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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 9:15

"Calling to those who pass by, who are making their paths straight"

We do not often realize who the greatest temptation is leveled at. It is the person who is trying to stay righteous. The person who is not cheating and is trying to stay faithful will feel a higher level of attention from temptation and folly than those who are enmeshed in living outside of God's boundaries.

Notice that the woman of folly – and really foolishness itself – targets those who are trying to live righteous lives. One would expect that foolishness would target people who have already given in, in some way. But Solomon here points out that the goal of foolishness is to tell half-truths to those who are trying to live good moral lives in order to get them off the straight and narrow path.

Foolishness – or the woman of folly – specifically sets up her place where there will be a lot of people passing by: ordinary people, businessmen, regular people. These are the people who are her special target. Can she get them to give into radical selfishness? Can she tempt them to stray from what they know is right for a little "naughty" pleasure?

We could debate why God would allow this kind of person to be so near the people who are trying to do good, but really it seems that God is testing us to see what is in our hearts and which things will we choose (it is not as if God does not know). This means that in every office, church, school, business, and home there will be temptation to be selfish. The temptation will come through those we know. The temptation to be selfish will come in various forms and in various ways, but it will come. Get ready for it.

making their paths straight

This is the Hebrew way of saying that this person is trying to live within God's moral boundaries. They are trying to be righteous. They are trying to be a good person. What is interesting is that so far they are succeeding. They have not given in, through an overt act, to the lure of foolishness.

Making your paths straight is a good thing, and it will result in a great life if it is accompanied by wisdom. There will be some things that you do not experience because to get everybody you love to win, you will have to give up some things. You will still win yourself, but there will definitely be something that you do not get to do. It is these sacrifices that foolishness and selfishness wants you to dwell on so that you can't bear to give these things up; but the small sacrifices of illicit pleasure are nothing compared to the great life that is waiting for those who persevere in doing what is right and being wise.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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