The Great Contrast
Proverb 9 is an interesting one. It is, as is our world, one of great contrasts.
This Proverb contrasts Wisdom (symbolizing God and His ways) and a foolish person (symbolizing satan and his destructive ways).
The first two verses show Wisdom (God) making preparations.
God ALWAYS has things set in place before He reaches out.
Wisdom sends out her maidens (perhaps this refers to God’s people) and extends the invitation of the Lord:
“Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding.” (Proverb 9:5-6)
What is the invitation? It is to come and eat GOOD, nutritious bread and to drink wine SPECIALLY prepared.
Wisdom implores those who will come and eat to “forsake foolishness.” This means to “loosen yourselves from foolishness.”
The reality is that because of the Fall of Man, we were born into foolishness. God is calling us to loosen ourselves from that and come to His wisdom instead.
What does Wisdom present as the result of forsaking foolishness, eating of this bread and this wine?
The Proverb tells us that when we do this, we will live and that we will “go in the way of understanding”, a term that means that our lifestyle will be one of habitual understanding.
When we eat with Wisdom we become wise.
Contrasted to Wisdom is the foolish person who represents satan in this Proverb. The Proverb says that this one knows nothing but is clamorous.
In other words, satan has nothing to offer but LOUDLY offers it. Satan doesn’t care enough about people to seek them out like God does.
“For she sits at the door of her house, on a seat by the highest places of the city, to call to those who pass by, who go straight on their way:” (Proverb 9:14-15)
This one sits there in a prominent place and calls out to anyone who happens by, hoping for a foolish one not paying attention to the content of his offer. Satan is not interested in just anybody…he is targeting a certain kind of person (don’t miss this):
“to call out to those who pass by, WHO GO STRAIGHT on their way.”
The term “those who go straight on their way” refers to those who habitually try to do the right things.
Satan isn’t interested in those who always follow him. He is interested in luring those who follow God’s ways.
Some of those will unwittingly adopt foolishness as a lifestyle. THESE are the ones satan hopes to draw off to follow him.
What is the invitation? It is quite the opposite of what Wisdom offered.
“‘Whoever is simple, let him turn in here’; and as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, ‘Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.’” (Proverb 9:16-17)
Satan doesn’t offer the best, specially prepared wine. He offers stolen water (refers to liquid…probably wine here) and bread that you eat “in secret” (a term that is often used to describe backbiting and gossip.)
To be sure, we all know that there IS a certain sweet pleasure in doing something we know to be wrong. It is sweet pleasure while we are doing it…but it ALWAYS comes at an eventual cost.
Here is what God says as the Proverb ends about the one drawn off course by satan:
“But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of hell.” (Proverb 9:18)
Brothers and sisters, we MUST pay attention and listen to Wisdom…GOD….moment by moment.
There will ALWAYS be a choice: the seemingly pleasurable offers of the devil or the LIFE and WISDOM God offers.
What is the bread and wine that God offers us: it is His very Son and His life-giving blood.
“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you THE TRUE BREAD FROM HEAVEN. For THE BREAD OF GOD is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ Then they said to Him, ‘Lord, give us this bread always.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘I am THE BREAD OF LIFE. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’” (John 6:32-35)
May this be our heart cry: “Give us day by day our daily bread.” (Luke 11:3) and may we drink daily from His cup….His life blood.
May we stand in GREAT contrast to the foolishness of this world.
Pastor Mike McInerney
Mike McInerney Ministries, Inc.
© February 9, 2018
(For use with permission)