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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.”

Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,
    and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.
Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
    reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
    teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
    and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
11 For by me your days will be multiplied,
    and years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;
    if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

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.

 

After much failure, my wife and I are pretty good now about keep our calendars in sync – but it hasn’t always been that way. There have been many times when we’ve double-booked ourselves. I’ve learned my lesson! Having to say “no” after you’ve already said “yes” is a walk of shame that none of us enjoy. It’s always easier to choose if there is only one option, but that’s rarely the case when it comes to our calendar. It’s also never the case when it comes to the decisions we make. There are many options for how we’re going to live. We have the freedom to choose how we respond when we’re wronged, what type of work ethic we have, and fidelity in our relationships. There are always two voices calling to us.

Solomon describes the two invitations – one of Lady Wisdom and the other of Lady Folly. Wisdom and Folly are both continually attempting to call people to their banquet. They have the same goal, but they use different approaches and have different destinations. Lady Folly has two primary strategies – volume and seduction. (Proverb 9:13) Volume is typically an effective mode of communication. The louder the message is, the more people hear it. The louder a message is, the more convincing it becomes. We can see this truth play out on the pages of our culture in the way that new ideologies and behaviors become the norm. The louder message eventually becomes the accepted idea. In addition, Lady Folly seduces. She entices. She offers the hope of something she can never deliver on – her invitations are empty. On the other hand, Lady Wisdom sends her messengers to call from the highest places in town (Proverb 9:3). Wisdom isn’t loud, but she’s everywhere. She permeates the world we live in. She’s consistent. She’s wooing. She’s solid and she’s good on what she promises and what she promises is good.

These two invitations are continually before us. As Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Unfortunately, Lady Wisdom’s road is less traveled. The brokenness, regret, and restlessness in our world proves that’s the case. The truth is, we can only respond to one of the two invitations. We may feel double-booked, but we are only responding to one call. We choose where we place our RSVP with every decision we make, with the way we treat the people around us, and with the convictions we hold in our heart. This Sunday, we put an RSVP in the sermon notes. Which box did you check? Whose banquet are you dining at? Take a few minutes today and think about which invitation you’re responding to and what that means practically. Post a picture of your RSVP on social media and use #wooedbywisdom to track with others.

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By Ryan Paulson  

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