I introduced two opposing schools of thought or philosophy in my January devotional from Proverbs 9. The first school I named the School of Godly Wisdom (Proverbs 9:1-6), the second the School of Folly (Proverbs 9:13-18).
Our focus today is the invitation to the School of Godly Wisdom where a man is offered an education described as having “seven pillars”, meaning complete, whole and wanting nothing (9:1) [by contrast, gullible, simple men matriculate into the School of Folly and follow a path of sin that leads to sorrow and destruction].
Wisdom is portrayed here as a woman of wealth who is preparing her household for a grand banquet for invited guests (9:2-6). We read:
Proverbs 9:2-6 – “She [Wisdom] hath killed [slain; slaughtered; butchered] her beasts [animals for food and meat]; she hath mingled [mixed] her wine [fermented wine diluted with water]; she hath also furnished [arrayed; ordered; prepared] her table. 3 She [Wisdom] hath sent forth [sent away] her maidens [young women servants]: she crieth [calls; invites guests] upon the highest places [lofty; elevated; high in social positions] of the city, 4 Whoso is simple [silly; foolish; easily led astray], let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth [void; lacking understanding; in want] understanding [heart; mind], she saith [speaks; commands] to him, ?5 Come [go; walk], eat [devour] of my bread [food], and drink of the wine which I have mingled [mixed; diluted fermented wine]. 6 Forsake [leave; refuse; abandon] the foolish [simple; silly], and live [revive the heart; prosper]; and go [go straight] in the way [journey; path] of understanding [wisdom; perfect understanding; insight].”
Wisdom’s invitation is open to all who would hear and heed her summons to come to her banquet (9:3-5). Even the simple and those lacking in understanding are invited to Wisdom’s banquet. There is a parallel feast to Wisdom’s banquet in the New Testament among the Parables taught by Christ, the Parable of the Marriage Feast (Matthew 22:1-14). In this parable is the picture of a king, a portrait of God the Father, preparing a wedding feast for His son Jesus Christ (22:2).
In the parable, the king sent out his servants to invite men of his kingdom to a feast to celebrate the wedding of his son; however, those who were first invited rejected the king’s invitation (22:3). A second time the king sent out his servants to announce the wedding feast was ready and inviting those bidden to come (22:4). Once again the king’s invitation was refused and some who were invited went home to their farms and places of business; however, others rose up against the king’s servants and beat and murdered them (22:5-6). When he learned his servants were mistreated, the king was infuriated and sentenced those wicked men to death.
Those who were initially invited having rejected the king’s invitation, the king sent out servants and directed them to make an open invitation to all who were willing to come to his son’s wedding feast (22:8-10). The king noticed that one man came to his feast, but had not changed into the wedding garments that were no doubt provided by the king for his guests (22:11-12). This man had come dressed in his own clothes, unwilling to accept the king’s provision. The audacious, impudent man was cast out from the wedding feasts as one unworthy to sit at the king’s table (22:13-14).
You might be asking, “What does all of this mean?” The parable I have described is a picture of God’s invitation to sinners to forsake their earthly ties and sinful affections and enter into His heavenly kingdom. The first men portrayed in the parable were the Jews, the descendants of Abraham who had received God’s Covenant promises, but rejected God’s Law and treated His prophets despitefully. The servants sent out a second time were the preachers of the New Testament, beginning with John the Baptist, Jesus Christ Himself and the apostles and preachers—the majority of whom were put to death by those who rejected the Gospel invitation. Those who rejected the second invitation, crucified Christ and killed the apostles were to be punished, a punishment fulfilled in 70 AD when the Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed.
The third summons and invitation is to all sinners (22:9-10), both Jew and Gentile, to accept God’s invitation and come to the wedding feast clothed in the righteousness God alone provides through Christ’s sacrificial offering of Himself for our sins. The man who was cast out of the feast reminds us that no man can come into God’s presence clothed in his own righteousness that the Bible describes as “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).
What about you my friend? Are you to be numbered among those who heard the invitation of the Gospel to confess you are a sinner and believe that Christ died for your sins, but either rejects the invitation or foolishly believes you can come to God’s judgment in your own merit (Titus 3:5)?
I invite you to accept God’s invitation to matriculate in the way of godly Wisdom, believe in your heart that Christ died for you sins and receive Him as your Savior. If your heart is being tugged upon by the truths you are reading and the explanations I am sharing, you can be sure it is the work of the Holy Spirit. Open your ears to the Truth and your heart to Christ.
Isaiah 61:10 – “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”
A Reminder: There are 31 chapters in Proverbs and a daily reading of this wonderful book can infuse God’s wisdom into your heart and life. I invite you to subscribe to my daily devotionals by going to www.HeartofAShepherd.com; you will find to the right of my blog a box where you can enter your email address and have the devotionals sent directly to your computer, tablet, or Smart Phone.
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith