Summary: In Proverbs 9, we read of the invitations extended by wisdom and folly.
In concluding Proverbs, I want us to consider the theme of this book, which is the difference between wisdom and folly. In this chapter, we read of the invitation given by each and the result that follows when one accepts either of these invitations. (READ TEXT)
We read about two houses, located on the opposite sides of the road of life. On the one side, is an elegant lady named wisdom, on the other, a seductive lady named folly. Both invite us to live at their home. Let’s see what each promises and what accepting their invitation produces.
1. What folly promises - vs. 13-18
A. Confidence that is nothing but bluster - v. 1 - “loud”
How many of you have heard the statement, “Fake it ‘til you make it?” Many have bought into this false idea of how to get ahead in life. Sadly, too many get stuck with “faking it” and never move on to “make it.” Still, they loudly insist they’re OK, even though they aren’t.
It’s interesting, that one of the main complaints of our culture today is that Christians are nothing but hypocrites. But I suggest that if you’re a Christ-follower, you are anything but a hypocrite, for to follow Christ requires admitting you’re a sinner and you need a Savior. At it’s heart, Christianity is about lack of confidence in self but placing confidence in Christ. To not come to Christ is to say, “I can make it on my own.” The only problem, is the way of the world, the way of folly, is “fake it ‘til you make it” and you will never make it without Christ.
And what does the Bible call “faking it?” The Bible calls it hypocrisy.
“Of all the things in the world that stink in the nostrils of men, hypocrisy is the worst.” - Charles Spurgeon
One can be a Christians and practice hypocrisy; but one cannot be a hypocrite and practice Christianity. A practicing Christian is not “faking it ‘til they make it,” they are trusting in Christ to teach them, guide them, and enable them. The fools of this world, however, say, “fake it, even though you haven’t made it.”
B. Freedom that is nothing but aimlessness - v. 1 - “undisciplined”
The US Coast Guard utilizes a variety of navigational buoys. They are deployed for the purpose of assisting the navigation of vessels, indicating the location of channels and warning of hazards. Suppose a buoy is anchored in the sea. It can stay in one position because it’s attached to an anchor. But what if it decided to pursue freedom and detaches itself from the anchor? What it thinks is freedom, inevitably leads to aimlessness. It first feels free because it’s no longer confined by the anchor. But when waves toss to and fro, the buoy becomes a slave to the purposeless will of the waves. And it ends up not fulfilling the purpose for which it was made.
Folly promises freedom that is only aimlessness. But Christ, and the wisdom of God given through Him delivers us from an aimless life.
C. Intelligence that is nothing but ignorance - v. 1 - “without knowledge”
Folly promises a knowledge that is not knowledge, because the fool only listens to one person, themselves.
“The way of the [arrogant] fool [who rejects God’s wisdom] is right in his own eyes.” - Proverbs 12:15a (Amplified)
This is the person who basically says, “Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up.” Rather than consider the facts and then make up their mind, they have made up their mind and only look for facts to justify their way of thinking.
“Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.” - Romans 1:22 (NLT)
“Most human beings evidently do not like to think. At the very least, most seem quite satisfied never to think in a concerted, critical, and careful way. [They] never think strategically, consistently, or critically. They go from thought to thought without reflection, analysis, or questioning their own decisions. They operate at the basic level of thinking, and they think about the things that interest them, but they are not seriously interested in the process and quality of thought.” - Dr. Al Mohler, President, Southern Baptist Seminary
D. Experiences that lead to emptiness - v. 17-18
The word translated “food” in verse 17, could be literally translated, “bread.” In verse 2, wisdom offers meat and wine; but in verse 17, folly offers bread and water. But she says it’s OK, because the fulfillment is not in the flavor but the excitement of stealing from someone else. But let’s face it, isn’t bread and water a description of prison rations? Not only does the end result of all the exciting experiences folly promises lead to bondage, they eventually lead to death (v. 18).