Whoever is Naive

“Whoever is naive, let him turn in here!” Proverbs 9:4

For some reason, my mind always associates this phrase with bad choices. I’m not sure why the first image I have of eager invitations like this are of the adulteress sitting by her doorway enticing men to enter, or the woman representing foolishness.

In the book of Proverbs, this invitation is indeed extended by foolishness/folly, but even more emphatically by the woman representing wisdom.

First of all, it’s made clear in scripture that wisdom and foolishness don’t hide from anyone, and they don’t invite only a select few to enter in. In Proverbs 8:17, wisdom says, “Those who diligently seek me will find me.” They both make themselves heard by all who are “naive”, seating themselves in high places and calling out to all who pass by.

The term “naive” is used to describe someone who lacks understanding. It doesn’t imply a lack of intelligence, common sense, effort, or experience. The implication is that we are all born this way, without understanding, and with the responsibility of choosing our direction in life.

In order to stop being considered naive, we need to gain in understanding. What is “understanding”?

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverbs 9:10

Once you know the Holy One, you enter a whole new realm of wisdom and life. Wisdom promises to add years to your life (Proverbs 9:11), God’s favor (Proverbs 8:35), and great abundance (Proverbs 8:18): “Riches and honor are with me, Enduring wealth and righteousness.”

There is a section in Proverbs 8 where wisdom describes being present at the beginning of the world. Here are some of the verses:

From everlasting I was established, from the beginning… v.23
When He established the heavens, I was there… v.27
I was beside Him as a master workman; And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him, Rejoicing in the world, His earth,
And having my delight in the sons of men. v.30-31

It sort of gives a new twist to wisdom’s invitation: “Come, eat of my food and drink of the wine I have mixed. Forsake your folly and live, and proceed in the way of understanding” (Proverbs 9:5-6). I am so thankful His invitation was extended, again and again. What joy to walk with Him every day!

Bird on a Housetop

“I have become like a lonely bird on a housetop.”
David, Psalm 102:7

Life is full of paradoxes. It is intricately complex, yet the truths are remarkably simple.

I am not lonely anymore, I never feel alone…so at first I really didn’t like David’s words. In fact, sometimes the way he talks so transparently about his painful emotions scares me a little bit. I used to revel in the spirits of melancholy, loneliness, and despair…and am sensitive to avoid anything that may trigger that old nature in me.

But the sense of isolation David evokes, that I know intimately. In this house, I am the only adult. Every question is brought to me. Decisions affecting each day, each week, each moment are expected from me. I choose where we live, how we live, where we go to school, if we go to church, who we interact with.

Though surrounded by an amazing network of friends and family, I’m in a season of solitude. I really do see my home in this way – with me as a little bird perched on top, trying to pass along as much truth, love, and protection in the short time I have with my little ones. There are great promises surrounding this home! Here are some of my favorites:

You have made the Lord your defender, the Most High your protector,
and so no disaster will strike you, no violence will come near your home.
God will put his angels in charge of you to protect you wherever you go.
Psalm 91:10-11

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him,
And rescues them.
Psalm 34:7

In Malachi 3, He promises to open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings in such abundance that they overflow. (And He’s delivering!!) In verse 11 He says, “I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it may not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes.” Those are promises of security over my children.

So I’m picturing myself as a little bird, trying the best I can to protect these precious ones in my care. A rather daunting prospect. Sometimes it looks like and even feels like I am doing all this alone. He gave one more verse this morning, and I think it’s so cool that it ties so well into the whole theme.

He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
Psalm 91:4

We are constantly surrounded by His sheltering wings, nestled close to His heart, protected fiercely and devotedly at all times. Take a step back and look up.

Third Day: Your Love Oh Lord