A better woman (Proverbs 8 v 1-11)
In chapter 7 we saw a fool seduced by temptation. In chapter 8 we hear Lady Wisdom’s call to humanity: “Listen to me and live!”
Read Proverbs 8:1
• How is wisdom personified here?
• Who is Wisdom speaking to? What is she offering?
Read Proverbs 8:6
Wisdom’s describing her words and their effect. We are being offered a competing vision of beauty. Instead of being seduced to our deaths by the harlot, we should allow the siren call of wisdom to lead us to knowledge and safety.
• Compare the two women:
Location: look at v 2-3
Audience: look at v 5
Words: look at v 6, 8
Purpose: Grant inheritance (8 v 21), grant blessing (8 v 32)
Result: Life (8 v 35)
Location: In street and market (7 v 12)
Audience: Simple youths (7 v 7)
Words: Seductive, smooth (7 v 21)
Purpose: Flatter (7 v 15), seduce (7 v 16-18), trap (7 v 21-22)
Result: Death (7 v 27)
Wisdom offers the opposite of what the temptress does, if only we would stop to listen to her and realise this.
How to have a better life
Read Proverbs 8:10
• Where does wisdom rate, in terms of value?
The picture of wisdom is a picture of something beautiful, worth more than precious metals and rare jewels. Most of us would probably naturally prefer the cash: but wisdom is valuable for three reasons:
• She speaks the truth (8 v 6-7). In a world of moral confusion, wisdom tells it like it is.
• Wisdom promises blessings (as the whole chapter outlines).
• You need wisdom to live well. Some decisions are black and white; it is easy to know what to do (“Should I commit
murder? No!”). But most of life is lived in the grey areas (“How should I respond when my spouse is frustrated with me?”). As we read through the book of Proverbs, we receive instruction in how to be wise in those kinds of situation.
Be encouraged! No matter who you are, listening to God can make you wise. You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be willing to listen.
This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.
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