It is not good to eat much honey, Nor is it glory to search out one's own glory.
Humans are a proud lot. Therefore it is not a profitable thing to "search out one's own glory." Such a pursuit will only result in excessive pride and arrogance. Since God resists the proud, it is unwise to embrace something that God hates. Today's proverb gives us some very wise counsel on this subject. Let's take a closer look at it - and - at some examples we can learn from so that we don't fall into this sin.
Eating too much honey can make you very sick. Honey is great for you - but in excess it can cause bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. This is an interesting truth - because if you applied it to what Solomon is saying to us we learn the following. Too much thought about your own glory will cause you to bloat spiritually - and can make you sick in your spirit.
We are warned that it is not glory to search out one's own glory. What does this mean, "to search out one's own glory?" When we speak of glory - we are talking about seeing ourselves as glorious - or our own works as worthy of glory. The truth is that we don't deserve ANY glory whatsoever. Scripture tells us that our condition is not glorious. "All have sinned and fallen short of true glory - the glory of God." (from Romans 3:23) The absolute truth is this - God alone deserves glory. Any glory we ever receive - is only reflective of the glory that God deserves for Who He is and what He has done.
Searching out "one's own glory" is synonymous with being prideful. Paul said in Galatians 6:4, "But may it never be that I would glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." There is no reason to glory in anything or anyone other than Jesus Christ. Paul also wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:31 that we are to eat, drink, and do all that we do to the glory of God. Therefore to glory in searching out our own glory is not just unwise - it is the ultimate foolish pursuit. We will get sick to our spirits - we will find a bloated ego - and we will disgust God, Who alone deserves glory.
Glorying in searching out one's own glory is about as profitable to us as having a unicorn round up. Unicorns don't exist, therefore such a search is fruitless and stupid. But then again so is searching for how much we shold be glorified. Our time would be better spent glorifying the only One who deserves to be glorified - our Lord Jesus Christ! May our days be spent therefore searching out new ways to bring glory to Him and to His wonderful name.
A foolish son is a grief to his father And bitterness to her who bore him. Proverbs 17:25
This is a proverb that we've seen before in a slightly different fashion. The only difference is that the word for fool here is the Hebew word "kesiyl" which is a different word than what we've seen in the past. So, with a different word as our guide, lets look at the fool who is a heartbreak to both his mother and father.
The word "kesiyl refers to one of several different types of fools mentioned in Scripture. The word study we'll do here will reveal much to us. The first way this word is used is in Ecclesiastes 4:5
- where we see that it refers to someone who is unable to deal with the issues of life in successful or practically godly ways. We see that his laziness and unwillingness to be corrected or taught brings about serious problems for him. In Psalm 49:10-11
the psalmist uses the word "stupid" to describe someone who refuses to learn anything. Proverbs 1:32
speaks of a young man who is complacent about his ungodly ways and sees no need to change anything in his life. Psalm 92:6
reveals that he does not understand spiritual issues and Ecclesiastes 2:14
shows us that he chooses to walk in darkness and see the problems he has.
We get the idea that this son is a young man who refuses to learn or listen to anyone other than himself. He is lazy and undisciplined - and that is most clearly seen in that he refuses to do what is necessary to be guided by a person, a book, or any kind of mentor. In the end this young man's ignorance is embraced as he thinks that nothing is wrong - and his life needs no change. As a result he walks in darkness and doesn't even know it. His spiritual ignorance is astounding - yet the young man sees no connection between his problems and his unwillingness to listen and learn from anyone.
The parents of such a child are to be pitied. The father is filled with grief. The word for this is "kaas" which means to be angry and provoked. The same word is used for God's anger toward those who paractice idolatry. For the father of this young person - his anger and vexation is due to the fact that his child worships himself and his own mind rather than God. The only person he listens too and values is himself. His mother if filled with a sense of bitterness. It is very difficult for her to process the choices and actions of such a child. The word in the Hebrew speaks of a harsh reality that is the opposite of something pleasant. Her sorrow and pain is sharp as she tries to rear a child who values nothing of what is offered to him, unless he already has thought of it himself.
