Sunday, September 4, 2011

Folly’s Appeal

Just as the proverbs writer personifies wisdom throughout the book, so is folly embodied with character that brings it to life.  The NRSV translates Proverbs 9:13a, “The foolish woman is loud...”  The Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon translates the Hebrew phrase as, “the woman Stupidity.”  These descriptions do not sound anything like what someone would be attracted to, but we forget, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8, ESV).  Stupidity, or folly, has a certain appeal of which you better beware. 
The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing. She sits at the door of her house; she takes a seat on the highest places of the town, calling to those who pass by, who are going straight on their way, ‘Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!’ And to him who lacks sense she says, ‘Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.’ But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol” (Proverbs 9:13–18).
It is somewhat humorous when someone forgets to silence their phone before going into a meeting (unless that someone is you) and the phone inevitably rings.  Some phones may even notify you with a creepy voice letting you know it is your turn now in a game with which you are involved.  When the room is silent, or the presenter is speaking, and the phone sounds everyone looks around to find the culprit of the loud noise.  It has done its job and drawn your attention to it.  This is exactly what folly does in our lives.  She grabs our attention in order to steal us away from her adversary wisdom.  There is no doubt that the devil is behind this scheme.
          Jesus said plainly, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13–14).  As you go out, do not allow foolishness to distract you from your path.  Folly will look good, but keep your eyes focused on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2).

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