“Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.”
It has been a while since I last wrote a new post for Proverbial Thought, but in the process of re-posting entries I found that Proverbs 9:6 was not only left off the blog, but out of the book! (click here to purchase) That’s terribly embarrassing, especially since all the editing that has been done.
Therefore, this is a web exclusive!
The first word in this verse is an imperative: forsake. It’s not a word that suggests temporarily turning away, but abandonment. To forsake something is like saying “to heck with you,” turning on one’s heels, walking out the door, slamming it, going to the airport, buying a plane ticket, arriving at the destination, then burning one’s passport.
Why are simple words hard to understand?
If you have been reading Proverbs at all, even the least bit, you should be aware what foolishness is. Foolishness is man’s wisdom, not God’s. Foolishness is acting stupidly, even when you know there is a better way. Foolishness is rebellion, selfishness, seeking one’s own way, and never caring where the road leads, just as long as the trip is fun.
The “foolish” we’re commanded to forsake could be a combination of things. The “foolish” could be people, ideas, actions, philosophies, worldviews, attitudes, etc. There are foolish friends, foolish plans, foolish job opportunities, foolish desires, and foolish dreams – all of which lead down a bad road.
Forsake the foolish, and you might survive; don’t, and you’re in trouble.
The “way of understanding” can be interpreted as the “right” way, or even the way on which wisdom has already walked. It is the way in which people walk who walk in wisdom, seek wisdom, and love wisdom.
When we walk in the “way of understanding” we consider the consequences of each step and the direction we are going. The direction is a 180 away from foolishness.
But why is it that so many are more likely to hold on to the “foolish” rather than travel in the way of understanding? Instead of walking out the door and leaving the old ways behind, why is it that so many are more apt to slam the door from the inside, lock it, and turn up the music? The reason is based on one’s understanding of “living.”
One beer company is famous for touting the “high life.” Another shows people partying away the night saying, “It doesn’t get any better than this.” Everything from hotels to video game systems have encouraged consumers by promising, “This is living!”
Funny. Even kind of ironic, I must say. It’s hard to go down any path when you’ve locked yourself inside with computer game.
Yes, this post is technically 2 years late. On the other hand, God knew exactly who would be writing it and what would be going on. As my daughter Katie looked over my shoulder and read the proverb about which I was to write, she said, “Well, that’s timely…”
This week we’ve dealt with foolishness, the foolish, and an unwillingness to forsake it. I have personally witnessed a close family member, blinded by a lack of wisdom, detail a specific plan for destruction. I’ve even faced down a foolish physical threat. Foolishness…simply foolishness.
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. – Proverbs 16:25
Forsake foolishness and live, or shut the door and die. The way is up to you.