This young person's attitude mirrors that of a lost person without Christ. They are filled with ideas and thoughts that only validate their own thinking. They love their sin and see no need to stop it. They are grossly ignorant and stupid - valuing only their own thinking and reasoning which is fatally flawed by the fall of man into sin. There is no hope for such a young man or woman were it not for the grace and mercy of God. Fortunately for such people God pursues us by His infinite mercy. He brings us to a knowledge of our true condition and the sheer massive gargantuan size of our stupidity. He then draws us and opens our eyes to our condition - offering grace to change us from the inside out. For the parent of such a rebellious, ignorant child - there is only one hope. That hope is to fall on one's knees and cry out to God. Pray that He will open their eyes to their stupidity and deadness of heart - and then change them by the wonderful operation of His grace! There is little else one can do outside this. Thanks be to God that He delights in changing stupid young people into wise saints by His saving grace.
Folly is joy to him who lacks sense, But a man of understanding walks straight. Proverbs 15:21
All it takes is watching a normal evening of television to know that folly and fools are exalted in our entertainment. We see them every evening, ignoring the warnings of God's Word. Yet night by night we also sit and watch them and laugh at their antics. We laugh even though there are times when the direction of the program and its heros is absolutely contrary to Scripture. What happens in a nation when this is the case?
Ours used to be a culture that confirmed our values in our entertainment. Shows like, "Leave it to Beaver" and "The Andy Griffith Show" tended to confirm our values and beliefs about righteousness and godliness. They did not proclaim Christ, but they at least held to a certain standard on what was right and wrong. Then something started to happen in the 60's. Those in the entertainment industry abandoned godly values and things like strong families and morals. We exalted the anti-hero and began to plumb the depths of the depravity of man and call it entertainment. Then shows like "All in the Family" arose which allowed only hypocrites to be those who spoke of what had been known as family values. From there things continued to descend into the pit - as sexuality became a consistent theme. Now just about any and every vice is portrayed for us in dramas and sitcoms - and often they are extolled as main characters hold to these sins. All the while our culture sits and laughs and finds a false joy in all these parading fools and their folly.
When we read this proverb it might be easy to think that it refers to others, but I fear that it comes much closer to home. The devil has used this medium well to give us ample opportunity to sit and actually mock our own values. This is why it is so dangerous to have unfiltered viewing habits as to television and movies.
We read of another kind of person in this passage though. He is a man of understanding. This word speaks of someone who sees as he ought to see. He grasps the Word of God - understands it and grasps what it teaches. As a result he does not get off the path that God has for him - and indeed for all who desire to know and love Him. He walks straight - and does not turn his eyes or gaze to the right or to the left. He fixes his eyes on the goal - which is conformity to the character and the way of Jesus Christ. Even though the world may seek to get his attention and turn it from the Lord Jesus Christ - he does not listen. He deafens his ears to the siren call of the world which will only land a man on the rocks of destruction in the end. He has tuned his ears to hearing the voice of God. He has learned to be a sheep who hears the Great Shepherd - and follow Him. Wise indeed is the man who sets his heart and mind in this way.
He will not accept any ransom, Nor will he be satisfied though you give many gifts. Proverbs 6:35
Adultery is always stupid. There is no amount of money or ransom that a man will accept for the love and purity of his wife. God gave us marriage and is the very essence of love - and bequeathed to us the gift of loving someone else. One of the most wonderful expressions of His love is seen when a man and woman commit to one another in marriage. That picture is used in Ephesians 5
to show the love of Christ for His church. The love that exists in marriage is supposed to be very strong - and thus breaking it is not something that can be paid back by any amount of money.
We read in Song of Solomon 8:6-7 these words that will help us understand why there is no ransom for adultery. "Put me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol; Its flashes are flashes of fire, The very
flame of the LORD. Many waters cannot quench love, Nor will rivers overflow it; If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love, It would be utterly despised." Love is as strong as death - that is why often a divorce is described as being as devastating as a death in a family. Love is as powerful as death, jealousy is like death, and again is described as like "flashes of fire" and "the very flame of Jehovah." These are not light, fluffy passing descriptions. They are powerful and honestly, frightening! When you choose to love someone and commit to them for life in marriage, this is the power that is released. That is why no ransom will be accepted for adultery - no gift will seem appropriate. We read in Song of Solomon that if a man were to give all the riches of his house for love - the one offered the money would utterly despise the offer. Love is more powerful than ANY amount of money ever offered.
