If God’s voice were the only one that we ever heard, then more people would choose the path of wisdom that leads to life. But the awful, painful truth is that there is another voice that has called out to us since Adam and Eve were first tempted in the Garden. Satan and his demons work through fallen people and the evil world system to draw people away from God and down the road of folly that leads to death. It is the broad highway, and many there are who follow it; the way to heaven has always been narrow and few do find it (Matthew 7:13-14). I wish this were not true, but these are the very words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; I dare not take anything away from them to make Scripture more acceptable to myself or others.
You see, that other voice that seeks to corrupt our thoughts and desires makes a constant, strong appeal that speaks to our wicked sin natures. It is a false appeal that does not satisfy our need for God and in the end leads us to suffering, sorrow, and death; those who follow the path all the way and never leave it for Christ end up in hell, forever separated from their Creator (Proverbs 9:18). Like the immoral woman that we’ve seen in Proverbs 5 and 7, the voice of folly promises easy pleasure without hardship, effort, and sacrifice (v. 17). It is indeed a very loud voice that screams at us through what we see and hear all around us every day, sounds and images that influences our imaginations and self-conversations (vv. 13-15). Folly offers counsel that seems fun and won’t take require much or any work or self-denial from us. Most people are not exposed to the other voice, the voice of God that comes to us through the preaching and teaching of His Word and the work of the Holy Spirit on our consciences. So they are “simple” or naive, don’t know any better, and become willing victims of Satan’s lies (v. 16), dumbly walking along through life like sheep to the slaughter.
Passages like this remind me of why I labor in studying for and writing these expositional devotions for our students and anyone else who wants to read them. All the research and two thousand years of church history show that godly, spiritually healthy Christians are made so by regular, personal study of and meditation on the Word of God (Psalm 1:1-3). And the research also shows that most professing Christians, even students and families in Christian school communities, rarely or never read their Bibles on their own. They’ve never learned or been trained to make a habit of personal devotions. They’ve never been pressed with the dire importance of consuming the Word of God for their own spiritual growth in faith and holiness. And if they do try to read their Bibles on their own, they soon give up because they have no plan and don’t know how to understand what they are reading and what it has to do with them. So, just like their unbelieving neighbors, the so-called people of God follow the same voices of folly in how they actually think and live their daily lives. My brothers and sisters in Christ, this must not be so!
As we head into this school year, I beg you to look to your souls and make a daily time in God’s Word the top priority in your lives. Billy Graham famously let Presidents of the United States stay on hold when was alone with God. Do we have anything near that kind of high view of our Lord when it comes to our appointments with Him? Through the blog and our weekly lunchtime discipleship meetings, we are offering you a Bible reading plan, help in understanding the Bible and how it applies to your lives, and small group encouragement and accountability. Please consider taking advantage of this or a similar opportunity through your church to grow this next year. Don’t put your souls on the back burner and dumbly follow the false appeal of folly like so many others. Determine to let God’s Word and Spirit shape you into the image of the Lord Jesus.
The Text (Proverbs 9:13-18)
13 A foolish woman is clamorous; She is simple, and knows nothing.
14 For she sits at the door of her house, On a seat by the highest places of the city,
15 To call to those who pass by, Who go straight on their way:
16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here”; And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
17 “Stolen water is sweet, And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
18 But he does not know that the dead are there, That her guests are in the depths of hell.
Questions to Think About
- How would your life be different without the influence of the Word? In other words, if you had never heard or read the Bible, how would your thoughts, desires, words, and actions be different?
- How have you been doing with making a daily time in God’s Word a top priority in your life? What might help you to be more faithful in your daily devotions?
- Why do you think that so many professing Christians spend so little time reading and thinking about the Bible? What is the solution to this very serious problem of the modern church?