Lately my 7-year-old son has been putting signs around the house to tell us certain things. If he wants money for ice cream at school, he writes a note and puts it in a spot that he thinks we will see it. If we see it, his goal is realized in the form of an ice cream treat at school. If he creates something and doesn’t want it to be destroyed, he writes a note warning us that it is there. A few weeks ago he was outside writing with chalk and he wrote “do not enter” on a section of the deck. This was intended for his brothers to read; both of them do not read. When his body wash was almost empty he ironically put a note on it that said, “Do not use, almost empty.” Sometime last month he made a sandwich but couldn’t eat it all and put it in a container to save for later. It was truly a mess, but fixed upon the container was a note that said, “Do not eat.” I mean, who wouldn’t want to eat that, right? In his mind, if it is written as a note, then it must be followed.
The world is full of signs that want us to go, do, or avoid certain things, many of them conflicting. How many different times have we been told to drink coffee or avoid coffee? How many different fad diets have come along with their ideas about how to be healthy? Our children live at a time when popular culture is perhaps the edgiest it has ever been. The messages do not co-exist well with each other. How does someone make sense of all of it?
Proverbs 9 speaks about the contrast between wisdom and folly. Wisdom starts with God because He alone is wise. Folly is the contrast to that. The interesting piece is that they both are at the highest point of the city trying to steer people to their way of doing things. When you are doing right things, folly will naturally be there shouting to get your attention. The difference is that one of them leads to life and one leads to death; one is a counterfeit and one is real. The Bible provides a path for us to follow, but you have to read it to know you are on the path. Without it, we are susceptible to whatever comes our way at any given moment. I work with teenagers, but I also understand that this does not just happen to them. We must know and apply the Word of God, which is the truth, and avoid that which is not true.
Even the best placed and best intentioned signs don’t accomplish anything if they are never read. If I was walking on a path in the dark and there was a sign that said, “bridge out” it does me no good because I didn’t read it. And, while, sin will not shout to you and tell you that it will destroy you, God’s Word will give you instruction on what to avoid.
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”(Psalm 119:105)
With some wisdom from the Word of God, we can avoid the trappings of sin and walk in wisdom. It is there we find life and blessings!
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. ” – Proverbs 9:10