How personally the Proverbs speak to our hearts! Chapter 9:2 is especially compelling. A spectacle is presented to us of a spiritual Feast in the making by Lady Wisdom. Who’s invited? Whoever sincerely desires understanding! “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) The question is, who is hungry and thirsty for Divine Wisdom’s offerings, and who is not? Who would rather be filled with the spiritual junk food of the Black Magic Woman?
A spectacular house has been prepared where this banquet is to be held! Could this be the “house of prayer”, or temple wherein the Holy Spirit dwells?
Seven pillars secure this house in its place. We’re reminded of James 3:17: The central column is first of all purity or holiness, then peaceableness, gentleness, reasonableness, helpfulness, humility, and sincerity. (see http://www.icr.org/article/seven-pillars-wisdom). These pillars are “hewn out”. (This may not be the only view of the seven pillars, but it’s one that makes a lot of sense.) I’d like to think of these pillars as “hewn” from the complete righteousness of Christ Himself, the Foundation Stone and testimony upon which Christ’s Church is founded – against which the gates of hell cannot prevail.
The first order of business in the Wisdom Feast is to slay the beast! Why? They never can be kept alive under the same roof with the seven pillars! That beast nature would demolish everything! It would be like trying to serve an elegant dinner in a pig pen.
Again we refer to James 3:15 (Amplified Version), where he defines superficial wisdom as “not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (animal), even devilish (demoniacal).” Consequently the beast, the animal nature – flesh, old adam, carnality – must be put to death. We reckon that part of self crucified, slain, in Christ, living according to that fact! One does not live within the house of Wisdom or partake of her feast without first dealing with the beast through surrender to the Holy Spirit and repentance.
Mixed wine could refer to the ancient perennial Wisdom blended with that of the “Jesus Wisdom”, the Wisdom greater than Solomon’s. Or the old Wisdom mixed with the new wine of the Holy Spirit. We need to imbibe both!
She is ready to celebrate. But what is a feast without those who are hungry?
Her invitation goes out to the simple, and the one who wants understanding.
However, reappears the “BMW” (Black Magic Woman of previous chapters) in verses 13 through 18. She also makes her appeal, but by way of temptation, to the “simple” and to “him that wanteth understanding”. Her appeal in verse 16 KJV is identical to Wisdom’s appeal in verse 4! She allures with the idea of the stolen and the secret – something to be done hidden away and out of sight, so that it perhaps appears to be on the up and up, but really isn’t. In fact, it’s the place of spiritual death, the very depths of hell.
Curious. When Wisdom sends out Her maidens to invite guests to Her feast, they are found (verse 3) “upon the highest places of the city”, whereas the BMW is seated “in the high places of the city” – but not the highest.
The BMW, foolish and clamorous, calls out to “passengers” (KJV verse 15). The first thing that comes to mind is somebody who’s just going along for a ride, being carried or driven somewhere. The NASB translation hints that they’re “making their paths straight”, or per KJV – “who go right on their way”. She too makes her appeal to the seeker, but with selfish, cunning, and destructive motives.
Verses 7 through 12 are sandwiched between Lady Wisdom’s invitation and that of the appeal of the BMW. They attend to the matter of who is open to Wisdom, who is not, and what the result is to anyone who wishes to share it with those who either scorn Wisdom or treasure Her.
This seemed to bring up Matthew 7:6 – “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”
There is no point in trying to reprove a scorner, in other words (Proverbs 9:7) or to rebuke a wicked man. It does not go well for the messenger! “Beasts” on the loose will only trample him and his message.
So then we may wonder, what is the point in addressing the corruption of our secular society and government? Is this mindset so far gone that this is a worthless pursuit, in light of the directive of both Jesus and this Proverb? Food for thought…
In conclusion, we can lead a horse to water, but we can’t make him drink. Likewise we can lead a man to Wisdom, but we cannot make him think!
Thus the best course after all may be to first be the change we’d like to see in the world, embracing Wisdom ourselves, so much so that maybe someone sometime somewhere will ask the question, What makes this person different – wise, knowledgeable, content, and loving, not to mention manifesting the fruit of the Spirit listed previously in James 3?
As Jesus also taught, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.” (Luke 6:41, 42)
Might the best recourse then be to begin with this personal prayer: “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom”? (Psalm 90:12) Or, we could get even more up close and personal: teach me to number my days, that I may apply my heart unto wisdom.
And as the old song from The Sound Of Music tells us it’s a good idea to “start at the very beginning, a very good place to start, when you read you begin with A-B-C, when you sing you begin with do-re-ME”!