5/06/13 - PTC_Proverbs 9 - "Dinner is served"
Priority Time Challenge 2013
To view the instructions for our journey through the Proverbs and the daily schedule, click here.
Proverbs 9:1-6 & 13-18
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.
6 Leave your simple ways and you will live;
walk in the way of insight.”
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!”
18 But little do they know that the dead are there,
that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.
Who? There are three personas represented here in the text. The first is Wisdom. The second is Folly. Third are those who "have no sense." This is not the first time that we meet these characters. IN fact, this is foundation of most of the Proverbs. The uncomfortable part is we as the reader only have one option as to who we are in the text - we are in that group of "those who have no sense." My immediate reaction to that is one of pride and offense. Certainly not me! I have some sense, I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but i'm no idiot. The reality is as fallen human beings we aren't remotely close to having the wisdom of God. That's the standard by which all wisdom is measured in the proverbs. When the Proverbs refer to someone who lacks sense he isn't meaning basic ability to get along, he's referring to the "sense" that comes from God.
What? "Her house." This phrase is used for both "women" in this text. Both Wisdom and Folly have a house. There is a warning within this contrast. Each house comes with an invitation to come in. This is where the warning is. This invitation is not simply an invitation for a tour of each home but rather an invitation to come and fellowship, to be influenced and defined by the host. The interesting thing to me is the invitation is equal for those who lack sense. We are invited into both houses, to both opportunities to fellowship and be influenced. This should both encourage us and cause a health sense of fear. God is eager to give us wisdom. Incidentally, I think I've used that phrase in most of my posts in Proverbs so far. This is a powerful truth we find in Proverbs. God eagerly wants to give us His wisdom. He wants our lives to be successful by His definition. We must respond to the right voice. We must RSVP the right invitation. My fear is that we can develop a pattern for listening and responding to the voice of Folly instead of the voice of Wisdom. Once we fellowship with Folly, we tend to gravitate there. Verse 18 is very revealing. This verse is written from the vantage point of the narrator, not Wisdom and not Folly. In verse 6 we see that Wisdom clearly front loads the positive consequences of listening to her - "you will live" and "walk in the way of insight." Folly on the other hand lies, verse 17, “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” She adds no clarity to the reality of what happens in the long run. Folly always lies. The contrast to wisdom is ALWAYS supported in the short run by a lie. We must be head's up! God give us eyes to see through the lies.
Why? The reason we choose to fellowship with Wisdom is because she is truthful and she produces LIFE. That's the game. God intends for us to discover the best of life through His wisdom. At times, His wisdom can seem negative at first but in the end it's always for our good. That's why I'm sure to include the caveat that success in life should be defined by God, not us. Just yesterday I made my oldest son mad. He wanted to go play with a friend and the schedule just wasn't going to work out. I had to tell him "no." He pouted and had an attitude for the following 2 hours. I made the decision to protect a schedule that was in the best interest of everyone in our family not just him. He lacks sense. Its my job to ensure the good of my whole family not just one of them. So, at first he disagreed and even hated my decision. But i the end we had a great time with our family that evening. God's wisdom works this way sometimes. He does not always do what we want, but He always does what is in our best interest.
How? Here's the kicker… it's in our court to choose which house we will go to. Which voice will we listen to? Who will we fellowship with? Let me be candid… You cannot afford to take shortcuts in your relationship with God. To find wisdom you must come to the Lord's table and partake of what He provides. Sometimes that means eating the vegetables of the Spiritual journey. Folly will tempt to you to steal your food. Why? Because stealing is how you get what YOU want. The truth is, lots of Christians are "stealing" food from others and rarely, if ever, pulling up a chair to God's table. I love that people read my blog and books, listen to my sermons and podcast my radio show. But there is NO replacement for you opening God's Holy Word and eating what He has set before you. Right now, will you recommit to the Priority Time Challenge. I know you are actually doing it, or at least reading my posts about it, but still you must decide and re-decide to stay faithful. We need more and more fellowship with Wisdom. We must admit our lack of sense and respond to Wisdom's invitation.
For me this text reveals the daily competition for my attention. God forbid me from becoming cocky and thinking I've attained something on my own. Keep me humble in this pursuit of You. I need to recommit today to being at Your table daily. God, I need fellowship with You. I need to dine on Your wisdom. I also need to do better in my leadership of others to encourage and even challenge them to prioritize their own decisive action to answer Your invitation.
Lord, thank you for my family. I feel like most days are a strange dichotomy of feeling extremely blessed by the family You have given me and the stress of the family You have given me. Continue to help Amanda and me to have time together, even if we don't get hours together give us good minutes together. I pray for protection over my home. I pray that the Holy Spirit will be in full reign in our home. I pray Drew continues to grow in his young faith. I pray you help me be intentional in his discipleship. I pray for the salvation of Cooper, Wesley, Ford and Joshua. I pray that the culture of our home produces mighty men of God.
I pray for the growth and vision of Highpoint. God protect our church family. I pray for the marriages that seem to chronically struggle give them freedom. I pray your will give our leadership your wisdom. Keep us from Folly.
These are the days that I'm certain Amanda and I will look back on and laugh and even wonder how we made it through. I don't want to allow the pace of it all to cause me to miss out on things. I need to enjoy this more. I still get far too impatient. I want the memory of me to be one of commitment to and love the Lord and Amanda, encouragement for everyone in my home and lots of fun.
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