Good and evil, hero and villain; we’re told the best stories contain these elements. Why? Because it creates drama, angst, and choice.
Wisdom or Folly? The Suspense is Real!
In one of my favorite books, two leading ladies compete for attention. One is wholesome, the other is scandalous. They each make their play. The one to whom they offer themselves must choose. The suspense is real!
Would you have guessed I was describing the Biblical book of Proverbs? It is full of dilemmas, comparisons, and right vs. wrong. In it, Wisdom and Folly are depicted as influential women. They each call out to passersby.
“Does not wisdom call out?Proverbs 8:1-4
Does not understanding raise her voice?
At the highest point along the way,
where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
beside the gate leading into the city,
at the entrance, she cries aloud
‘To you, O people, I call out;
I raise my voice to all humanity’.”
“Folly is an unruly woman;Proverbs 9:13-15
she is simple and knows nothing.
She sits at the door of her house,
on a seat at the highest point of the city,
calling out to those who pass by,
who go straight on their way”
Wisdom and folly have very different messages.
Wisdom uses words like listen, watch, and wait. She promises a great reward for those who attune to her for the long haul. She offers life and favor from God to those who do not give up and disregard her.
“Listen to my instruction and be wise;Proverbs 8:33-35
do not disregard it.
Blessed are those who listen to me,
watching daily at my doors,
waiting at my doorway.
For those who find me find life
and receive favor from the Lord.”
Folly prefers her audience does not take time to think. Her appeal is to those who want to remain simple. With her, there is no requirement to work or to wait. She offers easy satisfaction from instant gratification. But her reward is deceptive and ultimately fatal.
“‘Let all who are simple come to my house!’Proverbs 9:16-18
To those who have no sense she says,
‘Stolen water is sweet;
food eaten in secret is delicious!’
But little do they know that the dead are there,
that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.”
Both voices call from the “highest points”. They are equally discernable. The stage is set. What will the hearer do?
The suspense and repercussions are real!
This is no mere entertainment.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, this is a participatory story. You and I, dear friends, are the characters who must choose. Wisdom and Folly call to us.
The repercussions of our decision will affect our lives for now and all eternity. Wisdom or Folly? The suspense is real! Which do you choose?
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,Proverbs 9:10-12
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For through wisdom your days will be many,
and years will be added to your life.
If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.”