Tam - posted on 08/04/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )
What a weekend. My husband was away on a trip and the enemy came at me full force. I should be emotionally and physically drained, but our God is good. He's given me strength to do what needs to be done for Him. With that, here is this week's study of Proverbs Chapter Nine.
1Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars2She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.3She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,4Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,5Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.6Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.7He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.8Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.9Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.11For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.12If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.13A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.14For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,15To call passengers who go right on their ways:16Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,17Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.18But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
This chapter is a bit shorter than previous chapters and in it we see the culmination of our choices between the two women (lifestyles): Wisdom and Folly (harlotry, foolishness, etc.).
Notice in those first few verses how Wisdom does what she needs to do at home before she goes into the city. We touched on this a bit in the previous lesson when we talked about the people who are foolish and pretend to know it all so they boast of their knowledge (or show their lack of sometimes). Why? Because the fool did not prepare.
This is so true for us, even today. We need God's wisdom to put our own houses in order, to build that strong foundation like the seven pillars. We need to learn and grow at the feet of the Master. We can be living examples, but we need to learn before we can teach. Babies do not come out speaking and running, neither can we do the same in Christ.
And just as Wisdom calls to the young men to eat her bread and drink her wine, we should eat of the meat of God (His Word). Jesus Christ told us that He is the bread of life (John 6:33-35, 6:48). In the Lord's Prayer, we are asked to pray "Give us day by day our daily bread." Jesus is our daily bread. Jesus exemplified wisdom. And just as oil in the New Testament refers to the Holy Spirit, so too does wine.
From these verses we see Wisdom calling us to a feast of heavenly proportions, of spiritual satiation that will fill us to overflowing in Him!
The next section deals with the foolish ones we will encounter in our lies. We are told to forsake them "and live." I found that interesting. It doesn't say to try to persuade them until you're blue in the face, it says to live you should forsake them. Verse six also tells us to go in the way of understanding.
But then the next verse tells us why...the scorner (or scoffer, in some versions). In case you aren't sure, the scorner or scoffer doesn't believe, they will mock you or taunt you or your beliefs. The scorner is there to put you and your beliefs down and try to get everyone around to do the same or even make you doubt your own beliefs.
Verse 7 tells us that when we try to debate a scorner we come to shame. Why? These are the people that you could prove wrong ten ways to Sunday, but they are so blinded by pride and false security that they will continue their stance. Or worse, they will turn the tables on everything you say. They can be wily and hit the buttons of doubt in your soul to try to get you to doubt or slip up. Their goal is to come out the winner no matter how much truth you speak. So when we engage these scorning fools, we end up looking bad, our faith and our cause can look poorly to others because we were not prepared or wise enough to realize that we dealt with a scorner.
We know some of those, don't we?
Verse 8 tells us that when we rebuke a scorner he will hate us, but when we rebuke the wise man they will love us. A person who truly wants to know and understand and is willing to grow in the Grace of God will accept instruction and rebuke, because they know the heart of it comes from wisdom and love. Another reason we should be feeding ourselves of our daily bread. Pray for wisdom and discernment. We need to know when to engage and when to withdraw for His glory.
Now, I'm not saying we should not pray for scorners. And we certainly should not gossip or slander them! Don't go running to our neighbors saying, stay away. We should pray for their souls and pray that God soften their hearts to Him so they can be saved. If it's God's will, they will eventually seek. Sometimes, it takes a peaceful person to lead them to the Lord. They see what they lack.
But we are not to remain in a futile argument with them. But when we encounter those seeking hearts we should instruct them in God's ways, teach them for they shall learn and grow, just as our Godly mentors helped us, even when they tell us things we don't want to hear.
And that brings us to one of my favorite verses, ten: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."
Just knowing and praising and revering our precious Lord, we come to the table of wisdom! And when we do, we grow, when we feed from Him, our days will be multiplied. While having "common sense" can help us live longer on earth (don't touch the hot stove, don't run out in the highway, etc.), the knowledge of Him, the wisdom He gives us will help us live with Him in eternity! Praise God!
And just as a good Father, He once more shows us what can happen if we turn away from His goodness.
The last section of this chapter deals with Folly, the harlot. We see that going her way that she is noisy and loud. She doesn't really know and understand anything, there is no wisdom or depth in her. She also calls out to men as Wisdom does. And she will tempt many, mainly those who have not fed at Wisdom's table (verse 16). Yet see, she also tries to attract those who want understanding, tempting them from the path of God. She says "stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant."
Wow. That sounds like the world today, doesn't it? Everything has been turned upside down. Bad is good and evil is acceptable. Every where we turn, we are being told that good is bad and bad is good. We recently talked about how Hollywood, and other forms of entertainment has given rise to the anti-hero, or even given us villains that are more acceptable than the hero. We are told "one little drink won't hurt." We are led to believe that "looking doesn't hurt" (yet remember, Jesus said anyone who looks with lust in their hearts has committed adultery). We have fallen asleep and the world went topsy turvy.
The world became foolish.
Which is why I need to remember to lean not to my own understanding because obviously we can be fooled when we take our eyes off Him. He is the Truth.
Because if we don't heed Him and His wisdom, we will not see the death behind the sin, we will see the "okay to do it" mentality of the world, but not that the wages of those sins. We have become convinced that it's okay because so'n'so is doing it. That only means that you are following so'n'so into hell. God is very good, but He has given us strict guidelines and while our flesh will do all it can to find the loopholes, we need to sacrifice the lusts of our flesh to His will so we do not find ourselves on that path to hell.
Lord, thank You again for Your Word and Your Law. You care so much for us and we humbly worship at Your table. Grant us wisdom so we can live for Your glory. Show us what we need to know, open our eyes to the things You want to us to see and our ears to what You want us to hear. Keep our feet on Your path, and close our hearts to the call of the world and the foolishness they pass as wisdom. You are God, You are Holy and You are the Truth we need in our lives. We thank You. In Jesus' name, Amen.