For reading & meditation: Proverbs 1:20-33
"But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm." (v.33)
Before settling down to focus on our theme, which is the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, it will be helpful if we acquaint ourselves with some of the background material to the book - hence, these opening days will be more introductory than expository. You can't get far into Proverbs before you begin to notice a peculiar thing - wisdom and its opposite, foolishness, are personified as women, Lady Wisdom and Lady Folly, each of whom attempts to persuade people to follow her ways. This personification of wisdom and folly is a literary device which the writer uses to add punch and power to his points. We use a similar form of expression when we personify natural laws and refer to them as "Mother Nature." For example, we may hear people say "Mother Nature is bringing out the spring flowers," or, "Mother Nature is doing her thing." It is a poetic and colorful way of referring to the principles and laws which guide and govern our universe. Notice how wisdom is personified in these words taken from the passage before us today: "Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech" (1:20-21). Later on in Proverbs you will see how similar language is used of Lady Folly. The purpose of this personification is to make the reader vividly aware that over and against the fatal attraction of folly, wisdom brings true delight. Wisdom is the soul's true bride, true counselor and true hostess. Wisdom is good for us; it is what our personalities were designed for.
O Father, help me to grasp the truth that I am made for a certain way of living - Your way - and when I try to live against that way, then I am nothing but a fool. Make me wise, dear Lord, with the wisdom that comes from You. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
For further study:
1. What is compared to light and darkness?
2. What does God grant to the man who pleases Him?
More in Every Day Light, with Selwyn Hughes
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