The following thoughts are not original to me. I was at a meeting with other pastors on Tuesday and one of the pastors there shared these thoughts and I was really intrigued by them. Anyway, Proverbs 9 talks about the invitation of both wisdom and folly. The idea of the chapter is that both wisdom and folly are calling out to us ... they are both inviting us in to their homes ... both are desiring a relationship with us. And, what's really interesting is that they both invite us in to a relationship the same way:
"Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars. She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. She has sent out her servants, and she calls from the highest point of the city, 'Let all who are simple come to my house.' To those who have no sense she says, 'Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.'" (Proverbs 9:1 - 6)
"Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing. She sits at the door of her house , on a seat at the highest point of the city, calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way, 'Let all who are simple come to my house!' To those who have no sense she says, 'Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!' But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead." (Proverbs 9:13 - 18)
Every day we're receiving invitations to be wise or to be fools. The invitations sound the same. Both wisdom and folly say to us, "Let all who are simple come to my house." The difference is that wisdom invites you in to something she has prepared, something she has worked hard at, something that requires effort but the hard work pays off later. Folly invites you to something she has stolen, something that sacrifices integrity, something that is easy now, but will cause pain later.
The reward of choosing wisdom is "your days will be many, and years will be added to your life." (Proverbs 9:11) The reward of choosing folly is being found "deep in the realm of the dead." (Proverbs 9:18). I'm sure we all have choices that we can look back on and say "Because I listened to that foolish invitation, it left me feeling dead." A relationship was hurt. We made a choice that we totally regret. Our finances suffered. Our health suffered. Folly promises so much, but delivers so little. And, we listen to it so often simply because it's easier to make foolish decisions than wise ones. But, I'm sure we can also look back on good decisions we made and say "I'm so thankful I did that! I'm so thankful I decided to work hard because now that hard work is paying off. I'm so thankful I avoided that mistake because now my life is thriving." Wisdom rarely offers the easy way but always offers the best way ... the way to life.
Both voices are calling out to you today. Which invitation will you accept?