Key Verse: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”
—Proverbs 9:9, New King James Version
THE VIRTUES AND BENEFITS of seeking wisdom are extolled in our Key Verse. The invitation to enter wisdom’s “house” as illustrated in our lesson is very compelling. In building her house, wisdom hewed out seven pillars to support it. (Prov. 9:1) Massive and strong, they support the entire superstructure of the edifice. It is a safe place, built to endure. In its environs we may feel secure, at peace and confident in the pursuit of our spiritual growth.
Wisdom’s pillars may well illustrate key components of the Christian life. Baptism, forgiveness of sin, justification, sanctification, adoption into the divine family, fellowship with the Father and the Son, and knowledge of God’s Word are seven very strong pillars. These support the house we dwell in by faith. Paul tells us that Christ Jesus is the builder of this spiritual house. He has been “counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.”—Heb. 3:3-6, NKJV
In addition to the security of this refuge, other enticements are placed before us. Wisdom “has slaughtered her meat, She has mixed her wine, She has also furnished her table. She has sent out her maidens, She cries out from the highest places of the city, Whoever is simple, let him turn in here! As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, Come, eat of my bread And drink of the wine I have mixed. Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding.” (Prov. 9:2-6, NKJV) Jesus echoed this message of bounty in his parable of the wedding feast. “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; … saying, Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”—Matt. 22:1-4, NKJV
As we walk in the way of wisdom, we each have enemies to contend with. If none other, we may often be our own worst enemy. The brokenness of our frail and sin-tainted humanity humbles all of us in many ways. (James 3:2) Paul confessed, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom. 7:24,25, NKJV) Walking in wisdom’s way does not justify us. Only Jesus’ shed blood can do that. However, walking in that way does impart to us holiness in our thoughts, words and actions. We “forsake foolishness and live, And go in the way of understanding.”—Prov. 9:6, NKJV
Our Selected Scripture passage closes with a time-proven maxim. “The fear [reverence] 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.” (vss. 10,11, NKJV) This blessing is within our grasp if we walk in the way of wisdom.