Aloha Friday Message – August 17, 2018 – Wisdom’s Household

1833AFC081718 – Wisdom’s Household

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Proverbs 9:1-6 1 Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine, she has also set her table. She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls from the highest places in the town, “You that are simple, turn in here!” To those without sense she says, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight.”

   Ephesians 5:15-1715 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

   John 6:56-5756 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.

E pili mau na pomaika‘i ia ‘oe a me ke akua ho’omaika‘i ‘oe, ʻŌmea! (May blessing always be with you and may God bless you, Beloved!) Today we return to the topic of Wisdom as given to us in the book of Proverbs. In a previous message back in June we quoted a passage from the Book of Wisdom (See 1826AFC070618) in which we learned that God fully intended for us to live with him in eternal intimacy. Sin changed that. Our First Parents thought they were wiser than God and desired to increase their knowledge through disobedience. Despite this infidelity, God gave them access to the possibility of redemption. In the same way that they had chosen to be disobedient, they would now have to choose to be obedient; Free Will and the Knowledge of Good and Evil are the fruit of their disobedience. From the time of Eden to the Miracle of Bethlehem, all earthlings struggled with their lack of Wisdom which they inherited from Adam and Eve. Then Jesus came and Wisdom walked among us.

I chose this passage today because it gives us some beautiful images that prefigure the Advent of Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Let’s take it apart a bit, and then see how it connects with the other Key Verses.

Wisdom has built her house – she is at a place where she can be found, a place that is her abode, her household. We can dwell with her there, and since Wisdom was with God during the processes of Creation, her household is God’s household. Next we read she has hewn her seven pillars. This echoes the construction of Solomon’s Temple and – as a prefiguring of the fruit of the Holy Spirit – also alludes to the Sevenfold Fruit of the Spirit. This, in turn, connects with a prophecy in Isaiah. In the book of Isaiah, chapters 6-12 are verses that prophesy the coming of Emmanuel (sometimes the section is called the “Book of Emmanuel”). In chapter 11, we have this famous passage: Isaiah 11:2-3The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. Does any of that sound familiar? Well, yes, we often read the first 10 or 12 verses from this chapter during the second week of Advent, but also we can find a list similar to this in Paul’s list of Gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11. The fact is that Wisdom’s Residence is built like a holy Temple with four columns in the corners supporting the gallery of the first story and three in the middle of three sides (See The Pillar Function of the Speeches of Wisdom, Chapter 2). Wisdom’s dwelling is holy and well-designed.

Next we read She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine, she has also set her table. (See Proverbs 9:2) This is a poetic description of a sumptuous feast. The meal includes huge quantities of food. Here we recall the great Marriage Feast of the King in Matthew 22. The feast is immense and the King has invited many, but they give him the brush-off with all sorts of excuses about being unable to attend. The wine has been mixed with spices to make the meal even more extravagant, but the invitees don’t care. Eventually the King invited every stranger his servants could find. He supplied each of them with a Wedding Garment – a long-standing custom in the region – which demonstrated extravagance, but one man refused (or neglected) to wear it and was thrown out. God in his Wisdom invites all and provides for all the garment of repentance (See 1743AFC102717). Wisdom’s feast is also for all who will come.

Just as the Kings servants called everyone from everywhere to the King’s Wedding Feast,  She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls from the highest places in the town, “You that are simple, turn in here!” The gates are open, the doors as well, and the invitation is everywhere. She especially calls on those most in need of her feast and her dwelling: To those without sense she says, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight.” Clearly it would be wiser to accept her invitation than to continue to live in ignorance. We are called to be wise, and to be wise is to be obedient to God.

In our Key Verses from Ephesians, Paul says 15 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. This is the message Wisdom is broadcasting in the passage from Proverbs. There is no need to shun the gifts of the Feast, or to stay away from Wisdom’s abode. The days are evil, and certainly one must be wise enough to recoil from the tidal wave of evil that bears down on us daily. Many of us carry in our hearts that dark inkling of the final days which makes us cling to the hope that we can avoid the cataclysmic events foretold throughout the New Testament. Are we wise enough to choose to follow Christ’s admonition? The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news!” (See Mark 1:15) This is what the Apostle Paul means when he says Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time. Wisdom is waiting for us to dwell in the house she built according to God’s perfect plan for every single one of us. That is where we find the feast. And what a feast it is! Jesus gave this description of it:

   John 6:54-57 54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. What a FEAST! It is a perfect, sumptuous, endless, glorious feast that feeds the soul with endlessly renewing and unceasing LIFE. Jesus is the True Light (See John 1:9), the True Vine ( See John 15:1), the True Bread from Heaven (See John 6:32), the True God (See 1 John 5:20), and he is True Food and True Drink – everlasting and eternal. Whosoever would decline such a feast will surely be cast into darkness where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (See Luke 13:28) Just as the servants go out to gather all possible attendees for the King’s Feast and Wisdom’s Banquet, the ministers of the Gospel go out to invite all to feast on the True Food and True Drink. This is the best, most righteous, and wisest response to the invitation to Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight.

Come, Belovéd, let us put on the garment of Repentance and enter into the Feast of Heaven and Earth at The Table of Plenty. The times are evil and only those who share in this plenteous feast will hear the voice of the Son of God: John 5:25-27 25 “Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; 27 and he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.” There is Life in none other. Jesus is True and this is Truth. Who among us will have nothing to do with Truth and Wisdom by failing to worship, or worse, by choosing to worship ignorance? Who among us will be True Worshipers of God as Jesus commands?

John 4:23 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. This is Wisdom. Worshipping the Father in Spirit and in Truth is Wisdom that is not the wisdom of earthlings but rather the Wisdom that is “from above.” If we go back to the Book of James, the First Bishop of Jerusalem has this to say about Wisdom;

James 1:5 If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.

And

James 3:17 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. As we just heard from the Apostle Paul, So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the

Lord is. The will of the Lord is to be Wise. Why would we settle for anything less? Let us abide in him and him in us for then we abide in Wisdom.

 

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Belovéd!

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Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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