Beware of the Foolish Woman
by: Jonathan Painter
“A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing. For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, To call passengers who go right on their ways: Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.” (Proverbs 9:13-18)
The Book of Proverbs is full of examples of the kind of young people we should be as well as the kind of young people we should not be. I would like to introduce you to a woman that no godly young man should ever be interested in dating; a woman that no young lady should ever aspire to become. This woman is not the strange woman of Proverbs 7; rather, the foolish woman of Proverbs 9. I personally believe that the foolish woman is more dangerous than the strange woman. The strange woman is very open and obvious about her agenda from her attire, to her actions, while the foolish woman is more modest and subtle. The strange woman targets those who are already drifting away from what is right and those who are in the wrong place at the wrong time while the foolish woman attempts to attract those who “go right on their way.” The strange woman attempts to specifically snare men, while the foolish woman will prey on men and women alike. We will use God’s Word to help us identify the foolish woman.
1. She is loud (Proverbs 9:13)
The word “clamorous” means loud. The foolish woman is very loud and boisterous. She always has something to say. When I was in Bible college, I used to have a teacher say, “Gentlemen, if you can hear them before you see them, you don’t want to date them.” I would be very careful of a woman who is loud; we often want to excuse it away as “immaturity,” but in reality, it may be an earmark of a foolish woman.
2. She is simple (Proverbs 9:13)
The word “simple” according to the Webster’s 1828 means, “weak in intellect.” The word “intellect” means: the ability to understand. Therefore, one who is simple is weak in the ability to understand. This form of simplicity does not come from birth, as in a special needs individual; rather, by choice through lack of effort. A foolish woman does not understand things because she does not really try to understand. Basically, she lacks the desire for understanding and therefore “knoweth nothing.”
3. She is lazy (Proverbs 9:14)
Notice the first three words if you will, “For she sitteth…” These three words speak volumes about the character of a foolish woman. I have yet to meet the individual who was loud and simple, and who was also a hard worker. There is a distinct contrast between the wise woman and the foolish woman. While we find the foolish woman here sitting, we find the wise woman of Proverbs 14:1 building.
4. She is nosey (Proverbs 9:14)
As if it were not bad enough that the foolish woman just sits, will you notice where she is sitting? She is sitting at the door of her house. She cannot mind her own business. I would worry about a woman who cannot mind her own business. She sits at the door of a text message or a phone call with the ever standing question, “What are you doing right now?” Someone who has to ask multiple people all throughout the day what they are doing is someone who cannot mind their own business. The problem is that the foolish woman does not learn and does not work, so she gets bored and must attempt to engage in idle conversation. Idle conversation often turns to idle gossip over the phone screens and messaging boards of the foolish woman.
5. She is visible (Proverbs 9:14)
Notice, she sits in the high seat of the city. She wants to be visible in order to attract others who are simple, “Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither:” She is out to attract a following. This is one of the most telling marks of a foolish woman. In school, at church, in Bible college, a foolish woman will target new members to the group. She sticks close to these new people unless they are interested in actually understanding something, and then she stops hanging around them to find someone who is simple with no desire to learn. She begins to try to build a following of simple people because it gives her a feeling of accomplishment to lead simple ones. She sees every new person as a potential follower, not a true friend. She would never miss a service; she might miss a potential follower. She would never miss a class; she might miss getting the “first shot” at a new follower. She will not work to build anything of substance, but rather talks to build a following of unspiritual simple people whom she can lead around at will.
6. She is distracting (Proverbs 9:15)
Notice she calls passengers who are minding their own business. She is a distraction to those who would have otherwise kept right on doing what they needed to be doing. They might have kept learning God’s Word and gained understanding, but she distracted them as they went on their way. They might have understood enough to pass their classes and went on to graduate, but she distracted them, and now they have failed. She is a distraction.
7. She will discredit (Proverbs 9:16-17)
She cannot stand those who truly want to accomplish something; they make her uncomfortable. Someone who actually has a desire to do something is a constant reminder to herself that she has truly done nothing. Therefore, she will attempt to snare those who want understanding. We often think of Proverbs 9:17, as a verse describing the loss of purity; however, the context of this passage is not limited to such a sin. The man in verse 16 wants understanding; the foolish woman does not want him to achieve understanding. Proverbs 4:1 teaches us that if we are to achieve understanding, we need to heed goodly counsel from godly authorities. The foolish woman, in an effort to block the achievement of understanding, will try to discredit the counselor and his counsel. After she discredits the counselor and his counsel, she will insert her own counsel which cannot lead to success. She will advise the drinking of stolen waters and the consumption of secret bread. These are underhanded dealings that bring no understanding.
8. She is a spiritual killer (Proverbs 9:18)
She may not take out a knife and literally kill someone, but she does so with her words and actions. She will not physically kill a person, but spiritually kills a soul. She has stolen many hearts; she has sealed many graves. I dare say that all the graveyards in the world could not contain all the dead that she has slain. I have seen the strange woman take out a man, but I have seen the foolish woman take out a church. She is dangerous, she is destructive. Beware of the foolish woman!
Lincoln Baptist Church