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Two Invitations

Proverbs: The Way of Wisdom  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  19:21
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A picture of two women, both extending invitations, one for wisdom and one for folly.

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INTRODUCTION
1. In his discourses on the value of seeking after wisdom, Solomon has varied his approach...
a. He makes his own appeal as a father to his son and children - cf. Pro 1:8; 4:1
b. He personifies wisdom as a lady who invites people to pay heed - cf. Pro 1:20; 8:1
2. His final discourse presents a picture of two women, both extending invitations...
a. One woman personifies wisdom - Pro 9:1-12
b. The other personifies folly - Pro 9:13-18
[Whose invitation will we accept? That of Lady Wisdom, or that of Woman Folly? Consider first...]

I. THE INVITATION OF LADY WISDOM (9:1-12)

A. HER PREPARATION...

1. Her beautiful home: a large house with seven pillars - Pro 9:1
Proverbs 9:1 ESV
Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars.
a. The number seven suggests to many the idea of completeness
b. Compare the seven-fold qualities of wisdom described by James - James 3:17
James 3:17 ESV
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
2. Her sumptuous feast: meat and wine, a furnished table - Pro 9:2
Proverbs 9:2 ESV
She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table.
a. Carefully prepared
b. Beautifully presented
-- Lady Wisdom has made great effort in making provisions

B. HER PLEA...

1. She wants to be heard - Pro 9:3
Proverbs 9:3 ESV
She has sent out her young women to call from the highest places in the town,
a. She has sent out her maidens (reminding us of Jesus, sending His apostles)
b. She cries out from the highest places of the city
2. She invites the simple and those who lack understanding - Pro 9:4-6
Proverbs 9:4–6 ESV
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” To him who lacks sense she says, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.”
a. To eat and drink of her prepared feast
b. To forsake foolishness and live, to go in the way of understanding
3. Why She won’t invite scoffers - Pro 9:7-9
Proverbs 9:7–9 ESV
Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
a. Correcting a scoffer only shames and harms the one doing the correcting
b. The wise and just, however, appreciate and will learn from correction
-- Lady Wisdom makes great effort to reach those who will listen

C. HER PROMISE...

1. Wisdom and understanding - Pro 9:10
Proverbs 9:10 ESV
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
a. To those who fear the Lord
b. To those who know the Lord
2. Long life - Pro 9:11; cf. 3:2,16
Proverbs 9:11 ESV
For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life.
Proverbs 3:2 ESV
for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.
Proverbs 3:16 ESV
Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.
a. Days will be multiplied
b. Years will be added
3. To benefit one’s self - Pro 9:12
Proverbs 9:12 ESV
If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
a. Wisdom will bless one’s self (for you will have God’s aid)
b. Scorn, on the other hand, will hurt one’s self (for you will bear things alone)
-- Lady Wisdom wants you to have the best life possible!
[The invitation of Lady Wisdom is really quite tempting (in a good way). Especially when we carefully consider the alternative...]

II. THE INVITATION OF WOMAN FOLLY (9:13-18)

A. HER PREPARATION...

1. She really makes no preparation
2. Instead, she is “loud; she is seductive and knows nothing” (ESV) - Pro 9:13
Proverbs 9:13 ESV
The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing.
3. The Believers’ Bible Commentary describes her as “loudmouthed, empty-headed, and brazen faced”
-- Compare her lack of preparation with that of Lady Wisdom

B. HER PLEA...

1. She sits at the door of her house - Pro 9:14a
Proverbs 9:14a ESV
She sits at the door of her house; she takes a seat on the highest places of the town,
a. Unlike Lady Wisdom
b. Who sent out Her maidens to be heard
2. She sits on a high seat by the highest places of the city - Pro 9:14b
Proverbs 9:14b ESV
She sits at the door of her house; she takes a seat on the highest places of the town,
a. Where Lady Wisdom also cries out - cf. Pro 9:3
b. Note that Woman Folly cries out from a seated position (lazy?)
3. She calls to those who pass by - Pro 9:15-16
Proverbs 9:15–16 ESV
calling to those who pass by, who are going straight on their way, “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” And to him who lacks sense she says,
a. Especially the simple
b. And those who lack understanding
-- Woman Folly competes with Lady Wisdom for the souls of men

C. HER PROMISE...

1. That stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant - Pro 9:17
Proverbs 9:17 ESV
“Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
a. An allusion to illicit intercourse - cf. Pro 5:15
Proverbs 5:15 ESV
Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.
b. But it is a false promise - cf. Pro 20:17; Pro 5:3-5
Proverbs 20:17 ESV
Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.
Proverbs 5:3–5 ESV
For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol;
2. The true promise is unknown to the simple lacking understanding - Pro 9:18
Proverbs 9:18 ESV
But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.
a. Her home is the house of the dead - cf. Pro 2:18-19
Proverbs 2:18–19 ESV
for her house sinks down to death, and her paths to the departed; none who go to her come back, nor do they regain the paths of life.
b. Her house is the way to hell - cf. Pro 5:5; Pro 7:27
Proverbs 5:5 ESV
Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol;
Proverbs 7:27 ESV
Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.
-- Woman Folly, known best for her adulterous ways, promises much but delivers the worst life possible!
CONCLUSION
1. Whose invitation shall we accept...?
a. That of Lady Wisdom, who has prepared much and delivers what she promises?
b. Or that of Woman Folly, who promises much and delivers the opposite?
c. The choice should be obvious, even to the simple and those lacking understanding!
2. Thus ends the discourses of Solomon...
a. Designed to encourage the acquisition of wisdom
b. Illustrating the superiority of wisdom over folly In our next study, we will continue our survey of Proverbs using a topical approach...
TOPICAL STUDIES (Proverbs 10-31)
The Fear Of The Lord
The Folly Of The Fool
Wisdom Regarding Friendship
Wisdom Regarding Marriage
Wisdom Regarding Family
Wisdom Regarding Work
Wisdom Regarding Speech
Wisdom Regarding Alcohol
Wisdom Regarding Money
Wisdom Regarding Those In Authority

Response and Invitation

Romans 10:17 ESV
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
James 2:19 ESV
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
Luke 12:8 ESV
“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God,
Luke 13:3 ESV
No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
Matthew 3:16 ESV
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;
1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
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