Proverbs 9: 2020 Bible Challenge

Devotional Text and Mediation for the Day

Walt Townshend

Proverbs 9:7-9

This is the fifteenth admonition provided by Solomon to his son and showcases a contrast between the ways of Lady Wisdom (vv. 1-12) and that of Madam Folly (vv. 13-18).  The Word of God is Wisdom’s Temple and gives life to those who take heed. Wisdom does not wait… it goes out and about to offer a gracious invitation. This is contrasted with Folly and her Temple. Many guests enter, but few return. “The dead are there; and, her guests are in the depths of hell” (v. 18).  As John Piper reminds us, “Of course, the Bible does not answer every question about life.  Every fork in the road does not have a Biblical arrow.  We have need of wisdom in ourselves to know the path of lasting joy.  But that, too, is a gift of Scripture.  “The law of the Lord is perfect…making wise the simple…the precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart” (Psalm 19:7-8, 119:98).  People whose minds are saturated with God’s Word and submissive to His thoughts have a wisdom that in eternity will prove superior to all the secular wisdom in the world.  “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding” (Proverbs 3:13).”[1]

Contrasts between life and death, wisdom and folly and sin and righteousness are found throughout Scripture. Moses pronounced blessings for those who kept God’s covenant and curses for those who broke it (Deut. 28). Jesus used this technique of contrast many times, as in the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders (Luke 6:47-49).[2]

Meditation vv. 7:9

Malcolm Muggeridge said, “Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message.”[3]

The instruction by Solomon here is divided into three parts. Verses 7-9 contrast the responses of the mocker, which result in rejection and shame—with those of the wise, which result in acceptance and love. Verse 10 looks back on the previous verses, stating that the essential foundation of being wise is true “fear of the Lord” and identifying the resulting insight as the foundation of Wisdom’s benefits. Verses 11-12 contrast the personal gain of being wise with the great loss of being a mocker. 

The Psalmist encourages us in saying, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers” (Ps. 1:1), and Solomon reminds us that “Mockers resent correction, so they avoid the wise” (Pro. 15:12). To mock means to “to sneer at,” literally, “to turn up the nose.”

Are you ready to listen to the Word and receive God’s truth?  Will you spend your time with the mocker, or the wise person who is submissive to Scripture?

In 1934 the great poet, essayist, and playwright, T. S. Eliot,  wrote “The Rock,”[4] a pageant play that was written specifically for the Forty-Five Churches Fund, a fundraising campaign attempting to raise enough money to build forty-five churches in London’s suburbs, and so at the center of the play is a church that is in the process of being built. His words convey so much:

Endless invention, endless experiment, 
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness; 
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence; 
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word. 
All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance, 
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death, 
But nearness to death no nearer to God.
Where is the Life we have lost in living? 
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? 
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? 
The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries 
Bring us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.

Read Proverbs 9: |

[1] Piper, John.  Desiring God (Portland, OR: Multnomah, 1996), pp. 123-124.

[2] Baurain, Brad, Today in the Word

[3] Muggeridge, Malcolm, Christ and the Media, Regent College Publishing, 2003. p. 25.

[4] Eliot, Thomas Stearns.  Choruses from The Rock, Harcourt Brace & Company, 1934.


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