Proverbs 1:31

Proverbs 1:31 "Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices."



In his letter to the Galatian believers, Paul said, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”  Here in Solomon’s letter to his son, wisdom is saying a very similar thing.  Without wisdom, a man will continue to eat the fruit of his own ways.  Without wisdom, a man will know no other fruit than the fruit of his own ways.  Without wisdom, a man will never taste the sweet juice of virtue’s fruit because contrary to the popular belief of our society, virtue does not come from within.  Virtue comes from without and more specifically, from above.

In plain words, you’ll be stuck with only your vices if you reject wisdom’s virtue.  The consequence of rejecting wisdom is not just missing out on its enlightenment; it is being stuck with your own foolishness.  The ultimate consequence for the simple is being permanently ignorant.  The ultimate consequence for the fool is being permanently foolish.  Without wisdom, the simple will continue to eat the unhealthy fruit of ignorance for a lifetime.  Without wisdom, the fool will continue to eat the harmful fruit of foolishness for a lifetime.  Day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year, a person without wisdom will eat the same fruit of their ignorant and foolish ways.  This is the plight of the fool – to be the same foolish person for the rest of their lives.

One of the most frustrating aspects of human life is the tendency to make mistakes.  Solomon tells us that from birth, foolishness is bound in the heart of man (Proverbs 22:15).  He goes on to say that a parent is tasked with the responsibility to remove that foolishness.  In Proverbs 29:15, he concludes paternal shame the consequence of a child left to himself.  Void of outside intervention, a child will remain foolish.  Void of outside intervention, a teenager will remain foolish.  And void of outside intervention, an adult will remain foolish.  Wisdom is that outside intervention we all need.  Wisdom and its virtues do not come from within the heart of man.  Foolishness and its vices however, do come from within the heart of man.

By nature, our ways are flawed.  By nature, our devices are flawed.  We do and devise things that aren’t healthy for us.  Left to ourselves, we will bring sorrow and shame to our lives.  Without wisdom, we will live lives prone to disappointment and heartbreak.  This is the ultimate consequence of rejecting wisdom.

Any person who is content with who they are by nature is inviting serious trouble.  The man or woman who feels they have all they need within them to succeed in life will be gravely disappointed.  The person who fails to recognize their mental, emotional and spiritual inadequacies will fail to recognize their lonely and disappointing future.

If armed only with our own thoughts
If armed only with our own ways
If armed only with our own devices
Failure is inevitable – helpless and lonely failure.

The person who thinks they need no assistance will get no assistance.  The person who gets no assistance will be lonely at first and helpless at last.  The man who thinks he needs no assistance will be unable to think a different way when facing a problem he cannot solve.  The woman who thinks she needs no assistance will be unable to see a different way when facing a dilemma she cannot remedy.  The person who thinks they needs no assistance will be unable to operate a different way when facing a crisis they cannot escape.  If we reject wisdom, we are limiting ourselves to ourselves.  If we reject wisdom, we are limiting ourselves to our own ways and to our own devices, both of which are bound in foolishness.  When we reject wisdom, we are sentencing ourselves to a lifetime of the consequences of following our foolish nature.

On the contrary, when we receive wisdom, we receive new and improved fruit.  Wisdom introduces its recipient to better thoughts, better ideas and better ways.  It replaces ignorance with knowledge and it replaces foolishness with reason.  Wisdom allows us to see our problems in a way that we wouldn’t on our own.  It allows us to think a different way, a better way that we wouldn’t think on our own.  It allows us to operate in a way that our nature and our individual tendencies wouldn’t permit.  Wisdom offers us a life that takes us beyond our individual limitations and frustrations.  Therefore, get wisdom. 

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