(By Angela Watson)
You may be familiar with the image of the angel and devil depicted on the shoulders of a cartoon character who finds themselves in conflict. While this may seem a bit sacrilegious, this is precisely what we see pictured in the book of Proverbs, which provides us with a parallel between the voice of Wisdom and the voice of Folly.
Both Wisdom and Folly are portrayed as women calling out in the streets, seeking to gain the attention of those passing by.
But their messages are very different.
In Proverbs 1:20-33, we hear the call of the voice of Wisdom. Her plea is to turn from the way of evil and choose to follow after her, and in doing so, we will be filled with the spirit of wisdom, and will “dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”
Where does this wisdom come from? Proverbs 2:6-8 tells us, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk with integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.”
In the Disney movie, The Emperor’s New Groove, Kronk is faced with deciding whether to save Kuzco, and as he ponders his options, the “angel” and “devil” present each side. As the “angel” seeks to provide wise advice to Kronk, the “devil” responds with, “Don’t listen to that guy. He’s trying to lead you down the path of righteousness. I’m gonna lead you down the path that rocks.”
This scene reminds me of the woman of Folly, described in Proverbs 9:13, “She is loud, she is seductive and knows nothing.” She lures her prey with promises of great things, pleasures, and enjoyment in this life. The Proverbs warn us, “none who go to her come back, nor do they regain the paths of life” and “her guests are in the depths of Sheol” (Proverbs 2:19, 9:18).
What voices are we listening to?
Each day we hear many voices calling out to us. These may be actual people in our lives, or things like money, success, ambition, status, prestige, and pleasure.
Proverbs 3:18 tells us, “She (wisdom) is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her.” Wisdom is having the correct view of God, and when we walk according to God’s Word, we will get a little taste of the Tree of Life (Revelation 22:2).
Proverbs 4:23 warns us, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flows the springs of life.” Tim Keller writes in God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life, “The best way to guard your heart for wisdom is worship, in which the mouth, the mind, the imagination and even the body are all oriented to God.”
Philippians 4:8-9 gives us the blueprint for guarding our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
I pray that as we journey through this life, with all the voices calling out to us, we will seek to listen to and follow the Voice of Wisdom.
Casting Crowns “ Voice of Truth