The Difference in Wisdom and Folly

In Proverbs 9, the lady wisdom and the lady folly both call out to passers-by. Each lady cries to the simple, the ones in need of guidance, and they invite them to come to them. And the calls are strikingly similar.


I think that the Lord, in this passage, is showing us that, when you live in the fallen world, it is often difficult to distinguish between wisdom and folly. In society, the cries of either woman may sound alike. We who are simple and needy folks have no hope, on our own, of figuring out what is the difference. That is, if God does not give us his word, we would have no hope.


In Proverbs 9, lady wisdom tells us the difference between herself and lady folly.


Proverbs 9:10


The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,

and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.


Do you want wisdom? Fear god. That is the beginning of wisdom. Do you want insight, yield to God and his word. If not, you will not know when you are headed for right or wrong thinking.


One thing that I am seeing much of in the world right now is the way that so many of us think that we can figure out the ways of God. Many of us think we can sit in judgment over the decisions and the commands of god. We act as though we could, in our wisdom, get things right where God has gotten them wrong in his ways of salvation or of providential care of the world.


God is infinite in his perfection. He is holy. He is omniscient. He is omnipotent. He is omnipresent. He is always, absolutely always, right in all of his ways. And when we do not understand his ways, we should not dare to raise ourselves up and demand his answers, or even worse, accuse him of wrong.


Folly and wisdom both cry out to us. They both call us to their sides. And the difference, the beginning of the difference, is the fear of the Lord. May we fear god rightly so as to walk in his wisdom.