Proverbs 9:1-6

Enter the Feast of Wisdom

1) Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars. 2) She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. 3) She has sent out her maids, and she calls from the highest point of the city. 4) “Let all who are simple come in here!” she says to those who lack judgment. 5) “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. 6) Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.”

In this final introductory chapter before we enter the next section of the Proverbs of Solomon, we find two invitations. One is from wisdom, the business of God; and the other from folly, the business of fools. This is the crossroads of life. There is only one way to God. We see it here.

The house that wisdom has built is none other than the Temple of God, His Church (Matthew 16:18). Its foundation rests on pillars which represent the completeness of the revealed truth upon which the Church is built (1 Timothy 3:15; Matthew 16:17), and its apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ as the Chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20-21). A feast has been prepared for those who would enter (Matthew 26:26-29).

In verse 4, we see that the sole qualification for those who are invited is that they must be simpleminded, totally lacking in judgment. That describes every man and woman on the earth. Only by God’s opening our spiritual eyes in rebirth can we even see the door to the house of wisdom (John 3:3).

Scriptural Examples

The wedding banquet. Jesus told the parable of a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. One of the guests didn’t have the proper clothes. He was thrown outside as one who was invited but not chosen. The wedding clothes are provided only by God to His bride, and that by grace alone (Matthew 22:1-14; Revelation 19:7-8).

Prayer of Application

Gracious God, thank You for inviting me to the feast of wisdom when I was dead in trespasses and sins and blinded by the god of this world. You have given me all things in Christ.

Copyright 2015 – Robert C. Beasley
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Proverbs 9: Introduction

The Calls of Wisdom and of Folly

Chapter Nine completes the introduction to the book of Proverbs. In the preceding chapters the father has given his child the benefits of wisdom, and he has recited examples of the traps in life that wisdom will help one to avoid. He has shown the life and death struggle between wisdom and folly that is unleashed upon every human and, finally, he has given his child the distilled essence of the wisdom of God. Now, he summarizes his arguments and boils it all down to a choice his child must make. There are two feasts going on in life, and two calls go out to those feasts. Which way will the child go?

Everybody in the world is going in one direction or another. When I was a teenager we used to sit on the front porch and play a game called “cars.” We would try to name the make, model, and year of each car that passed by. Back then, we knew the difference between a Chevrolet and Cadillac, even between a 1955 Impala and a 1949 Coupe de Ville. But I always wondered where people were going. Some were heading east and some west. The game of life is like that. Some people are heading toward the feast of wisdom and some are heading toward the feast of folly. The father of Proverbs wants to make sure his children are heading the right way.

Copyright 2015 – Robert C. Beasley
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Proverbs 8:32-36

Seek God in Your Daily Quiet Time

32) Now then, my sons, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. 33) Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. 34) Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. 35) For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. 36) But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death.

Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” In Galatians 2:20, Paul says that we have been crucified with Christ, and we no longer live unto ourselves. Christ has become the central focus and purpose of the Christian’s new life, a life that is lived by faith in Him. We can bear our cross only by faith, and we are to live moment by moment in it, from faith to faith, step-by-step, on a daily basis (Romans 1:17).

The verses above state two of the great blessings that have been promised to the person who will listen to the instruction of God’s wisdom and keep God’s ways. He will find life and favor (grace) from the Lord. These come by watching daily at His feet and waiting at His doorway (Revelation 3:20).

Those who say “I’m too busy” or “ I don’t have the time” to meet with God are really saying “My priorities don’t allow time for You today, Lord.” If your earthly boss asked for a 30 minute meeting each morning, could you find the time? I imagine that you could. Just as we need food daily to meet our physical needs (Matthew 6:11), so we also need our daily feeding from the Vine of spiritual food. Without it, you’ll be a frail and fruitless Christian. Seek the blessings of God in a daily period of time with Him.

Scriptural Examples

The Bereans. The Bereans examined the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was true. What’s more, the Scripture tells us that they did it on a daily basis (Acts 17:11).

Prayer of Application

Dear Lord, You provide all things richly for our enjoyment. Help me to recognize You as the giver of all things and to make time for prayer and for Your Word on a daily basis.

Copyright 2015 – Robert C. Beasley
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Proverbs 8:22-31

Know the One Who Was Before All Things

22) “The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; 23) I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began. 24) When there were no oceans, I was given birth, when there were no springs abounding with wa- ter; 25) before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth, 26) before he made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world. 27) I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, 28) when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, 29) when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth. 30) Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, 31) rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.

Think, if you will, about the home or apartment where you live. It doesn’t take much of a leap of faith to imagine that a developer planned it, an architect designed it, an engineer laid out its foundations, a bank financed its construction, and a builder built it. It stands and has structural integrity because it was built with wisdom. It literally reeks with the wisdom (or lack thereof ) of the people who were engaged in its creation. In like manner does this world speak loudly and clearly of its Creator (Romans 1:20). The truth of the Creator is self-evident in what He has created. Yet people suppress this truth, and the other truth that God has revealed to them in their unrighteousness (Romans 1:18).

