“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.”” (Proverbs 9:1-6, ESV)
5. Pillar #6 – PROVOCATION. Proof, Preparation, Provision, Propriety & Proclamation. Now, PROVOCATION. Wisdom never proclaims truth while leaving those it calls to with the impression that whether they believe or not, respond or not, is a matter that is indifferent. It does matter! The Gospel is a matter of life and death – eternal life and eternal death. Christian ministry does not offer an alternative, it spells out the reality. “Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you:” Paul writes to Titus (Titus 2:15, ESV) No one should ever hear the Gospel from our lips and leave thinking our attitude is one of “its no skin off of my nose.” Jesus was hardly dispassionate when He wept over Jerusalem. Wisdom provokes people to think about spiritual and eternal realities. It won’t let them rest where they are. Look at the call to repentance in the last verse: “leave your simple ways, and live!” “Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.”” (Ezekiel 18:31-32, ESV) “Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11, ESV) Those are provocative words. Wisdom, wisely provokes the souls of people to action.