifted and assisted millions for centuries.
Take a moment to reflect, and then we’ll begin to break down some of today’s concepts.
To summarize the chapter we can take note that Solomon is teaching us that those who are wise and righteous are capable of taking instruction. That then causes them to always be “Becoming” even wiser.
An analogy here is that wisdom sustains our spirit just as food and water supports physical life.
To further our common understanding we should note that the Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary defines wisdom as “knowledge, and the capacity to make due use of it.” So it’s not just what you know, it’s how you put it to use.
Decide not to make use of it and you are waiting for a precious gift. Act upon knowledge with a malicious intent and any perceived rewards are not lasting.
In today’s reading Solomon describes Lady Wisdom as opening her home to us. She has prepared a magnificent feast. An R S V P to this event allows for us to move forward on a path to a joy filled life and success.
As it was written in verses four through six,
“Whoever wants to know me and receive my wisdom, come and dine at my table and drink of my wine. Lay aside your simple thoughts and leave your paths behind. Agree with my ways, live in my truth, and you will find righteousness.”
Then the chapter points out what can happen to those who dont want to celebrate with Wisdom and her many “Becoming” attributes.
Verses seven notes:
“If you try to correct an arrogant cynic, expect an angry insult in return. And if you try to confront an evil man don’t be surprised if all you get is a slap in the face!”
And while further cautioning us, verse eight returns to a point of accentuating the positive:
“So don’t even bother to correct a mocker, for he’ll only hate you for it. But go ahead and correct the wise; they’ll love you even more”.
Then the final six verses look at the shadow side of wisdom. A distorted twisted view. Here we meet “Folly”. A folly by definition is “lack of good sense; foolishness; in other words the fool we referred to in today’s headline.
Verse 13 describes her this way, “There is a spirit named Foolish, who is boisterous and brash; she’s seductive and restless”.
Rather than encouraging us to seek godliness, and remain devout to the ideas and attitudes of righteous living, Folly lies to us. She falsely claims that illicit pleasures of the flesh are better than God’s creations, quote,
“Come home with me.” She invites those who are easily led astray, saying,
“Illicit sex is the best sex of all. Our secret affair will be sweeter than all others.”
But then in the closing line, Wisdom reminds, “Little do they know when they answer her call that she dwells among the spirits of the dead, and all her guests soon become citizens of hell!
If that wasn’t warning enough as the footnotes below note, earlier texts add an additional line which was written as, “But turn away; linger not in the place or even look at her. Don’t drink from a strange fountain. Abstain and drink not from an alien fountain, so that you will enjoy a long life.”
The search for wisdom involves our free will. We must choose to not only seek it, but also accept it. Then we need to decide to embrace the common sense alternatives to continue moving forward on our shared journey that we call “Becoming Today”.
Truth, understanding, enlightenment and wisdom are all very “Becoming” traits. They empower us to grow and learn to be who we truly were intended to be. Which in turn enables us to continue moving on, with our momentum fully powered forward and upward.
I hope you have enjoyed this odyssey so far. There is much more to come.
As always I encourage you to actively participate. Please post your comments, questions, suggestions or concerns below. This is a safe space to share and there are protections in place to keep spammers out. I will respond to all who choose to participate.
If you do not feel comfortable sharing below, remember you can always reach out privately through the easy to use form on our Contact page.
I pray each and every one of you enjoys a safe and blessed day. Then join us tomorrow as we continue shining the light on this shared path we call “Becoming Today”.
For those that have been here for a while I hope some of the repetitive nature of these posts is not too distracting. Not only are some of these points to remind us of our focus this month, it is also designed to also be welcoming.
We never know when a fellow traveler may walk along with us, or need to take a diversion.
This is especially true since I have no idea what algorithm directed you, what search method may have pointed in our direction or how many of you find us on any given day. Therefore it’s necessary to recap some of the outline for our combined purposes.
I appreciate your patience and understanding, so I’ll now mention we’ve come to that point in this conversation and if you’ve already heard this, then you can skip the next few paragraphs and pick up with the next image.
Now for those of you listening to the podcast I know that makes no sense, since you can’t hear any of the beautiful graphics we create each day, so you’ll just have to listen along; again… (insert audible giggle here) understanding that I’m laughing with you not at you.
As I am apt to do, even if you have studied Proverbs before, our undertaking may be a bit different, as we’ll be adding some passion to it.
I am being called to focus this teaching around the The Passion Translation® book of Isaiah and New Testament with Psalms, Proverbs, and Song of Songs translated from Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic texts.
Done so by Dr. Brian Simmons who believes the” message of God’s story is timeless; the Word of God doesn’t change. But the methods by which that story is communicated should be timely; the vessels that steward God’s Word can and should change.
Also I’ll remind you that the footnotes referred to are available below and include underlined study links.