Jun 5 (Daily reading: Proverbs 7-9) Solomon wrote of a choice between two companions, one representing wisdom, and the other representing foolishness (an adulteress). “Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your intimate friend, so that they may keep you from an adulteress, from the foreigner who flatters with her words” (7:4-5). We know God blessed Solomon with wisdom, but his lifestyle of multiple wives and concubines taught him about the dangers of seduction: “His wives turned his heart away” (1 Kgs. 11:3). His warning about an adulteress woman who flatters and seduces was literal, but it could also be a warning about any seduction that would take us away from the path of wisdom (pride, possessions, ambition, fame, etc.).
Solomon told us how to avoid these seductions: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (9:10). What does it mean to “fear the Lord?” Knowing God, understanding and respecting Him, worshipping Him in reverence, submitting to Him; all of this is involved in fearing Him. Solomon also wrote: “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD” (3:7). The wisdom that comes from fearing the Lord leads to following His ways instead of doing what is “wise in your own eyes.”
Proverbs 9 confirms that being wise is a choice. Both wisdom and foolishness have set the table, and both invite: “Whoever is naive, let him turn in here” (vv. 4, 16). The message of wisdom is “Abandon your foolishness and live” (v. 6). But the one who accepts the invitation of the seductress “does not know that the dead are there” (v. 18). It is ultimately the same choice that God offered through Moses: “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live” (Deut. 30:19).
– Al Gary