Proverbs 9:1-6 – “Wisdom hath builded her house, she [wisdom] hath hewn out her seven pillars: 2 She [wisdom] hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she [wisdom] hath also furnished her table. 3 She [wisdom] hath sent forth her maidens: she [wisdom] crieth upon the highest places of the city, 4 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she [wisdom] saith to him, 5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. 6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.”
Notice that the house of Godly Wisdom is complete (9:1) and her table made ready for her guests (9:2). She sends out her maidservants, inviting those who desire to sit at her table [i.e. the table of Godly Wisdom], to come. The simple who lack moral judgment and discretion, receive an invitation to come and forsake the company of fools (9:4, 6).
There is a similar banquet portrayed in the New Testament that completes the meaning of Wisdom’s banquet in Proverbs 9. In a parable that portrays the “kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 22:1-14), Jesus described a royal wedding feast given by God the Father on behalf of His Son, Jesus Christ. The Jews, God’s chosen people, are portrayed as the first to receive the invitation to the feast; however, they rejected God’s invitation and slew the prophets that conveyed God’s Word and Law (Matthew 22:6-7).
For those familiar with Bible history, you are aware that the Jews, the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem suffered the fate described in the parable as those who rejected the King’s invitation in this parable. Because they rejected Jesus Christ and demanded the crucifixion of the Holy One, Israel and the city of Jerusalem suffered the fate described in Matthew 22:7. Fulfilling Jesus’ prophecy, Rome destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem in 70 AD.
Like the King in our parable, God sent the Apostles with the Gospel [the good news of salvation] and invited the Gentiles, described in the parable as unworthy, “both bad and good” (Matthew 22:8-10) to the wedding feast prepared for His Son. Many accepted the invitation and were most likely clothed by the king in wedding garments that were appropriate for such a royal event.
In the parable, the king questioned one guest who was not wearing a wedding garment (Matthew 22:11). He had come dressed in his own clothes; presumptuously assuming he was good enough for the occasion (Matthew 22:12). The guest supposed he could come to the wedding feast in a garment of his own making, but suffered the fate of lost sinners who presume they can enter Heaven clothed in their own good works—“cast him out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 22:13).
My friend, Hell is the fate of the sinner who rejects Godly Wisdom’s invitation to turn from sin and accept God’s offer of Grace and salvation through Jesus Christ. Like the foolish man in our parable, many go out into eternity supposing their good deeds are enough to cover their sins—they are not! I close with three verses and an invitation.
Isaiah 64:6 – “…all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…”
Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Titus 3:5 – “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”