This is the sermon for Wednesday, October 8th, 2008.
EVERYDAY WISDOM PART 8
The call of wisdom; the call of folly
My son is in the middle of some decision times. You see, as a Junior in High School and because of his high grade point average, he is really getting a lot of offers from colleges to consider them. Weekly, he gets several in the mail. Some colleges he is getting many offers for him to come for their college days, and really encouraging him to think about them. One day, he must make a decision. One that is best for us and him financially (scholarships, grants, and things of that nature), plus one that is best for the field that he would eventually like to go into. And while decision day is not yet here, it is right around the corner.
I’m sure that you as well have had to deal with decisions concerning direction in life. Maybe you had to decide from several different things. These decisions can be difficult.
Well, tonight, we are going to look at not so much decisions, but two different voices that are calling us.
Wisdom and Folly calls to every person. Their roads they are calling us to take lead in opposing directions.
Within the verses of Chapter 9 in Proverbs, God gives us the calls of both wisdom and folly and what the results will be in answering those calls.
Let’s ask the Lord to speak to us tonight through Proverbs 9.
1. The call to come and dine.
A. Wisdom has prepared a feast.
Proverbs 9:1-5 TNIV – 1 Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars. 2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. 3 She has sent out her servants, and she calls from the highest point of the city, 4 “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 5 “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed.
Wisdom’s call is to the simple. In Hebrew the word “simple” means, “Impressionable people who are prone to go astray and need help and guidance.” This feast is not done in secret, but is basically a Hebrew party or feast, where there will be food, drink, and dancing, very similar to the Jewish wedding feast. This reminds me of the old hymn, “Come and dine.” “Come and dine the Master calleth come and dine; you’ll be feasting at his table all the time; He who feed the multitude; turn the water into wine; to the hungry calleth now come and dine.”
B. Let’s look at a few other similar passages that refer to calling to a feast or meal or drink.
Isaiah 55:1-2 TNIV – 1 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Matthew 22:1-2 TNIV – 1 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.
Revelation 19:7-9 TNIV – 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s people.) 9 Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
C. Notice that wisdom has set up seven pillars. What are the seven Pillars? Well, Scholars debate what this means, but I feel the answer can be found in the New Testament.
James 3:17 TNIV – But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
There are seven things listed here concerning the wisdom that comes from heaven, let’s quickly look at them:
• Full of mercy and good fruit.
Think of these seven things as the seven pillars that Wisdom builds her house upon.
D. Folly has prepared a secret meal.
Proverbs 9:13-17 TNIV – 13 Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing. 14 She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, 15 calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way, 16 “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 17 “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!”
Folly also calls out to the simple: those who need guidance. Notice the difference, there is no feast here, no full meal, but it is water that has been stolen and food eaten in secret. Because Folly is so seductive, this is the meal that most people often approach. The reason is because Folly is appealing to the depraved nature of mankind. There is something alluring about the secret places. It appeals to man’s most carnal nature. This meal represents the Philosophies of this world, false religion, ambition and pride, and of course secret sin.
E. Let’s look further into their calls.
2. The call to come and learn.
Proverbs 19:6 TNIV – Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.”
A. Wisdom’s invitation is to the simple; those who need guidance, who are prone to stray.
She invites the simple to leave their simple ways. They do not have to be further influenced by the world and the things of the world. Wisdom’s invitation to the simple is to walk in the insight that only wisdom can provide. It begins with fearing the Lord and learning of Him.
Proverbs 19:10 TNIV – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
B. Folly’s invitation to the simple.
Proverbs 19:16a TNIV – Let all who are simple come to my house!
Folly longs for those who are prone to stray to follow her as well. The results of following her is quite different than following Wisdom.
3. The results of each call.
A. The results of answering the call of Wisdom is, to come and live.
Proverbs 9:11 TNIV – For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.
Following Wisdom not only adds years to your life, but life to your years. Following Wisdom will be productive and beneficial for you. By following Wisdom, it keeps you from the destructions that are found in following Folly.
B. The results of following Folly is to come and die.
Proverbs 9:18 TNIV – But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.
This passage is much deeper than just living a shorter life span. If true life is found only in the way of Wisdom (Christ), then death is found in Folly (sin). Those who are bound in sin are spiritually dead presently.
What can we do with what we learned tonight? The call we need to answer is the call of Wisdom. Wisdom’s call is found in the Bible. If you are prone to stray, keep your mind in God’s Word. It is the one true source that keeps us from falling.
In a world that chases after folly, let’s be the ones to follow after wisdom. Ask the Lord to make you wise so that the simple may hear the call of wisdom as well and turn from their sins and follow Christ.