TO BE TRULY WISE

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TO BE TRULY WISE

Splashed across the welcome pelmet of a local school are these words;

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, …” Proverbs 9:10

This is unsurprising because this verse has been used and abused for so long and in so many ways; and the primary reason why this is the case is because the verse contains the word ‘fear’.

Now, we know that in truth, our Father does not want us to be afraid of Him because the original word used in Hebrew for ‘fear’ is actually the word ‘Yirat Adonai’, which points to being in a state of reverent awe of His power and glory. But there’s got to be more to this verse, doesn’t it? Because after all, Yirat Adonai is the beginning of wisdom. So what is it about being in reverent awe of our Father that is so powerfully beneficial for us? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

The author of Proverbs depicts wisdom as a lady and this is what he says of her.

“Lady Wisdom has built and furnished her home;
it’s supported by seven hewn timbers.
The banquet meal is ready to be served: lamb roasted,
wine poured out, table set with silver and flowers.
Having dismissed her serving maids,
Lady Wisdom goes to town, stands in a prominent place,
and invites everyone within sound of her voice:
“Are you confused about life, don’t know what’s going on?
Come with me, oh come, have dinner with me!
I’ve prepared a wonderful spread—fresh-baked bread,
roast lamb, carefully selected wines.
Leave your impoverished confusion and live!
Walk up the street to a life with meaning.” Proverbs 9:1-6 [MSG]

There is deliberate purpose in the choice of the translation and you will see why as we go through its imagery.

This lady called Wisdom has prepared her home and furnished it in readiness to receive all whom she is about to call. Now, what’s so special about that? Well, remember how Jesus said,

“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2-3

Wisdom is knowing that our eternal future is secure in Jesus, that when it comes time for us to shuffle off our mortal coil, where He is, there we will be.

Then this lady called Wisdom has prepared a table for all whom she is about to call. Now, what’s so special about that? Well, remember how our Father said through Isaiah,

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.” Isaiah 55:1-2

Indeed, wisdom is knowing that God’s supply is abundant, God’s supply is ours for the taking, God’s supply is freely given and there is nothing that we need to do to merit or earn God’s supply, just as the Psalmist says,

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.” Psalm 23:5

But more than that, notice what is on the table?

“The banquet meal is ready to be served: lamb roasted,
wine poured out, table set with silver and flowers.” Proverbs 9:2 [MSG]

“I’ve prepared a wonderful spread—fresh-baked bread,
roast lamb, carefully selected wines.” Proverbs 9:5 [MSG]

And remember what Jesus said?

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

“Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:27-28

Yes, beloved, wisdom is knowing that our salvation is also on offer at the table. Not only do we get our needs met, we are also made righteous by the blood of Jesus. Because Jesus, the lamb of God, as John the Baptist called Him, was bruised, beaten and crucified, just like the lamb roasted, so that we who believe in Him may be made righteous in Him.

And then comes my favorite part.

“Having dismissed her serving maids,
Lady Wisdom goes to town, stands in a prominent place,
and invites everyone within sound of her voice:
“Are you confused about life, don’t know what’s going on?
Come with me, oh come, have dinner with me!
I’ve prepared a wonderful spread—fresh-baked bread,
roast lamb, carefully selected wines.
Leave your impoverished confusion and live!
Walk up the street to a life with meaning.” Proverbs 9:3-6 [MSG]

Remember how when Jesus told the parable of the great banquet He said,

“‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Luke 14:21-23

Wisdom is knowing that unlike the master throwing the feast in the parable, our invitation comes not from the servants, but from the master Himself. He stands in the town, at a prominent place, inviting everyone with the sound of His voice, saying,

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

For indeed, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

Wisdom is knowing that you have not been invited by a mere servant. You have been invited to the feast which our Father has laid out by none other than His beloved Son.

So a place has been prepared for you and Jesus has personally invited you to the table where your salvation is freely given, where your needs will be fully met, where you will find rest and understanding, where you will be equipped for every trial. Tell me then, beloved, what is true wisdom?

Wisdom is believing in all that Jesus has done for you and accepting it, making all that our Father has for you, your very own. Because why would you want to go on in on your own when our Father has prepared everything for you? Think about it. If someone invites you to dinner and tells you that it has been prepare specially for you, what would be your reason for not attending?

Have you just “bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it.” Luke 14:18

Or have you just “bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them.” Luke 14:19

Or have you just “have married a wife” and therefore cannot come? Luke 14:20

Let’s be honest. The only reason you would refuse our Father’s offer is if you think that He would want something in return from you for all the benefit that He is about to give you, true? Well, beloved, if you have begun to think like that, then here is what our Father has to say to you.

“I will not take a bull from your house,
Nor goats out of your folds.
For every beast of the forest is Mine,
And the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the mountains,
And the wild beasts of the field are Mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you;
For the world is Mine, and all its fullness.” Psalm 50:9-12

He wants nothing from you, except that you come home to Him. He loves you and only wants the best for you. And knowing that, is true wisdom.

So my friend, if you have never made Jesus your Lord and Savior. If you have never taken Jesus up on His offer to come to His table, and you would like to today, then say this to Him right now.

“Jesus, thank You for preparing the table for me. Thank You for calling out to me and offering me Your mercies and goodness, even when I didn’t realize that I needed them. Jesus, I come knowing that my salvation is found at Your table. I accept that the death that You died for me has released me from sin’s hold on my life; and I receive the full remission of sins that Your blood was shed to give me. Jesus, I come to Your table now to receive the supply for all my needs knowing that because I am now a beloved and righteous child of God, You are no longer angry with me but You are watching over me and making sure that all my days are well sorted. Thank You Jesus. Amen.”

Beloved child of God, indeed,

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you.” Proverbs 9:10-11

Wisdom is not about knowing how the markets will run tomorrow, nor knowing what sectors of industry will flourish. Wisdom is knowing that because our Father loves you, all you need to do is rest in His protection and provision.

So know our Father and be in awe of His awesome love for you.

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