Thursday, November 17, 2011

Proverbs 9 - Lady Wisdom's Feast

LINK: Proverbs 9


"Wisdom opens the eyes both
 to the glories of heaven and 
to the hollowness of earth."  
J. Alec Motyer
British Biblical Scholar


"Live wisely and wisdom will permeate your life; 

   mock life and life will mock you." 
(9:12, The Message)


BACKGROUND

In the first part of this proverb, "Lady Wisdom" invites all to her dinner party. In this case, the feminine noun for wisdom is in a plural form. Some commentators believe this suggests Wisdom's fullness. We do not know what the seven pillars mean (although there has been much speculation) other than the house was large. The meal is extravagantly set, and we can come and partake. Those who accept Wisdom's invitation will have life, understanding, and learn from rebuke (For more on rebuke, see 15:31; 17:10, 19:25; 25:12; 27:5-6). 

A mocker (scorner, derider, the Hebrew word, liyliyth, comes from the name of a female goddess known as a night demon who haunts the desolate places of Edom) does not accept Wisdom's call and mocks any attempts at correction. So, this proverb exhorts us not to waste our time on a mocker. 

Wisdom's call is contrasted with the naive, empty-headed Madame Folly's invitation. Folly offers stolen water and food eaten in secret. She appeals to the senses.

When you compare the two, Lady Wisdom's banquet is so superior; but we all chose Folly at times. It is just the easier route when peer pressure tries to convince you that your wise behavior is naive and simple and foolish. Peer pressure even happens in your 50's, and sometimes it is very lonely!!! 

Thankfully I have many friends who desire to go to Wisdom's banquet. So, I do not find I am alone too often. :) Just this week, I had to call my wise friend, Kim, to validate some feelings! The road to spiritual maturity and wisdom is in the car pool lane! We need each other. 

REFLECTION 

Lady Wisdom cries out:


 "Leave your impoverished confusion and live! 
Walk up the street to a life with meaning." 
(9:6, The Message)

The prayer of Moses, man of God, was that God would “teach us to number our days that we may present to Him a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Is that your prayer to God also? There is no other route to wisdom than via the road of intentional, prayerful, protracted internalization of God’s Word through hearing,reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating; followed by prayerfully living this out in your everyday life through the Holy Spirit’s direction and by His power; and through the whole process, being in relationship with others who are going to Wisdom's banquet.
Many intend to go to Wisdom’s banquet, but they never make it because they get sidetracked by other activities that seem more important at the time. Don’t let anything become more important than your search for God’s wisdom in all of life.  
The Life Application Bible, p. 1086
Paul’s prayer in Colossians 1:9 is one we can pray for ourselves and pray for each other. He prayed that they would be “filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding." Let’s pray for one another in the Bible Book Club, that we would become people of wisdom. 

APPLICATION 

Feast on the banquet in Proverbs 9:1-6 then contrast these verses with 9:13-18. What things are distracting you from Wisdom banquet? It could be television, music, books, preoccupation with your looks, or "folly" friends. It does not mean you throw those away, but it may mean evaluating things. I had some evaluation last night about how I spend some of my free time after being away from my regular routine while on vacation last week.  Being away helped me to see the foolishness of some of my discretionary time.  So, I am making changes. How about you?

PRAYER

Lord, Your wisdom brings life. Fill us with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen. 
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