Unfortunately, a movie I know of but have not seen, illustrates our point. The move was called, "Indecent Proposal." I would NOT encourage anyone to see it - so I will describe what I've read about it. In the movie a young couple are given an indecent proposal by a rich man to pay them $1,000,000 for the wife to commit adultery once with him. After weighing what they could do with that much money, they unwisely agree to this indecent proposal. The wife commits adultery and they are paid the money. But the film examines the carnage that follows as, you guessed it, jealousy begins enraging this man over what has happened. Just like it says in Song of Solomon - no amount of money is worth love. Any amount is utterly despised. The man comes to realize too late that the purity and sanctity of their relationship is not worth any sum of money - not even a million dollars. Even a ransom of that enormous amount is something despised and abhorred by a husband and wife. Thus when one partner sins for usually far less, it is a foolish choice indeed that they are making. They are selling out their vows for nothing more than a fleeting promise of forbidden pleasure. What they will pay in the end would make them recoil from such actions. The problem is that "in the moment" they do not think, nor do they reason with any kind of biblical or moral judgment. They destroy themselves and their marriage in a bid for the illusive promise of a night of passionate pleasure. What they most likely do not know is that the indulgence will cost them more than they could ever imagine. This is why, dear saints, Adultery is always stupid.
Wounds and disgrace he will find, And his reproach will not be blotted out. Proverbs 6:33
Adultery is always stupid. That is the premise we are following in these last verses of Proverbs chapter 6. Here we see that adultery is stupid because it will eventually yield punishment. This refers to a day when adultery was a punishable offense in a nation. In some nations it still is a punishable offense. Where it is, the rates of adultery and divorce are far lower than in nations where marriage is no longer protected by law.
The wounds, disgrace, and reproach that are spoken of here are all due in part to the public punishment that came with adultery in biblical times. A simple review of the laws against adultery help us to see that this was considered a very serious sin. First we have God stating that this particular sin was part of the 10 commandments. "You shall not commit adultery," is found in Exodus 20
where God gives the commandments to Moses. Later in Leviticus 20
we see where God makes it clear that adultery was considered a capital offensein Israel (and in God's sight). "If there is
a man who commits adultery with another man's wife, one who commits adultery with his friend's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death." If we were to trace the damage done to not just the marriage but to families and societies through adultery, we might not look at this as too strict.
There used to be a time when adultery was seen as a very disgraceful thing. It was easy to see that what God said here is true. The reproach from being and adultery would not be able to be blotted out. There is a stigma to those who break their marriage vows by having sex with someone who is not their wife. This stigma is natural - and it is only as we have turned from God and from His truth that we have decided to try our best to erase that stigma from our society. Jeremiah's prophecy is filled with rebuke for the adultery that was rampant in the land. In Jeremiah 23:14
we read this prophetic word to God's people, "Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: The committing of adultery and walking in falsehood; And they strengthen the hands of evildoers, So that no one has turned back from his wickedness. All of them have become to Me like Sodom, And her inhabitants like Gomorrah." This sin, when it was ignored by God's people and by their prophets, would "strengthen the hands of evildoers." When adultery is tolerated by a society and treated as no big deal, we read that no one turns back from their wickedness. We find a soceity where the most basic bonds of relationship break down - and thus any kind of trustworthiness also breaks down with it.
In recent years we've heard a chorus of those who tell us that it does not matter if one of our elected officials has committed adultery and divorced their partner. We view it as part of the normal landscape that this happens, and in so doing, destroy the foundation upon which the home - and thereby society in general is built. The complete lack of character in our elected officials is a testimony to the truth of the Scriptures when it comes to adultery and being faithful to your vows in your marriage. We've watched as again and again that if these men and women won't be faithful to the closest bond and promise that they have made, why would we think that would be faithful to a vow to adhere to and defend the principles in the Constitution?
Some may say that this is too harsh. Jesus Himself forgave the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery. To this I would say a hearty, "Amen!" He did forgive her - and He forgives those who commit adultery today. But our problem is that we've degenerated to a point where we question if adultery should even be classified as sin. We've come to the point where we want to give the forgiveness without also stating the other thing Jesus said that day, "Go and sin no more." We watch as elected officials lie to our faces on televison that they did not have sex with that woman - and then expect the forgiveness and absolution without any repentance and confession. What we should realize is that whether we embrace it or not - adultery is going to cause very serious problems for an individual - and for a society that seeks to sweep it under the proverbial moral rug.
