Proverbs 9

Talks for Growing Christians

The Ways of Wisdom and Folly

Proverbs 9

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Lesson Number 11

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Lady Wisdom invites the naïve to a sumptuous feast of long-term satisfaction.
  2. Madam Folly invites the naïve to a sinful meal of instant gratification.

Practical Application

  1. Can you pass God’s test of wisdom?


  1. In review, chapters 1-9 of the Book of Proverbs present the __________ of Wisdom and chapters 10-31 present the __________ of Wisdom. Chapter 9 is a great summary of the first 8 chapters where we’ve seen the __________ of wisdom and the ___________ of folly.
  2. Who is included in the invitation offered by the Lady of Wisdom (vs 4, 5)? How has she made her invitation known?
  3. Identify an Old Testament passage that speaks of a similar invitation to a feast. Identify the New Testament passages where Jesus spoke in parables concerning a feast or banquet.
  4. Is the invitation given by Madam Folly directed to those who are desirous of sinning, or to those who have intentions of walking rightly?
  5. Describe the setting in which the banquet of Madam Folly will take place.


  1. Chapters 1-9 of the Book of Proverbs present the Precepts of Wisdom, and chapters 10-31 present the Proverbs of Wisdom. In the first 8 chapters we’ve seen the benefits of wisdom and the pitfalls of folly.
  2. The Lady of Wisdom invites everyone to her feast, not just the intellectual and elite. The invitation goes out especially to the naïve and to those who lack understanding (v 4). She has made her invitation known by sending out her many maidens and making her announcement from the highest places. No one should miss her invitation!
  3. Isaiah 55:1-2 gives an invitation for everyone to come to drink and eat of a spiritual feast. Jesus, in his parables (Matthew 22:2-14 and Luke 14:15-24), invites everyone to come to a kingdom banquet. Unfortunately, not many accept the Lord’s invitation, and likewise, not many accept the invitation from the Lady of Wisdom.
  4. The invitation given by Madam Folly is directed to those “who go straight on their way,” not to those who are looking for sinful pleasures. However, the results are the same for all who accept her invitation as we see in verse 18, “her guests are in the depths of hell.”
  5. The setting of the feast of Madam Folly is one cloaked in secrecy and deception (vs 17-18).


  1. Discuss the direction and guidance given in Scripture in reference to bringing correction and rebuke to another believer. Consider the Scriptural qualifications for those who might rebuke another.


  1. Reflect on the last time you were rebuked. How did you react and respond to this correction, and to the one offering it? Did you refuse the words of wisdom and scoff at the one bringing correction, or did you welcome both the need for correction and the correction itself? Honor the Lord when godly correction is offered, and appreciate the courage and compassion of the one who has come to you.

Key Verses

  • “Rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser. Teach a just man and he will increase in learning.” Proverbs 9:8b, 9

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