Who is this Being, this Person who started it all? Can we know Him? Yes. He is the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1-3), who created all things and ordered them (v. 29) according to the natural laws that we observe every day. From His creative wisdom and power comes everything that is or ever will be. Because He created us, Christ has all authority over us. His ultimate wisdom and plan of salvation was put into effect before anything was (Ephesians 1:4). And that plan saw the Creator’s humiliation through His birth in Bethlehem (John 1:14) and death on a Jerusalem cross.

Prayer of Application

Dear Creator of all that is, thank You for Your wisdom that saved me even from before the creation of the world. Because of Your recreation of me, I will live eternally with You.

Copyright 2015 – Robert C. Beasley
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Proverbs 8:18-21

Know the Wealth of God’s Wisdom

18) With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. 19) My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver. 20) I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, 21) bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full.

Why do people strive to get rich? Some want power and prestige. Most want contentment, freedom from worry, and happiness. But can money really supply these things?

As temporal wealth increases, so does our desire for more. Likewise, a rich person’s worry increases as he fears losing what he has. And happiness? At best, the happiness that money might bring is fickle and fleeting. Money, when set up as an idol, cannot deliver what it promises. Only God and the wealth of His wisdom can truly satisfy and fill all our needs.

So what is this wealth that is better than silver and gold? James tells us that it is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere (James 3:17). Paul says it is love, and seeks what is best for its neighbor (1 Corinthians 13). It is joy, a deep-seated happiness that transcends temporal blessing (Psalms 21:6). It is peace (Philippians 4:7), patience (James 1:2-3), kindness (Colossians 3:13), goodness (Proverbs 2:9), faithfulness (3 John 1:3), gentleness (1 Thessalonians 2:7), and self-control (1 Corinthians 7:5). This is the wealth God brings, wealth that satisfies and brings contentment, freedom from worry and fear, and happiness. It is more precious than all of earth’s treasures

Scriptural Examples

The trees by the river. Ezekiel spoke of fruit trees by the river of life. Their fruit was for food and healing (Ezekiel 47:12).

Dorcas (Tabitha). This fine woman and disciple of Christ was known for the fruit of wisdom in her life. We’re told that she was always doing good and helping the poor (Acts 9:36).

Prayer of Application

Lord God, You have filled me with Your Spirit and ordered that I bear fruit. You are the Vine and only through You can I bear such fruit. Let Your wealth flow through me to others.

Copyright 2015 – Robert C. Beasley
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Proverbs 8:17

Know the Love of God’s Wisdom

I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.

Here again, wisdom speaks from the first person. In the title of this principle, we could substitute the name of Christ for “God’s Wisdom.” Truly, He is the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24). He loves those who love Him, and all who seek Him will find Him (Matthew 7:8). In Galatians 2:20, Paul speaks of “the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Did Paul love Christ before Christ loved Paul? No. Paul was an enemy of Christ. It was Christ who sought Paul and found him on the Damascus Road, blinding him with the glory of His presence. If Christ sought the great apostle, does He not also seek us? (See Luke 19:10.)

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure(Jeremiah 17:9). None of us has perfectly loved God or sought His face (Romans 3:11). Rather, we hated God and ran from Him just as the first couple did (Genesis 3:8). Only God in His grace can make us seek Him and love Him. While we were yet sinners and powerless, Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6). We were dead in trespasses and sins, following Satan and objects of God’s wrath. But because of His love for us, we were made alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:1-5).

Now saved by His grace, we are called to love Him and seek His face. We are to love His wisdom and seek it. And how do we go about this? Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command(John 14:15). To love Christ is to obey Him.

Scriptural Examples

The sons of men. The Lord looked down upon these folks to see if there were any who understood, or sought God and His wisdom. He didn’t find one (Psalms 14:2-3; 53:2-3).

The non-seekers. God later spoke of people who found Him even though they did not seek Him. How did this happen? God revealed Himself to them (Isaiah 65:1; Romans10:20).

Prayer of Application

Sovereign Lord, what great grace that Jesus would lay down His life for His enemies. Thank You for the love of Christ and His wisdom that has caused sinners like me to seek Him.

Copyright 2015 – Robert C. Beasley
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Proverbs 8:14-16

Know the Source of Power and Authority

14) Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power. 15) By me kings reign and rulers make laws that are just; 16) by me princes govern, and all nobles who rule on the earth.

One big question that came out of the Gulf War a few years back was, why didn’t George Bush give the order to go in and eliminate Saddam Hussein’s perverse government? The reason may be found in these verses. For some reason, God still had a role for Saddam Hussein, and He used that madman just as He used Pharaoh prior to the Exodus from Egypt. God raised Pharaoh up for His own immutable purpose: His own glory (Romans 9:17). God is the invisible King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16), who will one day establish his visible reign on earth in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the United States, there is a growing concern that we have lost all of our statesmen, those men and women who served our people by principles rather than politics. Our government officials desperately need God’s wisdom and justice in their lawmaking and administration, but seem to have sold out to the poll and the ballot box. Our leaders seem to be more interested in re-election than they are in revival. But be of good cheer; Christ has overcome the world system (John 16:33).

