Thursday, July 9, 2009

Invited to Dine – Wisdom & Folly Speak: Which Wins Your Heart?

Who is she?
“She is as awesome as a goddess, as playful as a small child, as comfortable as a mother’s arms, as challenging as a prophet, as satisfying as a table laden with food, as mysterious as a lover hidden among the lilies.”[1]
She, of course, is Wisdom.

Isaiah 55 (Invitation to the Spiritually Thirsty) speaks the same message to that of Proverbs 1–9, though it is the LORD who speaks. This proves the synonymity of the LORD and Wisdom. Until we approach both simultaneously we cannot think like God, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 55:8 TNIV)

Christians must therefore embrace Wisdom. It is now (in your understanding) a gospel truth.
The final chapter of Proverbs’ introduction gives opposing parties the chance to faceoff.

Wisdom stands in the blue corner and her table is adorned with game and scented wine; her servant-girls have personally issued the virtuous invitation: “You who are simple, turn in here... lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight.” (Proverbs 9:4a, 6 NRSV)

Standing in the red corner is Ms Folly. Her table is bare and looks simple: bread and water. But her invitation is deceptive. She says, “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” (Proverbs 9:17 NRSV) Those going Folly’s way will end up dining with the dead.

Wisdom knows most will reject her offer, even some so-called godly people. She has seen so many go to their dire ruin for rejecting her attractive and ever-sensible offer.

The last chapter of the introduction to Proverbs has the motif of ‘the last chance--make your choice’ about it.

And this is how life works. At different junctures throughout we’re asked to consider and then decide regarding wisdom. Time and again we’ll make the wrong decision--and we pay for it; but God, in his eternally long-enduring grace continues to dish up the same offer. Only when we’re physically dead will it be too late.

The point is when will we finally choose to accept it?

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved.

[1] John Goldingay, Proverbs – New Bible Commentary (Leicester, England: InterVarsity Press, 1994), p. 592. Citing Camp.

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