Two Invitations Prov. 9:1-18 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In Proverbs 9, there are two invitations. One is from wisdom and the other is from the foolish woman. The recipients of the invitations are identical but that to which they are being invited is drastically different. We need to look at these two invitations very carefully so that we know exactly to what we are being invited.
Wisdom’s Invitation – Prov 9:4-5 – Wisdom says, “Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.” Wisdom’s invitation is to the simple and those who want understanding [i.e., Prov 7:7]. Wisdom has a banquet carefully prepared for them [Prov 9:2] and she sends forth her maidens to invite them.
At the banquet, wisdom teaches these simple ones to “forsake the foolish and live” – the companion of fools shall be destroyed – so a man can extend the years of his life by keeping away from the foolish – Ps 55:23 says, “bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days”
Wisdom also teaches the simple ones to “go in the way of understanding” – so it’s one thing to avoid the path of the foolish [Prov 4:14-15] but then you must have a way in which to walk – so you go in the way of understanding – in this way you only need enough light to walk in the right direction and make the next right step [Ps 119:105] – once you begin to travel that path a bit, if you are a wise and just man, wise men will be able to rebuke you and give you instruction to help you along this way and to keep you on this path [Prov 9:8-9] – but if you are a scorner or a wicked man, wisdom won’t waste her time with you – these kinds of men shame, hit and hate those who rebuke and reprove them [Prov 9:7-8] – you will leave the way of understanding and walk out of wisdom’s banquet.
As you walk along the way of understanding you begin to fear the Lord at which point you begin to get wisdom – remember that you started on this path as a simple one – the fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom in your life – that’s when you begin to change from a simple one to a wise man – also in the way of understanding you will begin to know God – “and the knowledge of the holy is understanding,” [Prov 9:10] – in other words, you go from being a man who wanteth understanding to becoming a man of understanding.
The result of attending wisdom’s banquet is that your days are multiplied and your years are increased [Prov 9:11] – you get so much more from the Lord out of the days and years of your life – there is a very personal benefit to you to be wise – to become the wise man that attending wisdom’s banquet and walking in the way of understanding will make you – but be warned that if you are a scorner “you alone shalt bear it,” [Prov 9:12].
The Foolish Woman’s Invitation – Prov 9:16-17 – [notice that she is simple and knows nothing, Prov 9:13 – notice also that her seat is in the high places of the city, whereas the maidens came to the high places where she and the simple ones are to call them away from her, Prov 9:14 – notice also that she is calling to the passengers on their ways (the same crowd to whom wisdom calls) Prov 9:15] – “Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant” – her invitation’s recipients are the same as wisdom’s but her “pitch” is much different – she entices the passengers with stolen waters and secret bread – and to make things convenient her house is right there – they don’t have to travel the distance to wisdom’s house.
The only comment the Lord makes about attending her banquet is that the “dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell,” [Prov 9:18] – do you know why the Lord doesn’t say anything else about what goes on there – because the fact that you are with the dead and that you will wind up in hell is all that matters – that fact tells you to keep out – you will surely experience the pleasures of sin but you will also experience venereal disease, divorce, bankruptcy, heartache, depression, cirrhosis, hepatitis, prison, dissipation, and all of the other consequences of sin you can imagine before you ever slip into your eternity in hell.
Conclusion: so the simple conclusion to this whole matter is this, “Whose invitation are you going to accept?” Do you not see in this passage that wisdom’s house is like a good Bible believing church? In it the pastor and teachers have prepared a banquet of milk and meat from the words of God. In it scorners venture in and leave because they won’t forsake the foolish and they can’t take the reproofs and rebukes. In it wise men begin to walk in the way of understanding and learn the fear of the Lord and the knowledge of the holy thereby getting to themselves wisdom and understanding. Perhaps your child has been raised in such a church and as a teenager begins to run with the foolish and to scorn the wisdom. Dear parent all of your attempts to rebuke them are going to be met with shame and hatred. Thank God if you have a child who is willing to walk in the way of understanding and respond to the reproofs of instruction. Don’t accept the foolish woman’s invitation – go instead to the house of wisdom.