Lady Folly

Read: Proverbs 7

All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter. (v. 22)

The opposite of knowledge is ignorance. The opposite of wisdom is folly. Whether or not you are foolish doesn’t depend on how much you know. As C. S. Lewis remarked, “A man may be a Master of Arts and still be a fool.” Folly isn’t not knowing; it’s knowing and not doing.

Proverbs 7, like several other of the book’s early chapters, is written in the form of a father’s advice to his young adult son, warning him against being taken in by the seductive come-on of an adulterous woman. But this chapter isn’t meant to be read literally as much as allegorically. The “loose woman” is Lady Folly; the path she beckons us toward—the road that leads to death—is the way of life that rejects God and his Word and follows sin to its inevitable destination (vv. 25-27).

John Newton, the pastor best known for writing the hymn Amazing Grace, tells us what makes a fool: “A fool has no sound judgment; he is governed wholly by appearances . . . He pays no regard to consequences . . . Are these the characteristics of a fool? Then there is no fool like the sinner, who prefers the toys of earth to the happiness of heaven; who is held in bondage by the foolish customs of the world; and is more afraid of the breath of man, than of the wrath of God.” —David Bast

As you pray, ask God to help you resist the voices that entice you to sin, and guide your steps into the way of life.

About the Author

Rev. Dave Bast retired as the President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope in January 2017, after 23 years with the ministry. Prior to his ministry and work at Words of Hope, Dave served as a pastor for 18 years in congregations in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several devotional books. A graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, he has also studied at both the Fuller and Calvin seminaries. Dave and his wife, Betty Jo, have four children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, growing tomatoes, and avidly follows the Detroit Tigers.