Blessed Are Those Who Keep My Ways
Tony Chute, Interim Pastor
Overview: Proverbs 8-9 conclude the narrative portion of the book, with each chapter calling the reader to decide whom to follow—Lady Wisdom or her rival, the woman Folly. Wisdom calls out to all people, including simple ones and fools, speaking that which is noble, right, and true. Her value is described as superior to any material gain because she promotes that which is good, wise, and just. She predates Folly, and whoever finds her will find life and obtain favor from the Lord. By contrast, the woman Folly seduces her prey, promising an easy path to life but in the end, delivering only death. Both are calling—to whom will we listen? Let’s examine our hearts by comparing Wisdom and Folly’s take on the work we do and the money we make.
01. Wisdom calls us to be productive with our lives, whereas folly lives off the productivity of others.
02. Wisdom calls us to be diligent in our labors, whereas folly provides excuses for our failures.
03. Wisdom calls us to earn an honest living, whereas folly believes the ends justify the means.
04. Wisdom calls us to live within our means, whereas folly encourages us to live beyond our means.
05. Wisdom calls us to use our wealth to bless others, whereas folly views wealth as a status symbol.
Questions for Discussion and Discovery
1. Read carefully through Proverbs 8-9. How does Wisdom make her appeal compared to that of Folly? Note how wisdom is aligned with God’s attributes of righteousness, goodness, and faithfulness. Do you find these attributes appealing in your dealings with others? Are they true of your character as well?
2. Proverbs 8:22-31 describes how the Lord used wisdom in creating and designing the world. In what ways is God’s wisdom displayed in creation today? How might we point others to the Lord using the complexity and beauty of creation?
3. Note how Folly is described in 9:13-18. What traits of hers do you see on display in the world of marketing and social media? How can Christians help redeem areas of marketing and social media by following wisdom’s path?
4. Consider the passages that were mentioned regarding the work we do. Are you living a productive life or living off the productivity of others? In some ways, it is necessary and acceptable to live off the productivity of others (i.e., assisted living home residents). In such cases, how can we live productive lives while receiving care from others?
5. Consider the passages that were mentioned regarding the money we make. Are you living within or beyond your means? In what ways do people use wealth as a status symbol or identity marker? How can we, as Christians, bless others with our wealth?
For Further Reading: Timothy and Kathy Keller, God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Book of Proverbs (Viking: 2017)