Adultery is always stupid. It always has consequences. It always will involve disgrace and reproach - at least in the eyes of God (and that is what counts in the end). The wise man sets a very clear boundary in his life when it comes to adultery. He not only sets a boundary, but he also sets a reminder that crossing this boundary will result in bad consequences. And since our society no longer sees fit to protect marriage in this way - we will have to do even more on the personal level to have reminders, boundaries, and warnings in our hearts to protect us from it.
"They struck me, but
I did not become ill; They beat me, but
I did not know it.
When shall I awake? I will seek another drink." Proverbs 23:35
The life and times of the drunken fool comes to an end with this last verse. Yet this last verse as much as any of the others describes perfectly what alcohol can do to someone. It makes them a fool. The problem is that they do not know it - nor do they really care. Their life is spent going from one drunken episode to another - or as we see in today's world - they live from one party to the next. They are unaware of the real damage that is being done to their lives - and even when it is evident it is worn more as a badge of honor than as what it is - the marks left on a fool in the midst of his pursuit of more and more sensuality. When this drunken episode and party is over - his thought when he awakens is the next party, the next time he can drink, the next time he can act the fool.
This last verse is the drunken fool speaking to himself. He is remembering some of his most recent party experiences. He remembers that someone hit him - but the inebriated deadening of his senses did not remember it. His thought is that he was not badly injured - or at least not injured enough to be incapacitated. That is the idea behind the word "ill" here. It speaks of being ill enough to be weak or incapcitated. It speaks only of a severe wounding. Since this drunken fool was not so badly injured that he was laid up for days - he doesn't even consider the fact that he was struck.
Even worse he repeats this again when he says, "They beat me, but I did not know it." The first statement was a single blow received from someone. This second statement speaks of being beaten with multiple blows. His answer to this is that he did not even know he was being beaten. I've actually met people who were beaten badly - but did not realize it until someone else told them the next day when they were questioned as to why they had bruises on their body. What is truly sad is that they laughed about the situation, finding it funny that they were in a serious fight and didn't even know it. At this point I must also mention another sin of the drunken fool - and that is that some of them beat others. What I refer to is those drunken fools who beat their wives and their children. Some of them do not even remember the pain their inflicted on their loved ones while in the midst of their drunken stupor. The point here is that these fools are so drunk that they do not know what is happening during their beatings.
The last statement here is the worst of all. "When shall I awake? I will seek another drink." As the drunken fool falls asleep after his binge - he knows that he will wake up eventually. Does he awaken to seriously consider what he as done - the damage that is in the wake of his indulgent lifestyle? He does not. In fact, most alcoholics will blame everyone else for their choices and the havoc that follows in their wake. Their thought when they awaken is getting another drink. The literal statement here is this, "I will yet again drink." His thoughts are dominated by the next party, the next binge, the next over-indulgence, his next drunk. His life has become his drunkenness - and his desire to drown his miserable life in another bout of partying.
I know that some of you who read this may be thinking that I am too hard on the drunken fool. In fact you are pretty offended that I use that term to describe this man or woman. You prefer calling them an alcoholic - referring to their situation as a social disease rather than a series of foolish choices. You almost cringe at the strong statements that have been made in this post. God desires to deliver the drunken fool - and He loves him as He does any other sinner. But God makes it clear here and elsewhere that drunkenness is not funny, neither is it something we should treat lightly. God would not spend seven verses in a book that promotes wisdom unless this lifestyle was a breeding ground for fools. Having been a drunken fool in my past also gives me a pretty clear perspective on this sin. I know first hand the damage that comes from living this way. I also know that since I was in high school and college things have gotten progressively worse. Living in a college town and ministering to college students has made me aware that drunkenness on our campuses is running rampant. We don't even blink any longer - nor do we weep and pray for those who are caught in these lifestyles. We just say that they're kids and that is the way that kids act these days. We shrug our shoulders and walk away. Yet the damage increases every weekend. I know because I often deal with the young men and women who ache from it. Maybe instead of just winking at this - we should begin to fall to our knees and pray that God would so revive His church and restore us. Maybe we should not just complain and vote for dry counties - but also wade into the world of these young men and women who desperately need Jesus Christ in their lives. Maybe we should fight drunkenness with the greatest weapons we have in our arsenal - the gospel of Jesus Christ - and the truth of God's Word. Maybe then we could begin to see a harvest - not of drunken fools - but of redeemed ones who have turned to Jesus Christ and, as a result, have become wise!
