The Lure of Lady Wisdom: Reflections on Proverbs 1:20-33

Finally, "fools (kasilim) hate knowledge" (Prov. 1:22). The fool is slow-witted and cloddish, finds no delight in understanding (Prov. 18:2), is ever involved in mischief (Prov. 10:23), his heart (the place of understanding in Hebrew anthropology) proclaims foolishness, his mouth pours foolishness out (Prov. 15:2), his very life feeds on foolishness (Prov. 15:14). In short, fools are immune to Wisdom, resting comfortably in dullness and ignorance.

It is easy to see that Lady Wisdom is closely aligned with full knowledge, with careful discernment, with genuine openness to the call of YHWH for insight into the ways of God in the world. Lady Wisdom, who was the first of the works of YHWH, proclaims loudly that human society must be built on the solid foundations of true wisdom that includes careful thought, discerning criticism, and openness to a community of justice for all. What is to be avoided are mindless mob behaviors, cynical rejections of wise counsel, and the continual proclamations of senseless foolishness.

I now wish to announce that our modern world has too often eschewed wisdom as it is described in the book of Proverbs. But I imagine you have already discerned that for yourself. The internet has turned too many of us into cynical mountebanks, building our "arguments" on the lies and quarter-truths of fools who imagine that endless repetition of those lies will magically turn them to truths. Thus the ubiquitous "news alert crawls" that scroll, colored red for danger, across the bottoms of several of our most-watched TV news shows.

Too often these alerts are little more than mindless repetitions of information, half-digested and poorly reported, that upon further examination prove to be less than valid. Add to these loud cries the depredations of Facebook and Twitter, among other social media sites, and you have a perfect storm of cynical blather that purports to be the truth.

So once again, and always, Lady Wisdom calls to us in the streets and highways of our cities, crying out, "How long, you simpletons, will you just love being simple?" It is far past time that we heed her call.

9/11/2015 4:00:00 AM