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child graduate May 27 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: Proverbs 8, 9

Wisdom’s invitation

It is graduation time. Many will walk on stage and receive their diplomas or degrees. Some will be accorded special honors. Friends and relatives will offer their congratulations and ask what plans the graduates now have. We all hope that they will walk in the ways of wisdom and be successful. Whether or not we are graduates, how can we be sure to walk in this path?

In the height of his reign, King Solomon, who was wiser than anyone in his day, wrote a great number of Songs and Proverbs. Proverbs are wise sayings written in poetical form (more...). In our last lesson, covering Proverbs 5-7 in our Bibles, King Solomon warned of the seductions of the world, and in particular sexual seduction, a major enemy to a life of wisdom. Chapters 8-9 are a clear contrast to these chapters. In today’s reading the case for wisdom is made (chapter 8), and then in chapter 9 wisdom and folly are personified, contrasting the invitations of a prostitute with that of a dignified lady.

In chapter 7 a prostitute in the city square called out to a simple young man, a naïve man who was easily influenced. She was loud and seductive with her dress, her lips, and her words, offering him sexual pleasure. She led him to her bed of sin and destruction.

In chapter 8, wisdom also calls out on the heights where the paths meet. Wisdom is personified as a dignified lady. What does she offer? She offers prudence (cleverness and sensibility) and understanding. She does not deceive; she offers truth. She offers righteousness. She offers knowledge. She offers counsel and sound judgment. She offers understanding and power to rule, and a right path to enduring wealth and prosperity. Wisdom has always been present with God and is available to all who want it. Those who listen to her offer and seek it will find life, not destruction (Proverbs 8:32-36).

In chapter 9 both wisdom and folly make their appeals to the simple, and both call out from the highest points of the city, where the paths cross and where we might expect a high population of people. There is a choice we must make; what path will we take? Will we take the way of wisdom that leads to life or the way of folly that leads to destruction? Folly, personified as an immoral woman, invites us to a bed of sin. Wisdom, personified as a dignified and godly woman invites us to a banquet table (9:1-6). Wisdom gives joy to the heart as we partake of her table of delicacies. Folly makes us believe that stolen waters (illicit sexual escapades) are sweet, but her lovers die for their foolishness. Which is better, walking in paths that lead to blessings or walking in paths that lead to ruin? Today’s decisions will affect tomorrow’s destinations. Remember, wisdom starts with God. "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy one is understanding," (Proverbs 9:10, NIV). Do you want to know more about God who gives wisdom and understanding? (more...)

Lessons to live by:

•  Wisdom has always been present with God and is available to all who want it. Those who will listen to her offer and seek it will find life, not destruction (more...).

•  Both wisdom and folly call out to us, and there is a choice we must make. What path will we take, the way of wisdom that leads to life or the way of folly that leads to destruction?

Today’s Bible verses:

Proverbs 8:35-36 “For whoever finds me [wisdom] finds life and receives favor from the LORD. But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death.” (NIV)

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