Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars. She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. She has sent out her servants, and she calls from the highest point of the city, “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.” – Proverbs 9:1-6
Throughout the Bible, The Lord is a God who invites choices – the choice between two trees, two ways, two masters–ultimately all picturing His challenge to us summed up in Deuteronomy 30:19-20, “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life.”
In Proverbs 9, the writer offers us yet another choice, this time contrasting wisdom (vv. 1-6) to foolishness (vv. 13-18), inviting us once again to decide well. All the blessings and bounty of God are wrapped up in what is pictured here in wisdom’s call to your heart.
Wisdom builds a house well-prepared for you, which is much more than just any home. It is a spacious palace or sacred temple—only these residences had pillars in Bible times. The writer even tells us how many pillars are used. Seven! The number of perfection and completion, ever picturing God’s fullness and presence. A sumptuous feast has been carefully prepared here for you as well. One that is lavish, rich, and satisfying. So, come freely and eat fully!
Look closely, as well, at those who are invited to respond. Not only are all welcome here, but the simple are specifically called to come. This is good news for all of us, because though we live in “the information age,” it certainly does not seem to be an age of wisdom. The world’s great schools focus on inviting the brightest and best. The Lord is looking for those who have a need or desire for more. If you ever feel weak or weary, short on knowledge, long on struggles, over-extended or underqualified, this gracious summons is just for you.
Because of our sin nature, each of us is born with a bent toward foolishness. Our choices are often weighted toward our natural tendency to invite trouble, so God presents wisdom here as such a welcome invitation that we would not think to choose otherwise. And because of all that Jesus did for us in taking our sin and giving us instead His nature of righteousness, wise choices are now not only within our reach, but bring forth joyful, abundant life!
Think of it. Every decision you face offers up two choices. One choice is the opportunity to dwell with the Lord in His perfect presence, tasting and seeing that He is good. The other is to follow the leadings of a foolish and fallen world that will offer you only death and destruction.
But, as always, the choice is up to you!
Father God, thank you for the gift of choice that allows me to freely follow you. You consistently place good before me and bless me even when I don’t deserve it. The bounty of all you offer me in your perfect ways shows how much you care for me. Help me to follow hard after your wisdom and stay far from the foolishness that seeks to bring harm to me or others. Give me the softness of spirit to listen and look to you always. In Jesus’ name, amen.
– Jill Rhodes