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2nd June

Proverbs 7-9; Psalm 148

Bible in a Year
6 minutes
In this article
2nd June

Proverbs 7-9; Psalm 148

Bible in a Year
6 minutes


So far in Proverbs we’ve started the introductory speeches from a father to his son. We learnt that wisdom is to be practised and that these are not promises or laws. They are principles for living out righteousness and justice. The father started out by warning his son to avoid following those who are wicked. Instead, he should chase after Lady Wisdom, the embodiment of wisdom. Lady Wisdom calls out to all to listen to her, but the foolish ignore.

The father explained the value of wisdom and how it only comes from God. It comes when we put our trust in God and not ourselves. And it also comes as part of righteousness. They’re a package deal. If you’re not living righteously, you’re not listening to wisdom. Wisdom should be a lifelong journey. It doesn’t happen overnight.

The father then brought a second character, the adulteress. While pursuing Lady Wisdom leads to righteousness and life, pursuing the adulteress will destroy your life. This wasn’t meant to serve on a commentary on women. It’s a father using the idea of a good woman and a bad woman to teach his son wise principles. The ways of the adulteress seem attractive to begin with, but they soon lead to destruction. Instead, the son should hold to integrity and right living. The father also offered some practical advice. From handling debt, to working hard, to keeping your talk honest.

Proverbs 7-9

The father once again encourages his son to treasure up teaching and wisdom, so he can avoid the ways of the adulterous woman. He reveals the kind of people that often fall victim to her ways; the simple and the young, who lack understanding. The adulterer stalks the town looking for prey. Once she has found one, she will jump in and uses flattery and allure to trap him. She floods his senses with words to stop him from thinking and lures him into her bed. He is described as like a trapped animal, too stupid to realise what is happening until it is too late. Like an ox to slaughter.

This is the power of temptation. It overrides our mind to stop us from thinking too much and lures us in with good things before trapping us. The father encourages the son in ways he can resist temptation. First, guard your heart. Make sure your thoughts are clear and your judgement isn't clouded. Second, do not stray into the path of temptation. Keep your distance. It's much harder to fall prey to temptation if you don't let yourself anywhere near it. And third, look past the immediate promises of pleasure to the consequences. Temptation and wickedness more often than not leads to death and destruction. Focus on that, rather than what you might get in the short term.

Again, in contrast, we get Lady Wisdom. She doesn't stalk around the town, but stands in plain view for all to see. She cries out to all men, making herself readily available, and inviting people to follow her ways. Wisdom leads to what is right, to righteous living. This is why her teachings need to be treasured more than silver or gold. Fearing God and pursuing wisdom means that you hate and avoid evil. Wisdom is the best way to lead, from kings and princes, to anyone who governs justly. Those who love and pursue wisdom are blessed and favoured by her.

Wisdom is its own reward. Wisdom has existed before creation, and through her, God created the world. She is woven throughout all creation. Wisdom is so much more than just choosing to do good things. Wisdom is a natural, spiritual law that governs the earth. And so Lady wisdom ends her speech, encouraging all to keep her ways, to listen to her, to search for her and find her. All those that do will be blessed and find favour with God.

Coming back to the father, he ends his speech with one last comparison between Lady Wisdom and the foolish woman. Wisdom is like a woman who prepares a feast and openly invites everyone to come, rest, and be nourished by her food. Because she is openly inviting, don't feel you need to drag others to her feast. If people are choosing to ignore her and be foolish, trying to force them to listen will only get you in trouble. Leave them to it and focus your energy on people who are willing to listen.

As long as you fear God and put your trust in him and his wisdom, then you will be blessed. That's the important thing. Meanwhile, as Lady Wisdom is openly inviting people to her feast, the foolish woman is loudly trying to capture people as they walk by. She tries to convince those who will listen that wickedness, stolen secret things, are good. But all this time, she leads people to their death.

And so the opening section of Proverbs is finished. The whole point of this section is to set up the simple truth that wisdom comes from placing our trust in God to guide and lead us, and to warn people of the importance of pursuing wisdom and the danger of choosing foolishness. Next comes the section the book of Proverbs is famous for, the collection of short sentences teaching us how to live our lives.

Psalm 148

This psalm isn’t attributed to anyone in particular and falls into the category of praise psalm. These final five psalms (Psalm 146-150) serves as a doxology for the whole book of psalms. They praise God as king and speak his authority over all things.

Psalm 148:1-6 - Praise the Lord from the heavens

Psalm 148:7-12 - Praise the Lord from the earth

Psalm 148:13-14 - Praise the Lord Israel

The psalmist starts with a call to praise the Lord from the heavens. They call to the angels, the host of heaven, the sun, moon, and stars to praise the Lord. This is a call to both the physical objects we see in the sky and the spiritual powers in heaven to praise the Lord. He is the one that created them and has established them.

Next, the psalmist turns to the earth and calls for it to praise the Lord. Whether it be sea monsters in the deep, or the elements and the weather. From mountains and hills, to trees, wild animals, cattle, insects and birds. All the earth should praise the Lord. And of course, that includes humans. From leaders to your average person, from male to female, and young to old. Let all people come praise the Lord.

In particular amongst the humans, let Israel praise the Lord. They should worship him because he is powerful and mighty. But they should also worship him because he raised them up and chose them to be his people. The message of this psalm is simple. All creation should praise the Lord.

Anything you think I've missed? Maybe you've got a question that still needs answering. Send me a message over on my Instagram (@brynjoslin). I'd love to talk it through with you some more.

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