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Wisdom has built her house;
    she has hewn her seven pillars.
She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine;
    she has also set her table.
She has sent out her young women to call
    from the highest places in the town,
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
    To him who lacks sense she says,
“Come, eat of my bread
    and drink of the wine I have mixed.
Leave your simple ways, and live,
    and walk in the way of insight.”

13 The woman Folly is loud;
    she is seductive and knows nothing.
14 She sits at the door of her house;
    she takes a seat on the highest places of the town,
15 calling to those who pass by,
    who are going straight on their way,
16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
    And to him who lacks sense she says,
17 “Stolen water is sweet,
    and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
18 But he does not know that the dead are there,
    that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

In Proverbs 9, wisdom and folly are both personified as enticing women. With this literary comparison, Solomon poses a question to his audience: Will you be wooed by wisdom or folly? Does Lady Folly sitting on her lazy bum holding out stolen bread appeal to you or would you prefer the hard-working Lady Wisdom at her table filled with deliciously prepared food and drink? I think most of us would say we want to sit with Lady Wisdom at her feast created from the benefits of a healthy work ethic. But, when it comes down do it, we’re easily seduced by Lady Folly with her quick, cheap, and easy bread to feed our present cravings. 

Solomon’s illustration is quite poetic here, but let’s imagine some every day decisions where we’re influenced by these two women. Lady Wisdom says, “Wake, my child, and get to work. By the end of the day, you’ll feel the satisfaction of a full days wages.” Lady Folly says, “Hey kid, do what you want. You’ll feel better when you roll over and catch a few more z’s.” Lady Wisdom says, “Take the time to prepare some healthy food. Your belly will thank me later.” Lady Folly says, “I think someone’s getting hangry. Just stop and pick up something to satisfy your craving now.” Lady Wisdom says, “Go home and make amends with your spouse. Your humility will make love grow deeper.” Lady Folly says, “Doesn’t it feel so good to be appreciated. Stay a while longer to soak in the attention because you know you won’t get it when you go home.” 

Most good things in life don’t come easy. They require intention, diligence, and patience. Unfortunately, we’re all too often trapped by listening to the voice of folly. On Sunday, Pastor Ryan said, “We must ponder the pathway of our feet long enough to realize it leads to a destination.” Take a good look at your typical weekday. Where are you most easily tempted to take the quick, easy, and cheap road? As you enter those moments today, pray God would help you listen for the voice of wisdom. Allow wisdom to woo you. 

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By Yvonne Biel  

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