Wisdom and Folly

Topics: Septuagint, Book of Proverbs, Tanakh Pages: 5 (806 words) Published: May 3, 2015


Wisdom and Folly: Essay Three
Liberty University

Wisdom and Folly
Nearly seventy-five percent of The Old Testament consists of poetry. This includes the books of Psalms and Proverbs, which are written entirely in poetry (Henner, 2014 par. 1). In the English Bible there are 5 poetic books: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. The Hebrew people used poetry to express emotion, promote worship, and to instruct wisdom Hindson & Yates, 2012 p. 232). It is the assertion of Hindson and Yates that Hebrew wisdom literature or poetry provides instruction to people on how to live a good and godly life (2012, p. 233). Living a good and godly life, the Hebrews believed, begins with an intimate relationship with God. In Ephesians 5:15-17 the scripture states, “Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is” (New International Version). Hebrew wisdom literature, through the use of past experiences, creates a guideline for people to live a good and godly life (Hindson & Yates, 2012 p. 233). Hebrew wisdom is practical and can be applied to many aspects of our daily lives (Hindson & Yates, 2012). This guideline uses these past experiences to provide information on what will work and what will not when dealing with life. In order to gain wisdom an individual should be diligent in their life. Individuals who choose folly over diligence will not be successful. Folly will only produce negative consequences. This is stressed in Proverbs 13:4, “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied: (English Standard Version). Being successful in life involves good decision-making, making adjustments when necessary, and thinking before speaking. Proverbs 15:13, “The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge but the mouths of fools feed on folly” (ESV). The Book of Proverbs definitely can serve as a guide on how to talk, behave, and how to relate to other people. Having God as the foundation of your life, truly know Him, and fear Him is the only way to truly attain wisdom. Proverbs 1:7, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (ESV). If having wisdom leads to good decision-making then folly or laziness leads to poor or bad decision-making. Folly or laziness is often addressed in the Book of Proverbs. For example, in Proverbs 14:15, “The simple believe everything, but the prudent gives thoughts to his steps” (ESV). As Hebrew wisdom literature guides us in good decision-making, it also reminds us of the consequences of laziness or folly. In Hindson and Yates (2012) the reader is told that folly can lead to the ruination of relationships, poverty, and bad decision-making. One must stay diligent in order to lead a successful life. Hindson and Yates (2012) discusses when someone is diligent they can become wealthy from the work they do not from corruption or greed (p. 266). We all have choices to make everyday throughout our lives. The individual must make the decision to work hard and not become obsessed with wealth. Being diligent is thinking things through and making godly decisions. Folly is choosing the easy path, taking the easy way out, making excuses, and procrastinating. In order to be diligent, one must walk a path of righteousness, work hard, make good decisions and always keep God at the forefront of their life. We must be diligent with not only our words and actions, but also with our thoughts. Thoughts of folly can only lead to negative consequences and an ungodly life. Proverbs 19:3, “When a mans folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord” (ESV). Hebrew wisdom is quite relevant today. It appears in society today diligence is not an aspect of life but choosing the easy path is. The generation of...

References: Henner, J. A. (2014). Hebrew Parallelism. Retrieved from http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/23_parallel.html
Hindson, E., & Yates, G. (2012). The Essences of the Old Testament: A survey. Nashville, TN: B & A Publishing
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