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
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…
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
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
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.