And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea, Or like one who lies down on the top of a mast. Proverbs 23:34
Drunken fools are unstable. This could have multiple meanings, but in this verse in Proverbs it actually only means that they are physically unstable. The drunker the fool gets, the more he is unable to control himself. He will eventually stumble around and fall down a lot. This is because of how alcohol affects both his brain and his muscles. Both are adversely affected and are hindered from functioning normally. In dealing with the previous verse we saw how both sight and muscles are weakened and disfunctional when the blood alcohol level of a person rises. The lack of sight - and the inability of the brain to handle the direction and regulation of our muscles is what causes this instability.
The actions of the drunken fool are compared to those who lie down in the middle of the sea. This first phrase refers to one who has sunken down into the sea. Similar words were used of Jonah and his fall into the depths of the waters in Jonah 2:4
- thus this is a picture of a person who is either drowning or in danger of drowning. He is lying in the midst of the sea - which is literally the heart of the sea. In his intellectual confusion he slowly passes into a state of unconsciousness - where he is no longer in control of his life. The drunken fool drinks until he is fighting a battle with being conscious. Even if he is conscious physically, often the drunk cannot remember what he did the night before. Some fools who have lived like this even find that they have injured someone, impregnated or have been impregnated by someone they don't even know, or in severe cases have even killed someone. Truly just as the man sinking in the heart of the sea is no longer in control of himself - so the drunken fool has lost control and places himself in grave danger.
The second statement here is that he is like someone who lies down on the top of a mast. This place mentioned here is the crow's nest or lookout mast on a ship. These are not made for anything except standing. When a man is standing in one he can hold on and can determine direction and warning for a ship. For a man to be lying down in such a place is foolish on several counts. First of all, doing this means that he is most likely lying down on top of the nest itself - with no way to hold himself stable. Since the motion of the ship on the sea is greatly exaggerated here, he is more likely to be thrown from the nest into the sea or to his great injury or death on the ship below. The drunken fool is similarly in danger because drunkenness greatly impairs his ability to protect himself and guide himself safely wherever he is. He too is in danger of injury or death in his drunken state. The second way this is foolish has to do with being watchful. If you are lying down on top of the mast you are not watching. The ship could run aground and face terrible problems when its lookout is asleep or lying down on the job. If enemies approach he is supposed to be the first line of warning. But since he is lying down on the job - he is subjecting the ship to a condition of having no lookout at all. The drunken fool is similarly abandoning watch over his life, his family, his friends, and most especially his testimony. He is a man adrift with no one at the helm - wandering through life with no direction as well as no protection. Some who choose to live this way, ruin their lives in the course of one night.
The wise man does not impair himself willingly. He keeps his wits about him and keeps watch over his life and testimony. He knows that drunkenness will severely blind him to everything around him and also will leave him without any discernment or prudence in his decision making ability. Therefore he avoids drunkenness like one would avoid the plague. He knows that rather than being drunk he is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. That way he has a teacher and a guide who can keep him safe. He knows that under the influence of This Spirit he will not have to wake up in the morning wondering what happened and whether he will need to be ashamed of the previous night's activities.
Your eyes will see strange things And your mind will utter perverse things. Proverbs 23:33
In our look at the life and times of the drunken fool we next encounter the physical effects of alcohol on our eyes and mouth. It is a proven fact medically that alcohol will affect our minds - and through that our ability to think and respond to things clearly.
Our brains control both of these functions and since the brain has a large blood supply going to them, they are more quickly influenced by the alcohol levels rising in our blood due to drinking. Within less than an hour two major problems develop for the drunken fool. First the
brain itself is hindered from its ability to have nerves function normally. Alcohol in the blood supply depresses our nerve conductivity - thus it also results in a slow down of our ability to think and react to things. Next as the blood alcohol level reaches muscles - our eye muscles will lose their full ability to function and we will begin to have blurred vision. As these things are multiplied by the drunken fool - the brain may begin to misinterpret information and won't react properly to stimuli that are coming to it. The more acute the situation the more that things become distorted with some even having hallucingenic conditions in their comprehension of what is happening to them. One thing I learned while researching these things on the internet is that this is why we should never drink and drive. The more drunk someone is - the more their ability to react to stimuli is impaired - making them very dangerous on the road. One test involved giving goggles to drivers that simulated various stages of drunkenness. At lower blood alcohol levels the failure level of drivers to pass even simple tests was frightening to see. Things only got worse as the person's blood alcohol levels rose.
