Morning Bible Study
The book of Proverbs is all about wisdom.
Wisdom is not about knowing facts.
Wisdom is about knowing what to do with what you know.
Wisdom is knowing when to do it.
Wisdom is knowing how to do it.
Solomon has tried to help us understand this concept of wisdom by “giving
it a face” so to speak.
He has described wisdom as if it were a person, a woman.
Though Wisdom isn’t actually a person, it is an attribute of God.
We got to know Lady Wisdom last week as this one who gives guidance to
princes, and helped God with the creation of the world.
Now the scene switches back to a man on a road with choices before him.
On one hand, it could be like a man making a choice between two temples –
the Temple of Wisdom, or the Temple of Folly.
I kind of like the idea of a choice between two restaurants – The Wisdom
House Restaurant, and Folly’s Burgers.
9:1-12 The Wisdom House
:1 Wisdom has built her house, She has hewn out her seven pillars;
:1 She has hewn out her seven pillars
There are lots of ideas about these seven pillars.
In my studying, I found at least ten different ideas including things like
“the liberal arts”, “seven sacraments”, “seven heavens”, and “perfection”.
I wonder if it simply means it’s a big house.
There is room for lots of diners in this restaurant. If you want to eat there, you will get a
table without a three hour wait.
:2 She has slaughtered her meat, She has mixed her wine, She has also
furnished her table.
:2 She has slaughtered her meat
Wisdom has prepared the meal with fresh meat.
She has the drinks ready to go.
She has set the table for the guests.
Sounds like the restaurant is open for business.
:3 She has sent out her maidens, She cries out from the highest places of
:4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” As for him who
lacks understanding, she says to him,
:5 “Come, eat of my bread And drink of the wine I have mixed.
:6 Forsake foolishness and live, And go in the way of understanding.
:5 Come, eat of my bread
This is the opening of a restaurant designed for those who lack wisdom.
If you are “simple” and realize you have a lot to learn, there is a kind of
“hunger” in your life.
What are you hungry for?
Sometimes when it gets close to dinner, Deb and I will look at each other
and ask, “Where should we eat tonight?”
We’re really asking each other what we’re “hungry for”.
Do we want pizza? Burgers? Sushi? Nah, never sushi.
I think that sometimes our greatest problem is recognizing the true needs
in our life.
We know we’re hungry, but for what?
Some people are hungry for a sense of self-worth
They wonder whether anyone could ever truly love them.
They will do things they don’t really want to do, but do it in order to get
other people to accept them.
Some folks have an inner pain inside.
They’ve been hurt before.
They’ve been betrayed before.
People who ought to have loved them turned their back and rejected them.
Some folks are filled with a fear of the future.
They are always waiting for that “last shoe to drop”.
They see difficult things happening all around them and are afraid they’re
They might have some physical ailments, but they’re afraid of going to the
doctor for fear of what they might hear.
What makes it worse for some of us is that we don’t even realize that some
of these things are underneath the surface of our lives, and they affect our
decisions on a regular basis.
:7 “He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, And he who rebukes a
wicked man only harms himself.
:7 He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself
Pay attention to the relationship between correction and wisdom.
After graduating from grad school, my first full time job was working as a
teller trainee at the Bank of Newport.
I remember one busy Friday afternoon sitting at my teller desk, and waiting
on the next person in line
A young gal with an attitude sits at my desk. She wanted to cash a rather
large check, something larger than my limit, and I would need a supervisor’s
approval to cash it.
The check was probably legitimate, but back in those days one of the ways
we would determine whether or not to cash a check was by looking at the
person’s bank record to make sure they could give us our money back in case the
check bounced. The gal’s account wasn’t
in good shape, in fact she was overdrawn.
It took me awhile before I got final word from my supervisor regarding the
cashing of this check.
In the meantime, with a long line of people waiting to be helped, this gal
was taking our trademark Bank of Newport balloons (meant for real kids),
blowing them up one by one and filling my desk full of balloons.
By the time I got back to my desk and told her we couldn’t cash her check,
she let loose with a tongue lashing of me, ridiculing me, calling me an idiot,
and on and on. Boy did I wish I could
Sometimes a “scoffer” needs to be corrected, but don’t be surprised when
they work at turning things back on you and making it your fault.
Solomon’s point is really not about correcting the scoffer, but whether or
not YOU are the scoffer.
:8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man,
and he will love you.
:9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still
wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
:8 Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you
One of the factors that decide whether you are going to gain anything from
wisdom or not is whether you are teachable.
How do you respond when someone points out that you made a mistake? Do you get offended? Do you pay attention?
Do you blow up balloons?
Paul warned Timothy:
(2 Timothy 4:3–4
NKJV) —3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine,
but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they
will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be
turned aside to fables.
Some people don’t want to hear the truth.
They have “itching ears” because they only want to hear
what they WANT to hear.
It’s like your choice of news channels.
