Proverbs 9:1–6 (ESV) Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table. She has sent out her young women to call from the highest places in the town, “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” To him who lacks sense she says, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.”
Wisdom does not make blind leaps – it prepares. The Teacher reminds us Wisdom prepares fully – perfectly – hence the allusion to 7 pillars. It is a picture of completion. And this is central to the Church’s mission in the world, as well as in our individual lives. I propose we might discern the following 7 pillars.
1. Pillar #1 – PROOF. Wisdom proves itself by experience. No one takes investment advice from a 3 year old, nor anyone else whose never made an investment (or a successful investment) in their lives. Most advice on child rearing from those who’ve never raised a child is severely lacking. And what we have to offer to the world must be something we have tested, tried and lived ourselves – not platitudes. Have WE been born again? Are WE trusting Christ alone for our salvation? Are WE challenging sin in our own lives and growing in the likeness of Christ? We ought never to try to share with others above our own years and experience. Yes, we can point them to the Word where it speaks beyond ourselves, but we must do so with an attitude that makes the Word the authority, and not us. This is often the error of young preachers – telling those with gray heads and healed scars how they ought to live – when we’ve not lived or suffered ourselves. Live in faith yourself before exhorting others to do so. Humble yourself beneath the hand of God prior to pressing another to deal with their pride. Trust God in a really dark place before chiding one who is trembling in theirs. Wisdom has built her house before she invites anyone over to it. No, it doesn’t have to be finished – but the foundation needs to be laid.