Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 27, 2016

“For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Today’s devotion comes from Proverbs chapter 9.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+9&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Wisdom has built her house,
She has hewn out her seven pillars;
2 She has prepared her food, she has mixed her wine;
She has also set her table;
3 She has sent out her maidens, she calls
From the tops of the heights of the city:
4 “Whoever is naive, let him turn in here!”
To him who lacks understanding she says,
5 “Come, eat of my food
And drink of the wine I have mixed.
6 “Forsake your folly and live,
And proceed in the way of understanding.”

7 He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself,
And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself.
8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you,
Reprove a wise man and he will love you.
9 Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser,
Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you.
12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you alone will bear it.”  Proverbs 9:1-12.

————————————

Wisdom is fully prepared, and Wisdom fully completes its mission.  That is the meaning of the following verses 1-6.

“Wisdom has built her house,
She has hewn out her seven pillars;
2 She has prepared her food, she has mixed her wine;
She has also set her table;
3 She has sent out her maidens, she calls
From the tops of the heights of the city:
4 “Whoever is naive, let him turn in here!”
To him who lacks understanding she says,
5 “Come, eat of my food
And drink of the wine I have mixed.
6 “Forsake your folly and live,
And proceed in the way of understanding.”  Verses 1-6.

The fool’s rejection of Wisdom’s invitation does not destroy nor even thwart Wisdom’s mission.  Wisdom understands that the scoffer and the wicked man will reject Wisdom’s invitation.  Don’t fret about it the scoffer and the wicked man;  know that the righteous and wise man will accept Wisdom’s invitation. 

“7 He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself,
And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself.
8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you,
Reprove a wise man and he will love you.
9 Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser,
Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.”  Verses 7-9.

Other doctrine focuses on the scoffer and the wicked man and “fears” (holds in awe) alleged free-will of man believing  that if we only preach and teach better and if only the scoffer and wicked would listen better, then the scoffer and the wicked would come to their senses. 

But, Reformed Doctrine focuses on God (and the full preparation of Wisdom, a metaphor of God) and fears God knowing that God exercises lovingkindness in saving the righteous and the wise and that God exercises justice in condemning the scoffer and the wicked.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”  Verse 10.

“Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;  but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth;  for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24.

Wisdom’s preparation and invitation in today’s Scripture reminds us of the wedding feast parable of Jesus.

“Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.  And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.  Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner;  my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready;  come to the wedding feast.”’  But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them.  But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire.  Then he *said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.  Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’  Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good;  and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.

“But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, and he *said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’  And the man was speechless.  Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’  For many are called, but few are chosen.”  Matthew 22:1-14.

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