Are You Listening? by Dawn Souza, Worship Director at Riverside Alliance

 Proverbs 9:1-6, 10, 13-14, 16-18

 “Wisdom has built her house; she has carved its seven columns. She has prepared a great banquet, mixed the wines, and set the table. She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come. She calls out from the heights overlooking the city. ‘Come in with me,’ she urges the simple. ‘Come, eat my food, and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment.’”

“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.”

“The woman named Folly is brash. She is ignorant and doesn’t know it. She sits in her doorway on the heights overlooking the city….’Come in with me,’ she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says, ‘Stolen water is refreshing; food eaten in secret tastes the best!’ But little do they know that the dead are there. Her guests are in the depths of the grave.”

I found it very interesting that this chapter makes it clear, as it compares Wisdom and Folly, that Wisdom put in a lot of effort and hard work to prepare her home and her meal. Folly is just sitting there. Yet both of them call out the same message, “come in with me.” Both call from the heights overlooking the city. Both call to the same people. Maybe even at the same time. The difference is the cost. Wisdom pleads for them to leave their ways behind. There is a call to action, change. And the benefit is life. Folly lures in with no demand for action…it sounds easy and requires no change. But in the end it will cost them life.

This passage tells us that the fear of the Lord is step one in gaining wisdom. I’ve heard that a thousand times. Wisdom, as defined by my dictionary, is the ability to apply knowledge or experience or understanding or common sense and insight. The result of knowing God (the Holy One) is good judgment. The benefit of wisdom (beginning with the fear of the Lord and including knowing Him and applying what you know of Him to your life) is…life. Know God. Know the loving heart of God. Know the truths of His Word.  Fear God. He is a Holy God. He desires to make us holy like He is. He desires that we walk in the ways of Wisdom.

So my question is…do you hear the cries of Wisdom and Folly as you go about your day? Can you recognize the subtle differences? Do you choose the way that might cost you or be uncomfortable, but the benefits are life giving, or do you choose what appears to be easy and costs you nothing yet robs you later on? What decisions are you facing? God desires that we know Him and we gain Wisdom. It has not been hidden from us. She calls out to us. Do you take time to know God? God is calling out to us today! Will you listen? Will you come? And will you leave what is behind, and as Paul says, “look forward to what lies ahead?” (Phil 3:13)

My prayer for each of us is that we will not be so easily fooled and that we will hear the voice of the Spirit and Wisdom today. “Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” (Gal 5:25)

By Dawn Souza, Worship Director at Riverside Alliance Church

Dawn is the mom to 3 boys and also a part of the leadership team for THRIVE (our district’s Women’s Leadership Development Program). Dawn will be the guest speaker at our (invitation only) Ministry Wives lunch at District Conference, Tuesday, Sept 12th