Still doing that Proverbs Thang now on chapter 9, “wisdom’s invitation,” where wisdom is a fine lady who has built her house on 7 pillars, prepared a feast, and mingled the wine. Mingled means to mix, to decant, or to mull, as in infusing with mulling spices, like some still do around the holidays. When we people “mingle,” we are engaged in fellowship with one another, mingling our flavors.
Lady Wisdom invites you in, she is ready, prepared, and eagerly awaiting your arrival at her table. “Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.”
It’s a lovely analogy also, for the Lord’s supper, for communion, Come, welcome to my table. It also reminds me of heavenly places, of how Jesus Christ says, “I go to prepare a place for you.” We are invited, desired, honored guests, our arrival eagerly anticipated. There’s something very humbling about that, something that just makes you want to dress up in your finest, offer up your first fruits, be on your best behavior.
What an incredible invitation, what an honor. That isn’t even the essence of Lord’s supper, that is simply the table setting, the color of the candles, the flowers, the smell of the room, the invitation arriving in the mail.
8:10 offers us a famous verse, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”
There are many things that can trigger fear in the world, and then there is Godly fear, the reverence and awe that He inspires, His majesty that kind of just leaves you on your face. Somewhat comical however, the worse fear I ever had, terrifying nightmares, anxiety producing panic attacks, was this odd fear that I was a hostess for the Lord’s return…..and not ready. The place was a mess, I hadn’t mingled the wine, and this was a world altering event, a feast for heads of state, royalty. Everything around me was shabby and dirty. The King was coming, the King of Kings really, and I was filled with regret that we had nothing to offer Him. I was absolutely terrified. People sometimes like to say, “Come quickly Lord Jesus,” and I would literally wail, “No-o-o, not yet. Please, not yet.”
That still remains a fear of mine, a concern that we aren’t ready at all and that time is running out.
Our chapter continues with the opposite of wisdom, the foolish woman, the harlot. “A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.” She says, “Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.”
We people do tend to love forbidden fruit, stolen waters, mischief, secrecy. These things all tend to have a very seductive quality to them. Something I find interesting, she is a copycat, a forger, nothing is original with her, even the water is stolen. She is a perversion,a distortion of the real thing, a cheap imitation.
Ah, but wisdom, a much better deal, “For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.”