Some people make a conscious choice to watch or not watch
a certain news channel based on whether they are going to tell them what they
want to hear.
People with a conservative point of view tend to watch Fox
Those with a liberal slant will watch the other networks.
People will do the same thing when it comes to issues of
morality, right and wrong.
You can find teachers, counsellors, and even preachers who
will tell you just about whatever you want to hear.
Sometimes people are asking, what’s the actual truth?
Video: OneTimeBlind – Red Balloon
What if the “truth” makes you uncomfortable?
Let’s say that you and your family are watching TV in your
living room in the evening, and I am walking by your house. I notice smoke billowing out of one of the
upper story bedrooms, and then see the entire upper floor burst into flames.
I knock on your front door. You answer the door. I say to you, “You need to get out of your
house because it’s on fire!” You tell
me, “I’m busy watching TV” and then shut the door in my face. I pound on the door. You tell me through the door to leave you
alone. I finally decide to break down
your front door and run into your living room to warn the family that the house
is on fire. You threaten to call the
police on me for disturbing your family time together.
This is one of the reasons why Christians feel compelled
to share the gospel. Your house is on
How do you respond to truth?
Will you love and embrace the truth, or shut the door in
One of the most common things Jesus said was,
4:9 NKJV) …“He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
:10 “The fear of the Lord is
the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is
:10 The fear of the Lord is
the beginning of wisdom
We’ve already seen this several times in the book of Proverbs.
You can get the idea that anyone, believe or non-believer, can follow the
advice given in Proverbs and find a better life.
There is some truth to that, but it’s not completely true.
The truth is that wisdom starts with a relationship with God.
:11 For by me your days will be multiplied, And years of life will be added
:12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, And if you scoff,
you will bear it alone.”
:6 go in the way of understanding
A Taste of Wisdom
I want to give you a taste of what it’s like to dine at the Wisdom House
Rick Rigsby has a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. He was a college professor at Texas A&M
University for two decades.
Listen to him describe how he learned wisdom.
9:13-18 Folly’s Burgers
As we’ve seen over the last few chapters, Wisdom isn’t the only woman out
in the streets inviting simple people to dinner.
Folly’s Burgers has some five dollar off coupons to entice you for a visit.
You may be attracted to the gal out front, don’t forget who’s doing the
cooking in the back.
:13 A foolish woman is clamorous; She is simple, and knows nothing.
:13 A foolish woman is clamorous
The idea is that this woman of “folly” is noisy.
Just because a person makes a lot of noise, does things to get your
attention, or has a lot to say, doesn’t make them the person to follow.
Sometimes the wisest person is the person who says very little.
:14 For she sits at the door of her house, On a seat by the highest
places of the city,
:15 To call to those who pass by, Who go straight on their way:
:16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here”; And as for him
who lacks understanding, she says to him,
:17 “Stolen water is sweet, And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
:17 Stolen water is sweet
This verse is going to give us two characteristics of “Folly”.
You may be faced with the opportunity to take a “shortcut”, cheat, or steal
something to get ahead.
Stolen water seems “sweet” because it’s the easy way.
Sometimes the “easy” way is not the wisest way.
While “Folly” may be talking about stealing actual water (Israel is a land
where water is critical and not always available), Solomon has already used
water as a metaphor for sex.
(Proverbs 5:15 NLT)
water from your own well— share your love only with your wife.
Don’t take shortcuts when it comes to sex. Don’t cheat yourself by having sex before
you’re married. Don’t cheat yourself by
having sex with anyone other than your spouse.
:17 bread eaten in secret is pleasant
The second characteristic of “Folly” is…
Folly says: Everything is going to
be just fine as long as you keep this secret.
The problem is that bad things live in the dark world of secrets.
Shame lives where secrets are kept.
Slavery to sin thrives when things are kept secret.
It’s when we learn to open up and take our secrets out into the light that
the true evil of our situation can be dealt with.
You may be ashamed of bringing your secret out in the open, but confession
is the only way to find forgiveness.
John 1:9 NKJV) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our
sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
You may not want to face the consequences of your sin, but until you learn
to bring it out into the open and ask for help, it will keep you in enslaved to
5:16 NKJV) Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one
another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous
man avails much.
:18 But he does not know that the dead are there, That her
guests are in the depths of hell.
:18 her guests are in the depths of hell
Don’t think that the choice between wisdom and folly is only about living
It’s about eternity
Choose wisely in life because your eternity is at stake.
We know from the New Testament that eternal life is found in one place and
one place only.
14:6 NKJV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one
comes to the Father except through Me.
We’ve talked the last few weeks about the choices we make,
the “paths” we choose.
Jesus is THE path.
He’s the way.
John the apostle wrote,
John 5:11–13 NKJV) —11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and
this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God
does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the
Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue
to believe in the name of the Son of God.
God wants you to escape the “depths of hell”.
God wants you to know you have eternal life.
That life is found in Jesus.