Sunday, August 1, 2010

Proverbs, Chapter Nine Commentary

1 ¶ Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: 2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. 3 She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city, 4 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, 5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. 6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding. 7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. 8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. 10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. 11 For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased. 12 If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.
The phrase, “seven pillars of wisdom”, is the title for Lawrence of Arabia’s memoir of the Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War One. Here in the personification of wisdom she prepares a feast and invites people who have no wisdom or understanding to come. Remember the simple in Proverbs one were linked to scorners and fools. Verses seven and eight state that it is useless and even harmful to try to correct a fool and a scorner, even the wicked. It is better to ignore them and move on. Wisdom has invited them to partake of her table and that is found in God’s word. If they reject God’s word there is nothing you can say that will change them and you might even be harmed yourself. This sort of speaks against getting into an argument when street preaching or door knocking. You can tell if you are up against a person who is seeking or simply a fool who wants to have a verbal fight.
One of the tests of a wise person (do you consider yourself wise?) is how well they take criticism or correction. Do you get angry when someone disagrees with you? Do you get outraged that someone would dare question you? What about when God does it?
With each struggle or trial that you face do you grow in learning? Or do you simply grow bitter? The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. What was the last chapter’s definition of the fear of the Lord? See verse 13 in chapter 8 again. Whether you are a wise person or a scorner, it will affect your life and health. This was particularly true of the audience to whom Proverbs was written and I would think this crosses dispensation and applies also to the Christian. Remember, the knowledge of the holy is understanding. The more time you spend in the Book and prayer, and the more sermons from the Book you apply your mind to, the more you’ll know God. Don’t trust your emotions.
A wise person learns from rebuke and a just man from teaching. A fool hates knowledge and a scorner hates correction.
13 ¶ A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing. 14 For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, 15 To call passengers who go right on their ways: 16 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, 17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. 18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
A foolish woman is defined here as clamorous, NOT glamorous. Clamorous is defined in the verse by use of the colon as being simple. Remember, that in Proverbs 1 that is linked to a scorner and a fool. Here she is said to also know nothing. Passengers are people passing by or through, as in Ezekiel 39:15. Link the passengers there with here to see people who are passing by and enlisted to do something that was probably not originally in their plans.
The fools, the naive, the unknowing are turned aside by her speaking of sin. Notice verse 17. Sin always seems enticing to the fool. People often get a thrill out of doing something so that they think they are getting away with something. I’ve seen Christians do it, too, so its pretty universal. She entices the fool to do wrong with her but they have no idea that in her house are the dead and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
So it is with the woman as false religion. Unsaved people posing as saved, screaming for war, “Onward Christian Soldiers”, all that when the weapons of our warfare are not carnal. Saved people are deluded into thinking that Christ’s kingdom is slowly being brought in on earth by armies, councils, laws, and treaties. People are fooled into thinking that a ritual saves them, some mantra not connected to their actual belief but something they say over and over again. Some people are following a charismatic leader, practically worshipping him or her, and hanging on their every word. Some people hold to some outward practice of their faith that demands no inward devotion or some membership in a church organization to save them. An entire fundamentalist cult has been created out of ‘1-2-3 repeat after me’. All look to the government to save them, and some believe there is no salvation unless everyone is saved. It’s all just so much dung. It results in death and Hell, and at the very least makes you useless for God.

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