PROVERB PRACTICALS wisdom or folly, proverbs 9:1-18 audio
Proverbs 9:1-18, Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city, Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding. He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased. If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it. A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing. For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, To call passengers who go right on their ways: Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
One of the constants of the book of Proverbs is the use of contrasts.
The word "but" is used 243 times in this book.
It is used to contrast what happens when wise choices are made compared to what happens because of foolish choices.
It is used many times as we see in Proverbs 13:2, A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.
And in Proverbs 13:11, Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.
We again see the use of contrast in Chapter 9 where we are given the final contrast between the person of wisdom and the person of folly.
We have seen that wisdom has been personalized as a woman and here in verse 13 folly is pictured as a woman who sits at the door of her house.
Each woman holds a banquet but the result of the banquets are very different.
Wisdom’s banquet leads to life, but folly’s banquet leads to death.
Wisdom has prepared for this banquet by building a house.
We are told that Wisdom has built her house and it is supported by seven pillars.
It is a substantial house and is in accordance with Proverbs 14:1, which tells us that: Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
Women, take heed here when you decide on a course of action.
Will it result in the building of your house or will it in effect, tend towards bringing it down.
It is obvious today that many are in the house demolition business for many homes today are being brought down instead of being built up.
Wisdom never plucks her house down but only builds her house.
The house that wisdom builds is a house of seven pillars, a complete, solidly built, substantial house, suitable for great banquets for it is a place where great gifts are given to those who respond to the invitation.
Wisdom has prepared her banquet by the slaying of beasts in order that her table be set with the finest of meats.
She has enhanced the wine by adding aromatic spices to it, enlivening the bouquet and improving the taste.
She has brought out her best china, her best silver, her best linen and her best lace to make the table glow.
Her maidens have gone out to issue invitations to the banquet, crying from the highest places of the city.
There is no one who does not hear the maiden’s cry to come and dine at the table of wisdom.
Wisdom attends to every detail as a gracious hostess would.
Her activity of course contrasts with the woman of folly who simply sits at the entrance of her house with very little to do for what the woman of folly does comes later and is done in secret.
Wisdom’s banquet reminds us of the great banquet that is promised to those who intend to marry the Lamb.
Remember in the book of Revelation where we are told that those are blessed who are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.
The Bible is replete with references of dining with the Lamb of God.
Isaiah 55:1 tells everyone who is thirty, to come and drink, and that he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
And Psalm 34:8 admonishes: O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
And Psalm 81:10 says, I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
Jesus said Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.
He referenced a banquet when he told of a certain man who made a great supper and bade many, saying Come; for all things are now ready.
But many made excuses which made the master angry but that did not stop the banquet for he ordered his servant:
Luke 14:21-23, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
Jesus is pictured as the bread of life, the water of life.
The very communion ordnance that we recently practiced points to him as the banquet at which we will dine.
He told his disciples to Take, eat; this is my body and to drink of the cup saying this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
He is the meat, he is the wine, he is the table gloriously arrayed.
And here in our passage he is wisdom calling to the simple.
He is the certain man who made a great supper and bade many to come and dine and would not let the banquet fail for he brought in the poor, the maimed the halt and the blind for not many mighty, not many noble respond to the call of wisdom.
So wisdom makes a point in calling the simple, those who have not yet made up their minds about their course in life.
Our Christian school is filled with the simple, students are simple and are in the process of making up their minds about their course in life.
Teachers, you are to be wisdom inviting them to the banquet.
Inviting them to subtlety of understanding, knowledge and discretion that wisdom provides.
For Wisdom calls to the simple, the ones who lack understanding, to turn in hither and receive understanding.
Come to the feast and dine upon my meat and bread, and drink of my wine which I have embellished with spices and delightful aromas.
Make a definite decision to forsake that which is foolish and come and go with me in the way of understanding.
There is in this call a definite time of decision for the simple, for those who are seducible, to those who can be lead astray, to those who believe every word.
Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither. There is a turning!
It reminds us of the absolute that Jesus told Nicodemus, Ye must be born again.
It is the forsaking of the foolish, and living; and going in the way of understanding.
Forsake the foolish! Be not the companion of fools for they shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
Wisdom promises life but folly promises death.
The amazing thing is that most choose folly.
The natural heart is so corrupt as to refuse the banquet that wisdom offers in favor of folly who only promises death.
Folly is described in verses 13-18.
A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing. For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, To call passengers who go right on their ways: Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
We see in verse 14 that Folly sits at the door of her house, she is on a high place of the city and we are told that she is simple and knows nothing.
The reason she knows nothing is that she does not know wisdom.
Her call, as Lady Wisdom’s call, also goes out to the simple.
But it is a clamorous call, a loud call, a call of commotion, a call of noise, a troubled call.
She has no public table set with fine linen, and gold and silverware.
No meat and no mingled wine.
All of her wares are in secret.
Her appeal is to the simple.
And it is also an appeal to turn, but it is an appeal to turn in hither.
It is an appeal to the simple to choose a course in life.
It is an appeal to those who want understanding.
This does not mean those who desire understanding but it means those who do not have understanding, those who lack understanding.
For those who do not have understanding will yield to her siren call.
We live in the age of great amplification of folly’s siren call.
It goes forth on the highways, and the byways, and the airwaves the cell phones, the internet, the television and the radio.
It goes forth as clamorous and calls the multitude to its altar.
You can hear the clamor of the call of folly where ever you go these days, especially the call that she issues though her music, clamorous in all its ways.
Even many churches have lent their ear and yielded to her call choosing to bring in her clamor.
But Wisdom calls to the spirit while folly caters to the flesh.
We see the war that wisdom engages in here for both put out a call to come to a supper.
One call will feed the soul and the spirit and the other call only feeds the flesh.
Folly always advertises the stolen waters as sweet and the bread eaten in secret as pleasant.
She advertises sensual pleasures as her banquet.
She feeds the simple the bread of deceit but never tells of the after taste of that bread.
But wisdom says: Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.
Folly specializes in secret sin but never advertises that all sin will be revealed.
Job told of the adulterer and the robber who think to hide their sin.
Job 24:15, The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me: and disguiseth his face.
And about the robber in chapter 24 verse 16: In the dark they dig through houses, which they had marked for themselves in the daytime: they know not the light.
And for both in verse 17: For the morning is to them even as the shadow of death: if one know them, they are in the terrors of the shadow of death.
Folly does not adhere to truth in advertising for she tells not of the eyes of God which do not know darkness.
Job tells us of this in Job 34:21, For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. 22There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.
Wisdom dispels folly’s notion of darkness by telling the simple in Luke 12:2,3, For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. 3Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
Folly never makes mention of "Thou God seest me" but wisdom must bring that to bear upon the simple.
"Thou God seest me" is that which comes to those who fear the Lord.
"Thou God seest me" should be the mantra of all parents who desire to rear their children for the Lord.
Unless this is implanted in the heart, the simple will continue in simplicity or eventually join the hosts of the scorners.
Folly claims stolen waters are sweet and bread eaten in secret is pleasant but wisdom again reminds her as she did at the end of chapter eight that at the end of folly’s road the dead are found and her guests are in the depths of hell.