© 2008 by Deidre Campbell-Jones
March Theme: Luck
Luck: Proverbs 7:10-12; Proverbs 7:25-27
Faith: Proverbs 8:1,4,6; Proverbs 8:17-18,21
I thought of the title for this weekend’s bible study long before I knew I would be spending the weekend with two lovely ladies who would frequently expound upon “the Herman luck.” They are sisters and we are in Florida for the wedding of the younger sister. They are lots of fun, profess a belief in God and somehow were born into a family that frequently suffers from “Anything that can go wrong, will.”
Somehow the Bride’s specialized bouquet with peacock feathers was delivered to the hotel in Florida two months in advance. No one called the Bride and therefore there has been now bouquet for the actual ceremony. This has been ascribed to “The Herman Luck.” I think “Lady Luck” is alive and well.
There are many things the world will give a female reference to – ships, cars –and so on. But there are few abstract, emotional concepts of the mind that are spoken of as a female entity.
You would think that “Lady Luck” would be some odd, human manifestation and it would be the total opposite to anything God would condone. And, in fact, since ‘luck” is a concept not found in the bible, you would think there would be no reference to her in the bible at all.
However, Proverbs describes two kinds of women: one is sought after and will bring nothing but ruin; the other is to be desired, but is often ignored – she will bring riches and glory. From a non-biblical standpoint either sounds like she could be our friend the lady of luck. The first woman in Proverbs is described so literally that we are sure of whom we think God is speaking of. Proverbs 7:10-12 reads, “10: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)”
How many of us skip over these passages about the harlot in Proverbs? Women skip over her because we know we won’t be lured into the streets by hookers. Happily married men ignore her; men, who have never had a desire to pay for desire, may give her a passing thought and young men who feel susceptible may read about her warily and hope they don’t get caught. But “Lady Luck” seems the perfect name for her. By giving her that name, we can easily see her luring unsuspecting men and women out to the brightly lit streets of Vegas and the casinos all dressed up like harlots, luring with an enticing finger all that would come inside and take their chances. But Proverbs 7:25-27 says “Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.” If we’re still talking about the casinos then we are talking in extremes and many of us still “pass by the harlot scriptures” in the scenario, because we are confident we will not go down like this. And we’re right many of us – especially those of us reading this bible study will never get caught up in gambling or prostitution at either at all (for the latter) or at any extreme (for the former).
Honestly however, this lady luck is not only working the streets of Vegas or Atlantic City. And she’s no longer a hooker or even a “call girl” – she is an escort, benignly waiting to escort you away from God’s simple truths of life. She’s walking the streets outside your job. She’s walking the streets at the grocery store, the gas station and the bank. She’s even walking the streets outside your house. And, I hate to even say it, but I’m sure she’s working outside many churches as well.
Lady Luck is a lure that looks good and enticing. She’s craftily and subtly whispering unsuspecting people away from what they know is good and right. She is anything that you hope for or depend on or pray for or get involved with that holds more weight, truth, opportunity or possibility than the promises of God. She is fools gold. She is opportunistic in stead of a good opportunity. She is good fortune without being godly. She is the here and now. She is not Mr. Right but Mr. Right Now. She’s another fish in the sea. She’s putting on a good front, a good show and she even appears to be walking the good life. Lady Luck is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Pull that away and underneath, Lady Luck is not all that lovely.
But there is one God describes and I see her as having a simple, pure beauty that is easily overlooked. She is not loud and stubborn; she is not in the streets crying out to anyone walking by. But she is crying, like the forgotten sister, always sitting in the shadows – forgotten and unappreciated. I say she is also underestimated.
Proverbs 8:1, 4 & 6 describes her this way; “Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? Unto you, O men, I [wisdom] call; and my voice is to the sons of man. Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.” She is not down in the streets of the city, she is crying at the gates, on the outskirts and at the entrance because no one will let her in. They don’t even want to hear what she has to say – even though she promises excellence and righteousness. She is Wisdom and many of us think we know her, but we are really walking with Lady Luck instead.
The bible describes Wisdom as being better than rubies. It says those who make witty inventions know her, as do Kings and noble men. But she is crying out to all of us. She may hang with elite of the elite in society – but she’d also like to hang out with you and me – at our jobs, the gas station and the bank; the grocery stores, inside our houses and especially at our churches. You see, though she may dwell with kings and noblemen, Wisdom is no respecter of persons. Proverbs 8:17 says “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” Wisdom is still speaking in the first person – she is speaking of herself.
If we look for Wisdom instead of seeking out that other chick – the one who is loud, flashy and bright, slick and alluring; we might indeed find all that we are hoping to find, but do not, when we are lured by lady luck. Wisdom promises so much more than what Lady Luck has to offer. In Proverbs 18-19 she says, “Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.”
A pastor once described to me that Wisdom is God’s feminine side. And I believe that. The promises of God always exist for those who would seek Him – Matthew 6:33 “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all else will be added unto you.” Well, God’s behavior as feminine Wisdom is no different. God wants us to seek Wisdom. She says this again in Proverbs 8:21 – “[Seek me] that I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.” Well, that sounds like better odds than anything you’ll get at the casino, or through the lottery, or any chance with Lady Luck.
Besides, Wisdom promises nothing but good – but as we see with the Herman sisters, Lady Luck is catch as you can: find Lady Luck and you aren’t necessarily guaranteed to find good luck.
When the bride’s bouquet was possibly missing it was “the Herman Luck” but when it was delivered on time for the wedding the next day, from the right florist, and looking absolutely beautiful, only Goodness was thanked. Well now who is she!?
Just like luck has its bad luck and its good luck so does lady luck. And she’ll lure you with the good she offers so innocently and sweetly that you don’t realize how she drags you down. She’ll step into the picture as bad luck and intercept a bridal bouquet, then deliver it on time as good luck, so you’ll say “thank goodness” instead of “thank God.” Good luck will make a cashier hand you $10 in change instead of $1 in change and bad luck will make you put it in your pocket instead of handing it back.
But wisdom cries out to be recognized and understood. For when we act with wisdom instead of on hunches and immediate good fortune, we build for ourselves a life of wealth and riches that supercedes even just our finances but permeates every aspect of our lives – physically, spiritually and emotionally.
Lady luck may have her altar ego “bad luck” but Wisdom’s twin is Faith. Have faith that God wants the very best for you and it is by His orchestration that it comes to you – when you seek out Wisdom - instead of hoping it will fall in your lap, or you will stumble upon it, or sit next to the lovely lady luck. I say if lady luck is considered to be lovely, then her beauty is only skin deep. It pales in comparison to the depth of beauty we would find when we seek wisdom.
eHome Bible Study homework: Read Proverbs 2 – clarify both Wisdom and Miss Lady Luck in the passages.
Power, love & Peace
(2 Timothy 1:7)