Scriptural Examples

Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. This father and son were kings over Babylon. Daniel made it clear to them that it was God who had elevated them to their positions of power. Due to their pride and arrogance, God also brought them down (Daniel 5:18-28).

Pilate. At his trial before this Roman procurator, Jesus refused to defend Himself. Pilate spoke pridefully of his power over Jesus, but our Lord said that Pilate would have no power at all if he did not receive it from above (John 19:10-11).

Prayer of Application

Lord God, thank You for the peace that comes from understanding that You are sovereign over all the events of this world. Not even the most minute occurrence escapes Your eye.

Copyright 2015 – Robert C. Beasley
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Proverbs 8:12-13

Know the Way of Holiness

12) I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. 13) To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

With these verses wisdom begins to speak in the first person; it is personified. We saw wisdom in verses 1-11 as the Word of God in its printed form. Here it is found in its embodied form: the person of our Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1-14).

Jesus said that throughout history many would come in His name, saying, “I am Christ,” and would deceive many (Matthew 24:5); Mark 13:6); Luke 21:8 ). In fact, many different “Christs” are being preached throughout the world today (1 John 4:1-3). But the true Christ, the Christ of Scripture, is distinguished by His call to holiness. This call is expressed in two ways.

First, there is a call to understand who He is. He is the majestic God, Creator (John 1:1-3), and Sustainer (Hebrews 1:3) of all that is visible and invisible. He alone is worthy of our worship. He is altogether righteous and holy, set apart, transcendent in utter wisdom, knowledge, perfection, and power. He hates evil and every evil work, and will one day destroy them by the power of His coming (Malachi 3:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:8).

The second form of the call is to understand who we are. We are prideful, arrogant, and full of evil behavior and perverse speech. The way of holiness leads only by the cross of Christ, where the holiness of God met and conquered man’s sinfulness that leads to death.

Scriptural Examples

Isaiah. God’s prophet saw a vision of the Lord in His temple. Angelic beings sang out, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty.” In contrast, Isaiah saw himself as a man of unclean lips, of perverse and evil speech, living among a people of uncleanness and perversity. But, by His grace, God seared Isaiah’s lips and took away his sin and guilt (Isaiah 6:1-8; Ephesians 2:8-9).

Prayer of Application

Heavenly Father, thank You for the sacrifice of Your Son, which provided the payment for the crime and debt of sin and imputed unto men the righteousness of His sinless life.

Copyright 2015 – Robert C. Beasley
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(James 1:5)

Proverbs 8:1-11

Know the Perfect Word of God

1) Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? 2) On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; 3) beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, she cries aloud: 4) “To you, O men, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. 5) You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain understanding. 6) Listen, for I have worthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. 7) My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. 8) All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. 9) To the discerning all of them are right; they are faultless to those who have knowledge. 10) Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, 11) for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

Godly wisdom is found in the perfect Word of God: The Bible. The Bible stands at the crossroads of life (v. 2b) and cries out to all (v. 4b): “Open me, read me, study me, love me. Because in me you will find what is right, and true, and just. My words are without fault or error, and for the one who truly seeks, they are easy to understand. They are more valuable than any other treasure. Nothing can compare to the riches of the Word of God” (vv. 4-11, author’s paraphrase).

For me, almost all theology may be rendered down to this little verse of a child’s hymn: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Know the perfect Word of God. Read it, study it, trust it, and above all, obey it. In it is God’s perfect wisdom.

Scriptural Examples

Paul. He knew and lived the Word of God. He also was an instrument of God to write down its truth for all generations. Follow Paul, as he followed Christ in believing and obeying the very Word of God (John 10:35b; 17:17; Philippians 2:8; 1 Timothy 3:4-16).

Prayer of Application

Dear Father, thank You for Your Word and for the Holy Spirit who guides me into its depths. Your Word is truth. I pray that through it I will be fully equipped for every good work.

Copyright 2015 – Robert C. Beasley
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(James 1:5)

Proverbs 8: Introduction

The Ontology of Wisdom

Perhaps the child has now raised a question. “Dad, how do I know that what you say is true? I’ve heard that ‘if something feels good, it must be good.’ What makes wisdom so all-important?” Just as a salesman might build confidence in his product or service by giving the history and reputation of his company, so the father in chapter eight speaks foundational truths about wisdom. He tells of its “being”—what wisdom is in its essential nature. He speaks of wisdom’s ontology.

He begins in verses 1 through 5 to tell of wisdom’s universal call. Wisdom is not known only to a few. Its call extends to the whole world. He goes on to speak of the worthiness of wisdom (vv. 6-11). Godly wisdom is truth. That which is not wise is crooked and perverse. Beginning in verse 12, wisdom begins speaking in the first person. It tells of its mighty power and understanding. Then in verse 22 wisdom begins to speak of its antiquity. This is not something that has been cooked up by humans who want to keep their children from having fun. No, wisdom has been “appointed from eternity(v. 23). Finally, from verse 32 on, the father speaks again. He tells his child of the blessedness of wisdom and reiterates the eternal stakes involved in its seeking.

Copyright 2015 – Robert C. Beasley
Visit www.readjosephus.com

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