Listen to Lady Wisdom

Proverbs 8: 1-7 The Message
Do you hear Lady Wisdom calling?
    Can you hear Madame Insight raising her voice?
She’s taken her stand at First and Main,
    at the busiest intersection.
Right in the city square
    where the traffic is thickest, she shouts,
“You—I’m talking to all of you,
    everyone out here on the streets!
Listen, you idiots—learn good sense!
    You blockheads—shape up!
Don’t miss a word of this—I’m telling you how to live well,
    I’m telling you how to live at your best.

Do you ever feel like someone is shouting at you? I do.

Sometimes it’s my mom. Sometimes it’s my boss. But this time, it is Lady Wisdom.

She is trying to get my attention. She is trying to remind me that I am not listening to her.

Will I listen? Will you?

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Sly Seductress

Proverbs 7 (Common English Bible)

My son, keep my words; store up my commands within you.
Keep my commands and live, and my instruction like the pupil of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister”; call understanding “friend,”
5 so she might guard you against the mysterious woman, from the foreign woman who flatters you.
When from the window of my house, from behind the screen, I gazed down,
I looked among the naive young men and noticed among the youth, one who had no sense.
He was crossing the street at her corner and walked down the path to her house
9 in the early evening, at the onset of night and darkness.
10 All of a sudden a woman approaches him, dressed like a prostitute and with a cunning mind.
11 She is noisy and defiant; her feet don’t stay long in her own house.
12 She has one foot in the street, one foot in the public square. She lies in wait at every corner.
13 She grabs him and kisses him. Her face is brazen as she speaks to him:
14 “I’ve made a sacrifice of well-being; today I fulfilled my solemn promises.
15 So I’ve come out to meet you, seeking you, and I have found you.
16 I’ve spread my bed with luxurious covers, with colored linens from Egypt.
17 I’ve sprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deep of love until morning, let’s savor our lovemaking.
19 For my husband isn’t home; he’s gone far away.
20 He took a pouch of money with him; he won’t come home till full moon.”
21 She seduces him with all her talk. She entices him with her flattery.
22 He goes headlong after her, like an ox to the slaughter, like a deer leaping into a trap,
23 until an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird hurrying to the snare, not aware that it will cost him his life.

24 Now children, listen to me, and pay attention to my speech. Don’t turn your heart to her ways;
    don’t wander down her paths. She has caused many corpses to fall; she has killed many people.
27 Her house is a path to the grave,going down to the chambers of death.

Well, at first glance, it seems like this is a warning against sexual immorality. However, if we take away the gender language and exchange it for anything that tempts us, it begins to make more sense. For example, “wealth seduces me with all its access, it entices me with consumerism and material items.”

We each struggle with temptation and seduction. But the warning is at the beginning and the end of this chapter, reminding us that without a God-directed moral compass we can follow seduction down the path to the grave.

What temptations are you struggling with this week?
What wisdom can you glean from this passage to keep your eye on the right path instead of staying down another?

Following my beacon.

Proverbs 6: 20-23 The Message
Good friend, follow your father’s good advice;
    don’t wander off from your mother’s teachings.
Wrap yourself in them from head to foot;
    wear them like a scarf around your neck.
Wherever you walk, they’ll guide you;
    whenever you rest, they’ll guard you;
    when you wake up, they’ll tell you what’s next.
For sound advice is a beacon,
    good teaching is a light,
    moral discipline is a life path.

Father=God
Mother=Wisdom
Good advice=Snuggie
Beacon=guiding signal you can see from anywhere
Life path=how and where you walk determines your journey

What wise teachings should you wrap yourself in today?

What words should you hold up as your beacon?

What life path have you chosen?

Is God like Santa Claus?

Proverbs 5:21-23 CEB

The Lord’s eyes watch over every person’s path,
    observing all their ways.
 The wicked will be caught by their own evil acts,
    grabbed by the ropes of their own sin.
Those without instruction will die,
    misled by their own stupidity.

The beginning of this passage reminds me of songs about Santa Claus….He sees you when you’re sleeping, He knows when you’re awake.  This idea of God seems very out of touch.  However, the second line is about how when you do wrong, God doesn’t catch you or punish you, but you get caught in your own sin.

This passage isn’t an easy one, but one that we so often forget. It’s not God vs us  and if we don’t obey, there is punishment. It’s God & us against evil & sin.

What is your idea of God?

Is God the ultimate chess player and we are all pieces on the board?

Does God punish us for our sin, or does the sin do the punishing?

Finally – without instruction, we will be lost.

Are you open to instruction?