Summary: Wisdom's invitation is not given without costly preparation so let those who hear come & enjoy life at God's table.
PROVERBS 9: 1-6
In chapter 8, wisdom appears when the world formed and populated. Wisdom anticipated the needs of man and provided a remedy. There wisdom stood and spoke from the high stage of the heaven. In chapter 9 we get a view from earth. The Word has come nigh. His habitation is among men.
The sets for the scene are taken from things that we know. Wisdom becomes the head of his own family, sovereign of his own realm, builds his own house, provide his feast, sends out the invitation, and presses the invited guests to come. Wisdom's invitation is not given without costly preparation so let those who hear come & enjoy life at God's table (CIM).
I. A PREPARED INVITATION, 1-3.
II. A GRACIOUS INVITATION, 4-6.
The first three verses enumerate some of what wisdom (plural) has done for those she is going to invite to her house. Verse one indicates that wisdom has built an inviting and spacious house. "Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars;
The house that wisdom built is supported by hewn out pillars. The hewn out pillars suggest the industriousness that accompanies wisdom. Pillars are an emblem of strength. Wisdom's strength comes from the truth of it's precepts and instructions. Seven is the symbol of perfection or completion and indicates that its supports and ornaments are perfect in strength and beauty. Wisdom's perfection and beauty will never be tarnished by time and its structure will never crumble nor be touched with decay (see Isa. 11:2).
[The seven pillars seem to suggest that the house was large and spacious. Though the symbolic number seven could indicate the seven days of Creation or the Temple which had seven columns (1 Kings 7:17). If it is an invitation for people to come and enroll in the school of wisdom then the inference could be an invitation to study God's creation or God's work and/or God's word.]
By the term her house the church is possibly intended. Jesus, Wisdom Incarnate, has founded and is building the church of the Living God (Mk. 11:17). It is a spacious house needing seven pillars for our Father's house has many rooms (Jn. 14:2).
The frame was conceived before time, well planned and set upon a permanent foundation. The tried and true foundation of the house of God is the Lord Jesus Christ who is our righteousness. The tabernacle in the wilderness and the temple of Solomon are but shadows and emblems of this house eternal.
Verse 2 indicates that a delightfully sumptuous meal has been wonderfully readied for her invited students. "She has prepared her food (meats), she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table."
The items specified here were the staple commodities of life among easterners. [Diluted wine was served since one could not often drink the water, because cities had no water filtration system and boiled water tastes poorly. The mixing of wine may refer to diluting it, a custom in ancient Israel (2 Maccabees 15:39). Undiluted wine was considered distasteful by the Jews and the wine for the Passover consisted of three parts water and one part wine. Or perhaps the custom of mixing spices with wine to enhance its flavor is what is intended, (Ps. 75:8, Isa. 5:22) or possibly both. Whatever the case] the thought is that the provisions filling the table are wholesome, various, and plentiful. [Walvoord, John & Zuck, Roy; The Bible Knowledge Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983, S. 924]
The idea that may be suggested is that Christian truths sustain a relation to the soul analogous to the relations that the necessities of physical life do to the body. As the body cannot live without the appropriate nourishment, so the soul cannot be sustained without Christian truth (Mt. 4:3-4). The church must set before the people the Bread of life through worship, preaching, teaching, prayer, the ordinances, fellowship, service, witness for these are the provisions of the Lord's table.
As the human body needs variety in its diet so spiritual man needs a variety of truth. Intellectual truth, religious truth, moral truth, redemptive truth, truth for the past, truth for the future. The soul can no more be fed upon one doctrine than the body upon one food.
Wisdom has provided man with two schools-nature and Christianity. The first is a magnificent one. All true sciences of the world are but a few of it lessons which people have learned in the school of nature. The latter, Christianity, is prepared to meet man's spiritual condition as a fallen creature. In nature God is revealed as the Creator, in Christianity as the Redeemer. Christianity enables man to properly study & appreciate nature.
As a small flower requires sun, air, soil, rain and all the various gases of the atmosphere so our soul needs to feed upon many teachings. A healthy Christian needs, and has been provided with, a bountiful variety of truth. [David Thomas. Proverbs. Kregel. Grand Rapids, MI 1982. 101.]