What is wisdom’s invitation?

“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” Proverbs 9:4

AS WE COME TO PROVERBS 9, we are confronted with a choice.  The passage portrays two houses,  one on either side of the road.  On one side, a house stands open, with an elegant lady named Wisdom inviting us in. On the other side of the road, another house stands open,  with a seductive lady named Folly inviting us in.

Which way will we turn? The “right” answer is easy—in theory. We are often told today that all we need is the right information. If we will do the research on the Internet we will know what to do next. But in reality we are running back and forth between these two houses all the time.  The right choice is obvious, but we are born sinners. We must understan, we were born with a bias toward folly.  Theologians call it Original Sin, and it is real.  It explains why our wills are unfree.  It explains why even obvious choices can be difficult or impossible.  Our hearts are corrupt. So, just knowing the right thing to do is not enough. We all have sins we have committed. We all have our own personal hall of shame.

Romans 3:23 (ESV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

In the gospel God addresses the real us in a new way.

Jesus calls us who are born again, “brothers”

Hebrews 2:9–11 (ESV)

“But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.  For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.  For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers,”

William Romaine, the Anglican pastor during the Great Awakening, taught us how to see ourselves in a new gospel way:

“Consider your state. You are a pardoned sinner, not under the law but under grace, freely, fully saved from the guilt of all your sins. There is none to condemn, God having justified you. He sees you in his Son, washed you in his blood, clothed you in his righteousness, and he embraces him and you, the head and the members, with the same affection.” each.

 What is Wisdom’s Invitation (Proverbs 9:1-6)?

Prov 9:1

“Wisdom has built her house;

she has hewn her seven pillars.”

Wisdom is personified as a classy lady, opening to us her palatial home.  But what is Solomon talking about in real terms? Jesus himself said,

John 10:10

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”.

The fact that Wisdom’s house has “seven pillars” says the same thing: the effort in hewing them out, speaks of industriousness. The wealth to finance them (ordinary homes did not have pillars), and perfection in completing them.

Prov 9:2

“She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine;

she has also set her table.”

No junk food at this feast!  Wisdom has been preparing a banquet for us.  What is the reality behind the metaphor?  Let’s think back over what we have learned thus far in the book of Proverbs about the benefits of wisdom.

  • Proverbs chapter 1—wisdom preserves us from violent people.
  • Chapter 2—wisdom enters our hearts with peace of conscience.
  • Chapter 3—wisdom improves us financially.
  • Chapter 4—wisdom elevates our status in society.
  • Chapter 5—wisdom makes relationships better.
  • Chapter 6—wisdom helps us accomplish our goals.
  • Chapter 7—wisdom protects us in temptation.
  • Chapter 8—wisdom opens our eyes to the joyous creation in which we live.

Prov 9:3-6  “She has sent out her young women to call from the highest places in the town,  “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”  To him who lacks sense she says,  “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed.  Leave the company of the simple, and live,and walk in the way of insight.”

Wisdom has sent messengers out into the world to invite more and more people into her banquet.  Wisdom cares deeply about people. And we are the messengers today.

1 Timothy 2:1–6 (ESV)  “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.  This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,  who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,  who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

Anyone can join the party:

Prov 9:4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”

Ephesians 2:8–10 (ESV)  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

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