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21 With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. 22 All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose 23 till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.
Proverbs, Wisdom is personified as a virtuous woman who offers
instruction, truth, and knowledge. Folly is also personified as a
woman, but in contrast to wisdom she is a lying temptress who persuades
with empty promises of pleasure and instant gratification. Wisdom
calls out, "Let all who are feeble minded come in here and find
understanding. Leave your foolish ways behind and live!" Folly calls
out, "Stolen water is sweet. Let's have a good time. If it feels good,
do it." Wisdom offers life. Folly offers death.
one has to try to be foolish. It doesn't take any effort at all. In
fact, the best way to become a fool is to just put aside the whole idea
of effort and intention. Just go with your feelings. Just do
whatever is easy and within reach.
however, requires effort. It is necessary to heed warnings and seek out
truth. It requires discipline, intention, the drive to shake off
laziness, and the ability to rise above feelings. Most of all, it
requires the grace and truth of God. Without God's help and guidance,
wisdom is beyond our reach. Thankfully, God is reaching out to us and
has made wisdom available to us through the Scriptures, his Son, his
Spirit, and his people—the Church.
Response and Action:
am thankful that Wisdom is calling out to me. I am thankful that God
in his grace and mercy has revealed himself through Christ Jesus. I
want to be responsive to the gift of wisdom and truth God has extended
to me. I will listen to his Word, and I will heed the warnings he
gives. I will cling to the promises he has made, and I will walk in the
ways he has instructed me to go. I will be on guard against
temptations and lies--within and without--that would turn me away from
O God, help me to live
for you and through you. Help me to turn away from what is wrong and
do what is right. Help me to love you with all my heart, soul, mind,
and strength. Grant me the wisdom and the will to guard my heart, to
feed my spirit, to stimulate my mind, and care for my body. Be
faithful to me and do not let me be tempted beyond what I can bear, and
when I am tempted, give me strength to stand and show me the ways of
escape. Help me to leave my foolish ways and to walk in the truth. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: 1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is
faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But
when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can
stand up under it.
How to Read Proverbs
by Tremper Longman