Proverbs 7-11
(It Appeals to the Intellect)
July 2nd

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.

- Proverbs 8:35 (KJV)

Summary of Chapters

Chapter 7 leads off with additional warnings regarding the adultress. Then, in chapter 8, the author re-iterates the analogy from chapter 1 in which wisdom is a voice in the city, and it personifies that voice by recording her speech. The voice of wisdom emphasizes how she is more valuable then precious metal. She emphasizes her divine origin by pointing out that she existed before the world was created and offers various examples of major milestones in creation that all occurred after she was created. "The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old (Prov 8:22 - KJV).

Chapter 9 contrasts the invitations of the woman wisdom versus the woman folly. One offers closeness to God and sound advice regarding how different people will accept advice. Meanwhile, the woman folly offers stolen goods and a path to death.

In chapter 10, Solomon offers alternating verses describing the actions of and outcomes for the wise versus the unwise, including the ones noted below:

Chapter 11 continues this pattern covering a range of topics such as integrity, discretion, and the proper way to gain and use wealth, such as this one: "The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller (Prov 11:24 - MSG)."

Reflection and Application

The most valuable attribute was created first. The world is built on wisdom, so shouldn't we want to understand that before anything else? A footnote in the New American Bible explains that chapter 8 is the most well-known of the chapters in the book of Proverbs and has deeply influenced both Jewish and Christian perspectives on wisdom. The footnote further explains with examples from the New Testament, "The Gospel of John portrays Jesus in the language of wisdom in Proverbs: Jesus, like Wisdom, calls out to people to listen to him, promises to tell them the truth, seeks disciples, invites them to a banquet, and gives them life (1)."

One observation regarding the dueling invitations in chapter 9 is that wisdom appeals to intellect, while folly appeals to the senses. If we use our minds to objectively and logically compare the two different invitations, we will see that the gains of wisdom are long-term. We may need patience to learn and follow them, but we will benefit in the long run.

If we have integrity, we can feel good about ourselves (at peace); even if we believe we did not gain anything by it (and perhaps lost something material because of our integrity). The unwise may have had temporary gains, but it's a crooked path that leads to nowhere.

When we give of ourselves, what do we gain? Perhaps we gain a better perspective on our own humble position in the world and gain the joy of seeing others make use of what we have given.

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions

    1. Can you think of an experience where you unexpectedly heard your name called in a big crowd of people?
    2. What are the opposing invitations that you are hearing this week?
    3. What do you expect to gain from wisdom?

    Recommended Prayer
    Father in heaven, we know wisdom was created before we were. Help us to use the intellect you gave us to choose wisdom over folly.

    Suggested Prayer Concerns
    Small Business Owners


    (1) New American Bible, footnote after chapter 8

    Looking Ahead

    Tomorrow's Reading: Proverbs 12-14 (The Wise Control Their Tongue)

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