The second statement here is that not only will the drunken fool see strange things - but he will also say "perverse things." When the brain is filled with higher and higher levels of blood alcohol - the brains ability to filter things is severely hampered. Things that would normally be supressed flow freely. The fact that perversity flows more at these blood alcohol levels should be of little shock to us since we know that the Bible says that we are fallen and sinful. I've been around people who said the most horrible things when they were drunk. There are people who are the nicest most discreet folks until they get some liquor into them. Suddenly their mouths are transformed as they begin to curse and say sexually perverse things to the opposite sex. Some were horrified to learn how they spoke the next day as they recovered from their drunken state. Yet a simple reading of Romans chatper 3 should remind us that one of the traits of the sinful nature is its horrific effect on the mouth and the tongue. Romans 3:13-14
tells us that sinful man's throat is, "an open grave." We are also told, "With their tongues they keep deceiving. The poison of asps is under their lips." Finally we are reminded there that their mouths are, "full of cursing and bitterness." Oh how the mouth of fallen man is loosed without any discernment when alcohol numbs their thinking and their conscience. Unfortunately, I've known of relationships that were ended because of things that were said in a drunken stupor.
The wise man knows that the last thing he needs is a relaxation of his ability to discern and discreetly chose how he speaks and lives. Since alcohol deadens these things, wisdom tells us to steer clear of all abuse of alcohol. Wisdom warns us against drinking any level of alcoholic beverages because it may deaden our heart's ability to hold our tongues from saying truly stupid and foolish things. Such passages as these in Proverbs should warn even the novice that taking up an alcoholic drink can be dangerous indeed - especially if we want to see things clearly and speak those things that honor and glorify God.
She sits at the doorway of her house, On a seat by the high places of the city, Proverbs 9:14
Where do we find foolishness calling to us - offering us an invitation to partake of her harmful food? We read here that she is sitting at the doorway of her house. If we remember the counsel of Psalm 1
, this is not a good thing. Psalm 1
counsels us, "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of the sinners, not set in the seat of scoffers." This woman, folly, is among the scorners - those who scoff at the things of God and prefer a self-directed life rather than a life directed by the Spirit and the Word.
We get an idea that Folly is a lazy woman from this as well. The wise woman of Proverbs 31
is not often sitting at the doorway of her own home calling out to others - but rather is working hard for her family. Those who call to us from sedentary lifestyles are probably calling us to a life that lacks diligence and hard work. This will not end well for us if we listen. Since this passage is directed to sons by their father, we would do well to consider our own society in this. One thing that I believe is robbing us of hours of our lives is our penchant for entertainment and games. Consider the hours daily devoted to television, movies, online gaming, and gaming on consoles like Xbox and other video outlets. I've seen young men waste not just hours, but days wanting to master games. I've known of young men who have wasted the better part of their teenage and young adult years laboring to be the best and have the highest score on these games. And since they produce new ones as well as update old ones - a young man can waste 10-15 years of his life doing little more than exercising his thumbs as his mind is numbed to the real world around him. Indeed foolishness calls to us from the lazy position of staying in the doorway of her home.
The second place we see Folly is on a seat by the high places of the city. This is an interesting location because it corresponds to places of false worship. God warned about worshipping in the "high places" because they thought due to the height of the place they were closer to God. The problem with the "high place" worship, is that it was usually not guided by the Old Testament Law. They would worship various deities there - and often would mix the worship of Jehovah with these false deities. Often the high place would involve a grove of trees for privacy - but these would also be used for the purpose of hiding the immorality and ungodly sexual practices that would happen there. Therefore God commanded the people to stay away from such places - and worship Him at the temple He established or the Tabernacle when the temple was not yet built. This would ensure that God's priests would be there to guide their worship so that it would be scriptural.
The "high places" of this present evil age are where Folly calls to us. These places do not honor God's Word or a proper worship of Him. They are filled with false teaching and errant theology. Folly sits there and calls to us to turn from the Word and from a lifestyle of worshipping God aright. Instead we are called to embrace a far more supposedly tolerant religious and moral life. God is presented as mean and oppressive in such places. We will find later in this passage that the counsel Folly gives is dangerous because it calls us to abandon God's ways and embrace worldly ones.
