Proverb for Today
Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars; she has killed her beasts, she has mixed her wine, she has also furnished her table. She has sent out her maidens, she cries out from the highest places of the city,
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here.” (Proverbs 9:1-4, MEV)
A foolish woman is clamorous; she is simple, and knows nothing. For she sits at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, to call those who pass by who go right on their way:
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here.” (Proverbs 9:13-16, MEV)
As I read through Proverbs 9, I was struck by an interesting realization.
This chapter starts by describing the way of wisdom. Wisdom has finished preparing her house and is calling guests to her table. She implores anyone who is simple, or lacking in wisdom and understanding, to come to her, “forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding” (9:6).
As you read on to the end of the chapter, we see a stark contrast in the way of foolishness. A foolish woman is sitting in high places calling out to those who pass by, asking them to turn in where she resides. The sad thing is, those who do come to her don’t know “that the dead are there, and that her guests are in the depths of the grave” (9:18).
Two very different results, but here’s what stuck out to me. The invitation is exactly the same:
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here.”
Wow. How important for the passersby to be paying attention to which person is speaking! Both wisdom and the foolish woman give identical invitations; to the person walking by unaware, it’s easy to mistake one for the other.
As I ponder the illustration laid out in this chapter, I can’t help but wonder how often I don’t pay attention to who’s talking, but only what’s being said. The danger here is that accepting the wrong invitation can lead to proverbial or physical death.
Our challenge today is simple: before we jump to respond to what’s being said, consider who’s the one talking.
Reflect and Respond
- In what areas of your life do you need to take a step back and consider who’s talking before taking action?
- How do you validate whether or not the next step you’re being asked to take is the right one?
- How can you help others make wise choices in who they listen to?