Proverbs 9:1-6

 

Yale University used to train men to be Congregational pastors.  In fact, it was Yale University that sent ministers to the Mohicans in New York to tell them about Jesus and Christianity.  But things happened---bad things---and by the 1960’s nothing remained of Yale University that was truly wise or imparted any kind of Godly wisdom.  William F. Buckley, a brilliant man himself and a Christian, pointed this out in his book Of God and Man at Yale.  Some people say that this book started the conservative movement in our country.  Whether it did that or not, it did point out that an institution that began with the hope of imparting true wisdom ended up being a repository of foolishness (in God’s sight most importantly) when it adopted and adapted earthly wisdom.

 

Christianity is about wisdom.  Christians are wise people.  They are invited by “the only wise God” (Romans 16:27) to become wise.  Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived.  He wrote the Proverbs.  Not surprisingly, he points us today to “the only wise God” who is having a banquet.  This God is called “Wisdom” in the words before us.  Understand who Wisdom is…

 

WISDOM CALLS…

 

1. Be Worldly Wise

It doesn’t sound right at first.   Be worldly wise?  But yes, be worldly wise.  You are in the world.  God wants you to be here now as salt and light.  He also wants you to be wise here in this world.  In this way and in this world…be wise!  Don’t wait for heaven to be wise.  Then you will know, even as you are known (1 Corinthians 13).  True enough.  But be wise right now.

 

There is nothing in the Bible that tells us that our heavenly Father, or any other father for that matter, is happy if his children are not wise.  No Father is happy with his children when they act stupidly…dumbly.  “To have a fool for a son brings grief; there is no joy for the father of a fool.” 17:21 Your Father didn’t enroll you in the course of life in this world to have you fail it.  He didn’t put you in the school of life where he put you to have you become known as the most ignorant and unwise of all the students there.  He wants you to be wise.  He commands you to be wise.  He invites you to be wise.  That’s what Proverbs 9 says.  

 

Christians have a bad reputation in the smarts department.  Christians aren’t thought of as being exceptionally bright people.  Surely by this world’s standards they aren’t thought that at all.  The Lord even says in his Word that we are saved by “the foolishness of what is preached.”  In that same place (I Corinthians 1) he says, “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called.  Not many of you were wise by human standards.”  To those believers in Jesus who don’t know that they are to be wise as they live in this world, Jesus says, “Be therefore as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves.”  

 

Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars.  She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table.  And through this world those sent to announce the banquet of Wisdom call out.  One is calling out to you this morning, “from the highest point of the city.”  (Understand, you wise ones, that this is the highest point in city for you today!  Here!  At Cross and Crown or wherever you worship)

 

Being wise has a great deal to do with what you are eating.  You are what you are eating, you know.  Conventional wisdom tells you this.  Read the wrapper on your candy bar.  You’ll find out everything that is in it.  Look at your next energy drink.  It will tell you what you are drinking so that you can be wise…or at least as wise as people are who drink energy drinks.  Was there ever a people wiser in this regard of eating properly than the people of our world today?  When wisdom calls from her banquet hall today, we all get the picture.  

 

You are what you eat.  If your diet is porn magazines and chaffy newspaper stuff and political tirades and economic forecasts and vapid novels and tawdry tabloids….then think of what you are becoming spiritually.  You won’t be up for your Christian race.  You won’t make it to the ninth round in the fist fight of faith.  Eat the good things Wisdom provides.  Let it be in your mouth as honeycomb.  Hear about Jesus.  Hear about Jesus’ people and be inspired by their wisdom and their ways.  They are a whole cloud of witnesses.  They are glad when you swallow---and believe---what your God tells you about yourself and about his Son Jesus.

 

2. Be Intelligently Interested

 

You are in the world and your God wants you to be wise here.  Wisdom has prepared her banquet.  Eat.  Be satisfied.  “Why spend money on what is not bread and your labor on what does not satisfy?  Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.”  (Isaiah 55:2)

 

But also be intelligently interested…in what your God is saying this morning.  Let all who are simple come in here!  People who are intelligent have some desire to get into right and good things.  “Come,  eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed.”  That’s Wisdom.  That’s God talking.  Remember that at the end of the book of Romans Paul says, “To the only wise God…”  So when you hear about this food to eat this morning, know that it is Wisdom and know that Wisdom is your God himself.  

 

Jesus is the very food that your God prepared for you.  He chose Jesus.  He gave him the name that is Christ or Messiah.  That means, “The Specially Chosen One.”  He is the specially chosen one God picked specially for you.  And Jesus says the same thing too.  He said, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.  For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him…so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.

 

Come in here!  God talks.  God says those words of encouragement.  He is the only wise God.  He is standing outside, leaning against one of the seven sturdy pillars to his House as you walk by this morning.  He invites you.  “Come in here.”  “It’s free,” he says.  “It’s wonderful fare,” he says.  

 

People get interested in all sorts of other things.  Why wouldn’t they get interested in this special invitation of God himself?  Get into God’s mind.  Think his thoughts.  Put his glasses on and see things the way he sees them.

 

3. Be Simply Smart

Simple is used twice.  This is a simple meal and a simple invitation and a simple process for simple people.  “Simplicity is the sign of genius.”  But it isn’t the way God would have us to be…always simple (forever simple).  Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.       18 times the word is used to refer to people in the Bible.  15 of those times are in the book of  Proverbs.  Solomon who was wise, knew about the dangers of being simple.  In verse 16 (after the reading) he says, “Let all who are simple come in here!”  Word really means someone who is easily seduced.  Two words for young men.  One talks about the young man’s strength.  The other talks about the young man’s propensity to fall and be seduced.  Back in chapter 7 of Proverbs we see a long and excruciating account of a young man’s seduction.  Because of the graphic description, we do not read that account of simpleness’s seduction.  

 

So being wise is staying out of seduction’s way.  We see that in 1 Thess. 5:22.  Flee temptation it says.  Wise counsel that!   Joseph was wise when he ran out of Potiphar’s house that day when only Potiphar’s wife was there.   It landed him in prison for several years.  But it was a very wise thing he did when he thought and said, “How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God.”  Joseph was the strong man (gibor) when he didn’t act like most men would have.  Joseph was not the weak and easily seduced young man (pethi).  Solomon pleads with all of his sons---and daughters---to be wise!

So what was the wisest thing that “the only wise God” ever did?  So far as you are concerned, the wisest thing was that he knew a way to save you.  From creation he was thinking about how he would save you and have you with him for eternity.  In his wisdom he sent Jesus to you.  In his wisdom he caused you to hear it and learn it and believe it.  In his wisdom he crafted and prepared the very place where you will be in heaven with him.  He made it delightful and certain and happy.  He wrote your name on his hands.  He will have those hands lifted in blessing one day when he comes on the clouds of heaven.  So you will be able to see his wisdom.  You will be able to read your name on his hands!

 

And what is the wisest thing you have done?  What makes you simply smart in God’s eyes and even in yours?  

 

You believed Jesus!  You took his words and you swallowed them.  You held on to his promises to you and you continue to do that.  You “fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of your faith.”

 

That is simply smart!  Amen.