When we look at Folly's call we see that where this call is issued should give us pause to listen. Bad company will corrupt good morals - and often the place where such counsel is given should serve as a severe warning to us to turn away from it before it is uttered. A wise man notices where ungodly counsel congregates and tends to avoid such places - unless he or she is going to witness to them there. As the fools sit in places of laziness and ungodly doctrine offering their advice there - we should prefer to be in places where we know godly men and women meet - and where the Word of God is honored and God is worshipped in Spirit and truth!
The woman of folly is boisterous, She is
naive and knows nothing. Proverbs 9:13
For the next several days we will look at the call of the foolish. Solomon, inspired by God, gives us a fascinating look as he personifies the way that fools are called to the stupidity of following after their own lusts and the ways of this present evil time. He does this by making the call of the foolish into a person. Let's take a look at this portrait of the fool's call and seek to learn from it so that we will not be caught by her siren sounds and find our faith shipwreck on the rocks of flesh and the worldliness that it embraces.
We see that our nemisis here is described as "the woman of folly." This term is less than flattering because the word folly here is the Hebrew word "kesiylut" which means foolishness or stupidity. Thus we have here a stupid, foolish woman who is going to call to us. The word kesiylut coes fro the adjective kesiyl which means "a fool." Kesiyl is a very descriptive word in that is speaks of soeont who is unable to deal with life in a successful or practical way. It is used in Proverbs 1:22
to describe soeone who lacks any spiritual understanding. The fool here hates knowledge - loves waywardness (in regard to God's commandments) and is utterly complacent when it comes to spiritual things and any sense of accountability to God. Ecclesiastes 2:14
speaks of one like this as being someone who walks in spiritual darkness with a haze preventing the from seeing truth or righteousness. Therefore, when we read that this woman of folly is boisterous, naive, and knows nothing, it is easy for us to agree with this assessment.
Folly is boisterous. The word used here is "hamah" and it means to murmur, growl, roar, and howl. In this context we get several pictures of the one who will call us to a foolish lifestyle. They roar and howl as they live it up in their lifestyle. They see no consequences to their actions so they howl in their pleasures. I will probably sound too much like a puritan when I say this (but since I have great respect for the puritans, I would consider this a compliment) but they love their loud, rambunctious parties and revel in their wickedness. The one who loves his or her sin to the point of bathing themselves in it - is someone we should ignore. We see another picture with this word of how this one will react to righteousness and a call to a holy lifestyle. They murmur and growl at such things. We hear them complain and snarl at one who has the audacity to say that there is absolute truth - and that truth is God's Word. They hate it when the standards of God are lifted up - and even despise it more when those standards speak out against their chosen lifestyle of rebellion. We would be wise to recognize such things and keep our ears closed to the call of such people to "live it up" when the truth of their words is that they want us to "death it up" instead.
Folly is naive. The word used here is "petayyut" which means to be simple or naive. It has the idea of one who really is not aware of that their actions have true implications and do impact their future. The reason for this is as was stated at the beginning of this post - they are foolish and stupid. They really don't want to be bothered with the facts of where their lifestyle is taking them. They are the proverbial ostrich with its head stuck in the sand. The problem is that as they naively pursue their ungodly, unscriptural choices, the consequences of their actions are piling up for them. They cannot escape the judgments of God - because He has set it up so that rebellion has consequences.
Folly knows nothing. The statement here is about as plain as any made anywhere in Scripture. The word for know is "yada" and it is pretty much the basic word for knowledge in the Hebrew language. Folly is unable to learn, perceive, or discern. The call that is going to be issued to us - the call of the foolish - is one that is unable to discriminate between good and evil - between right and wrong. It is a deadly call because it is a spiritually ignorant call. Worse than that, it is a spiritually darkened and rebellious call. When we embrace the call of the foolish - we are embracing what is diametrically opposed to what God desires in our lives. Oh that we would learn to discern and recognize this call in all its various forms as it comes to us. This is what the writer of Hebrews says in chapter 5 verses 13-14. We read there that there are those ". . . who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. If we turn from folly's call and turn instead to wisdom's call, we will be able to grow in such discernment. That should be our worthy goal.