Proverbs 9

This chapter, like the previous one, personifies wisdom as a woman. Lady Wisdom prepares a feast, setting her table with the finest food and sending out her emissaries to invite those who desperately need what she has to offer — but they don’t know it. “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” she cries (v.4). The “simple” are those who live according to their natural feelings and urges. They don’t know good advice from bad, and they cannot discern wise decisions from foolish ones. They are highly impressionable. To these Wisdom pleads, “Leave your simple ways and live, and walk in the way of insight” (v.6).

In verses 7-12 we find a sampling, a tray of appetizers if you will, of what can be found on Wisdom’s menu. One is a sure-fire way to tell if a person is wise or foolish: correct their mistake, offer some advice, or give some constructive criticism. The wise person is teachable, and so they will receive the input and learn from it. They don’t have to be right every time, they just want to grow. But the fool will have the opposite response: they think they know everything already and so it is not an option for them to admit they weren’t perfect. They make excuses or blame others when something goes wrong; they don’t accept responsibility. You are really wasting your breath when you try to correct a fool — they probably aren’t listening.

Wisdom’s rival appears next. Her name is Folly (foolishness), and she is marketing to the same consumers. While Wisdom appeals to the intellect and the spirit, Folly appeals to the senses and the flesh. She is lewd and loud, yelling down the street to grab the attention of empty-headed passers-by. Like the serpent of Eden, she offers forbidden food. Whoever eats at her table will choke on it, and if they eat enough they will die from sin’s poison.

Don’t settle for what the world offers. Instead, pull up a chair every day to Wisdom’s table as you open your Bible and feast on God’s Word!