“Wisdom has built her house; she has carved its seven columns. She has prepared a great banquet, mixed the wines, and set the table. She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come. She calls out from the heights overlooking the city. ‘Come in with me,’ she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says, ‘Come, eat my food, and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment.’” Proverbs 9:1 - 6 (NLT)
Have you ever been to a wedding or special event where there was a banquet? There is something special about celebrating a special moment with food and friends. In this chapter of Proverbs, Wisdom is throwing a banquet and she has invited everyone to come. I don't know about you, but I would love to attend a banquet thrown by Wisdom; I bet there would be some incredible food.
In verse one, Solomon says that wisdom has built a house with seven columns. While an odd number of columns may seem like an interesting design choice for an HGTV show, it is important to note that ‘seven’ is often used in the Bible to show completion. Think back to the creation story in Genesis, God created the world and then rested on the seventh day. The number seven appears hundreds of times in the Bible to convey completeness or perfection. Wisdom has completed her house and sent out invitations to a grand banquet with great food and wine.
Who was invited to the banquet? The simple and the fool! In verse 3, Wisdom calls "from the heights overlooking the city" for those who could come to partake in the banquet festivities. Just like in chapter 1 of Proverbs, Wisdom is once again crying aloud for those who would hear to come to the table. She even offers specific invitations to the simple and fool. To the simple, there is a called to leave their simple ways behind and follow wisdom. We talked about the simple in our last devotion and how that anyone can be simple; it just means that you do not know. So wisdom is inviting those who are simple to begin to live and follow the ways of wisdom. In essence, we are invited to walk up the hill to the house of wisdom and learn.
The fool is invited to learn to use good judgement. Fools often lead their friends and family astray and bring tragedy in their wake. I think we could all use a lesson in good judgment at times in our lives. The beauty of this invitation is that the simple and fool do not need to change anything before coming to the banquet. They are invited to eat and drink with wisdom just as they are. Can you see the parallel with Jesus and his disciples as he shares his last meal? The disciples are invited to eat the bread and drink the wine with Jesus before he dies. He offers wisdom and instruction to his followers, and even to Judas who would soon betray Him; the invitation was to "take and eat” (Matthew 26:26). Wisdom has the same offer for us today. Put away your simple and foolish ways and learn how to walk in wisdom.
Don't mess with mockers
“Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. But correct the wise, and they will love you.” Proverbs 9:7 - 8 (NLT)
Have you ever fed the seagulls on the beach? It's a terrible idea because in about one minute your beach camp will be infiltrated by a flock of seagulls. It only takes a piece of bread or a few chips to ruin your perfectly good spot on the beach. Mockers are the same as the flock of seagulls looking for a scrap of food. Wisdom tells us that if we engage with a mocker we will just get insults and pain. There is no use in trying to reason or offer correction to a mocker. They will not take correction. In fact, they will only offer hate in return. When I think about mockers, I think about the comment section on websites like YouTube and Facebook. One comment leads to another, pretty soon people are getting their feelings hurt and nothing has been accomplished.
Chapter 9 offers a litmus test on whether or not we are living in wisdom. Verse 8 says, "correct the wise, and they will love you." Mockers hate correction, simple people cannot understand correction, but the wise love correction. Wise people know there is always more to learn. The wise never stop learning; if you are alive, there is more to learn. Are you walking in wisdom? Think about your reaction the last time someone offered correction or helpful advice. Did you love them for taking the time to speak into your life? Or, did you respond with an insult or defensive action? It takes time, practice, and prayer to love correction.
Reflect and Respond
We will not love correction until we see ourselves as welcomed by God. Just like wisdom, God is calling us to come and feast with him. He has prepared a table for us and welcomes us, just as we are, to come and enjoy His food and instruction. We do not earn His favor, but we can follow His instruction. Take a few minutes to consider whether you are living as the simple, the fool, the mocker, or the wise today. Are you quick to hurl insults? Are you using good judgment? Do you hate instruction? Walking in wisdom is an opportunity for growth each and every day.