Site icon Becca Harbert

Folly vs. Wisdom

pc: jean van der meulen


Reading through the Little House on the Prairie series has made me think a lot about society back then verses ours today. Most notably, how incredibly hard working those in the 1800s were. We have transitioned largely from being a hard working society into an entertainment society. We love to be entertained. We love pleasure, thrills, and exciting new things. We despise the boring, mundane things like actual work. While nothing’s wrong with entertainment in general, and workoholism isn’t healthy, somehow, we’ve missed something deeper.

When explaining Proverbs 9:13-18 recently, I said the following. It’s like all these people were walking straight, following the rules, doing what was right, what they were told, obeying God. But then up on a hill, a woman called out to those doing right and tried to get them to do wrong! She sat down, not working and urged them to do evil! She had a name and it’s “Folly.” Folly urges people to steal and hide and be pleasured. Some people listened and they stopped doing good because they followed her. But what they didn’t realize was that her way lead to death.

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.
She calls out to men going by
    who are minding their own business.
“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 (Proverbs 9:13-18).

How often I pursue something thinking it will give me life, but I am disappointed. I see this with my kids and toys constantly. They love new toys, but only when they’re new. Do you know how quickly they become un-new? It depends on the toy, but usually about a day or so. Then they’ve moved on to something else. We as adults, while perhaps more sophisticated, are no different. We get something thinking we need it and soon realize we need something else. We get rid of the old things in hopes of something new. Or we try a new activity, a new group, a new friendship, a new job, a new recipe, all the while hoping by trying something new, we’ll find an answer to our deep longing. It seems we’re either trying new things, or in despair thinking “everything is meaningless” like in Ecclesiastes.

So what is the answer? We find our answer earlier in Proverbs chapter 9. There we read what wisdom does. Fearing the Lord results in wisdom. Knowing God can help us make decisions (Proverbs 9:10). We’re to avoid the foolish influences in our lives and strive to know God and His wisdom more. What can you do to avoid the foolishness of the world today? Is there an unhealthy relationship that needs dealt with? A media influence? An activity or materialism cling you need to let go of? What can you do today to find contentment in the Lord and seek His wisdom? Pray to do that, by His power. Amen!

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