Proverbs, Parables & Predictions (2)

The Book of Proverbs paints a picture of two opposing forces, wisdom and folly. Scattered pieces like jigsaw puzzles are in the entire Book but once put together a clear picture forms. A picture that makes wisdom and folly apparent. Packed with parables, Proverbs can be read on the surface level and be understood in humanistic terms but a deepener spiritual connotation is its essence. Folly, taken literally means lack of good sense or foolishness, in Proverbs however, folly alludes to the devil. The devil is also referred to as an adulteresses and as a prostitute.

‘For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end, she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.’ (5:3-4)

‘Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent. (She is loud and defiant, her feet never stay at home; now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks.) (7:10-11)

wisdom_and_folly

In the same parabolic way, Wisdom alludes to God and thus;

‘Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.’ (3:13-15)

‘Wisdom is supreme, therefore get wisdom. Though it costs all you have, get understanding. Esteem her and she will exalt you; embrace her and she will honour you. She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendour’ (4:7)

Wisdom and Righteousness (God) warns against Folly and the adulteress and prostitute (Satan) and beseeches us to find Him instead throughout the Book of Proverbs. Proverbs also highlights the characteristics of the followers of Wisdom, and especially of Folly. Those who stray from Wisdom and follow Folly are considered adulterers and prostitutes as well because we are all supposed to be the ‘Bride of Christ’. Those who do not follow Christ take up the same characteristics of their master, the devil:

  1. Enticing- ‘A malicious man disguises himself with his lips’ (26:24). ‘With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk’ (7:21)
  2. Mockers– ‘How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge’ (1:22) ‘The proud and arrogant man – “Mocker” is his name; he behaves with overweening pride’ (21:24)
  3. Evil intent– ‘for they cannot sleep till they do evil; they are robbed of slumber till they make someone fall. They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence’ (4:16-17)
  4. Reckless- ‘She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths are crooked but she knows it not’ (5:6)
  5. Hates correction- ‘Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse. Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you’ (9.7-8) ‘A fool spurns his father’s discipline’ (15:5)
  6. False authority- ‘The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge. She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, calling out to those who pass by’ (9:13-15)
  7. Deceitful- ‘She says to those who lack judgement, ‘stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!’’ (9:16-17)
  8. Cruel- ‘the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel’ (12:10)
  9. Rash- ‘A fool shows his annoyance at once’ (12:16) ‘Every fool is quick to quarrel’ (20:3)
  10. Broadcasters of lies- ‘A false witness tells lies’ (12:17)

Proverbs Parables and Predictions

  1. Self-righteous- ‘Fools mock at making amend for sin’ (14:9) ‘There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death’ (16:25) ‘He who trust himself is a fool’ (28:26)
  2. Gullible- ‘A simple man believes anything’ (14:15) ‘A wicked man listens to evil lips; a liar pays attention to a malicious tongue’ (17:4) ‘All at once, he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter’ (7:22)
  3. Rebellious- ‘An evil man is bent only on rebellion; a merciless official will be sent against him’ (17:11)
  4. Proud- ‘Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honour’ (18:12)
  5. Hard-hearted- ‘A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge but the simple keep going and suffer for it’ (22:3)
  6. Delusional and Fearful- ‘The sluggard says, ‘There is a lion outside!’ or ‘I will be murdered in the streets!’’ (22:13) ‘The wicked man flees though no-one pursues’ (28:1)
  7. Sell their souls to the devil- ‘Do not be a man who strikes hand in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you’ (22:26-27)
  8. Greedy– ‘Do not wear yourself out to be rich; have the wisdom to show restraint(23:4)
  9. Misplaced priorities- ‘Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that build your house’ (24:27)
  10. Unreliable- ‘Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble’ (25:19)

The fate of those who refuse to get Wisdom and choose Folly is dire because, ‘her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave’ (5:5) and ‘her house is the highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death’ (7:27). On the flipside, those with Wisdom are obedient and listen to correction and instruction. They heed to Wisdom who says, ‘apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge’ (23:12)

My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right ~ Proverbs 23:15-16

10 thoughts on “Proverbs, Parables & Predictions (2)

  1. Pingback: Proverbs, Parables & Predictions (2) — mulyalemutisya – quietmomentswithgod

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