Dine with Wisdom
Speaker: Rev. Scott Strickman
Sermon Series: An Invitation to Wisdom: Proverbs 1-9
Proverbs 9:1-18 (ESV)
1 Wisdom has built her house;
she has hewn her seven pillars.
2 She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine;
she has also set her table.
3 She has sent out her young women to call
from the highest places in the town,
4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
To him who lacks sense she says,
5 “Come, eat of my bread
and drink of the wine I have mixed.
6 Leave your simple ways, and live,
and walk in the way of insight.”
7 Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,
and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.
8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
11 For by me your days will be multiplied,
and years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;
if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
13 The woman Folly is loud;
she is seductive and knows nothing.
14 She sits at the door of her house;
she takes a seat on the highest places of the town,
15 calling to those who pass by,
who are going straight on their way,
16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
And to him who lacks sense she says,
17 “Stolen water is sweet,
and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
18 But he does not know that the dead are there,
that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.
Accepting Wisdom’s invitation to enter her home and dine with her (vv1-6) will have at least three results:
1. Learning the Fear of God
v10 “the fear of God is the beginning… knowledge of the Holy One is insight”
v11 “For by me…”
v9 “give instruction to a wise man and he will be wiser still”
2. Resisting the Impulse to Scoff
vv7-8 “whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse”
vv13-18 the woman folly: “stolen water is sweet” (v17)
3. Choosing the Life of Wisdom
v12 “if you are wise, you are wise for yourself”
Questions for Reflection
Reflect on the imagery of Wisdom inviting people into her home to eat with her. How does this picture a way of true learning? What are some implications for how we are to live?
What is “the fear of God”? What is “knowledge of the Holy One”? Why are these important for wisdom?
How can you remain open to learning, but also protected against deception?
Why do people scoff? What are some reasons why we ridicule, look down on, gossip, etc.?
How are you affected by what others desire? What influences what you want?
Why are people drawn in by flattery and or drawn to things that are forbidden?
Have you ever fallen for a scam? If so, what lessons did you take from it?
How is Jesus the fulfillment of the one who invites us to enter his home and eat and drink with him? What imagery from Proverbs 9 do you see in the ministry and teaching of Jesus? In what ways is Jesus the gate to enter the life of wisdom, and the one who leads us on its path?
Prayer of Confession
Wise and loving Father, thank you for inviting us to life with you. We admit we have given in to flattery and deception, and have been disinterested in what is true and good. We have wanted what others have wanted, but we have not wanted you or what you want. We have hated ourselves, others and you. Our scoffing evidences our own folly. Forgive us for it. We admit we are foolish by nature, and need you to teach us. Lead us, and protect us. Amen.