By Rev. Ron Purkey
Read Proverbs 1:20-33
“But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” (Proverbs 1:33)
Today we want to consider Wisdom and Folly, the two “women of the book of Proverbs” who are out to woo and win the hearts of people. In Proverbs chapters 1-9 there are three calls from Wisdom and three from Folly. Wisdom calls us to God and life; Folly calls us to sin and judgment.
This is an open call out in the streets where people can see and hear. God’s call to hearts is not a secret matter; his spirit invites people openly to come to the Lord. Notice Wisdom invites all three classes: the simple, the scorner, and the fool (Proverbs 1:22). Wisdom can see judgment coming and she wants sinners to escape it. What a wonderful offer she makes to those who will hear: the gift of the spirit of God and the word of God (Proverbs 1:23).
How do sinners respond to this call? It seems they totally reject it. Proverbs 1:24-25 indicate their responses: they refused to heed; they did not regard God’s outstretched hand; they even made light of it. What will the result be? Destruction. And God will laugh at them just as they laughed at Wisdom. “Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer” (verse 28). They will reap just what they have sown (verse 31). Why did they refuse God’s gracious offer? Verse 32 indicates the “ease” (turning away) of the simple and the prosperity of the fools gave them a false assurance; they thought they would never see judgment.
Following Wisdom’s first call we have three chapters that present the path of wisdom. The words “path” and “way” are each used 13 times in these chapters. The message of chapter 2 is Wisdom protects our paths (Proverbs 2:8), of chapter 3 Wisdom directs our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6), and of chapter 4 Wisdom perfects our paths (Proverbs 4:18).
Wisdom offers people salvation, but in chapter 5 we see Folly offering them condemnation. Wherever God gives his gracious invitation, Satan is there with an alluring offer of his own. Read this description of the wicked woman and see how Satan tries to make sin appear attractive. But read Proverbs 5:5 — “Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.” God warns us not even to come near her door (Proverbs 5:7-8). Sin is always a costly thing: you can lose your reputation (Proverbs 5:9), your possessions (Proverbs 5:10), your health (Proverbs 5:11), and your very life (Proverbs 5:22-23). The “cords of sins” bind slowly, but they bind surely, until one day the sinner discovers escape is impossible.
Let’s choose to follow God. Those who reject God’s truth sin against their own souls. Those who hate God’s truth are heading for eternal death (Revelation 20:11-15)
Today we have a savior — Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Read Ron Purkey’s Bible study outlines at www.rtcol.com/purkey free on the website. Purkey has been an ordained Baptist minister for 50 years.