First Reading: Proverbs 9:1-6
1 Wisdom has built her house.
She has carved out her seven pillars.
2 She has prepared her meat.
She has mixed her wine.
She has also set her table.
3 She has sent out her maidens.
She cries from the highest places of the city:
4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
As for him who is void of understanding, she says to him,
5 “Come, eat some of my bread,
Drink some of the wine which I have mixed!
6 Leave your simple ways, and live.
Walk in the way of understanding.”
World English Bible
What is true wisdom? That which comes from God. But, how can someone recognize wisdom from folly that acts with pretense?
[6:1] The ancient Hebrew scribes described wisdom as a lady. This might seem unusual in a male dominated, gender segregated society. And, remember that these ancient societies had neither the freedom, the luxury, nor the right to privacy. But, there was an exception to this rule. A man's intimacy with his wife. Here, a man could drop all pretense and whisper his inner most thoughts with his female companion. Since wisdom spoke of the person's true character, the very core of being, and inner most conversations, such an allusion to wisdom as an intimate female would not be out of place.
Wisdom was like a wealthy lady who built her house on seven pillars. There has been great speculation on the nature of the pillars (after all, there are seven gifts of the Spirit). While we cannot know the precise meaning of the pillars, the number is easily interpreted. The number seven denoted a fullness. Hence, the seven pillars represented the solid, unassailable foundation of true wisdom. The ancients believed that true wisdom was eternal, for it came from God. It was not like foolishness that came and went with the fads of the season.
[6:2-6] Lady Wisdom prepared a sumptuous a dinner and invited those in need of her counsel: the simple minded and those who lack common sense.
While it may take experience to separate wisdom from folly and fad, the first step to wisdom begins with a simple invitation. But that invitation can seem a great challenge. To accept the invitation to seek wisdom requires humility. It requires a realization that we do not possess that which we seek, indeed, a hunger for the gifts of wisdom. It also requires a mind set that recognizes wisdom can feed us. Ultimately, it requires a thirst for the source of wisdom: God.
What thirst do you have for God and his wisdom? How has his wisdom help you mature?