Below is a sermon plan for this sunday's sermon on Proverbs 9 (I trust if you are going to be there on sunday you'll look away now).
Main teaching point: The choice between wisdom and folly is the choice between life and death, between teach-ability and stubborn arrogance.
Biblical Theology: The choice between wisdom and folly is crystallised in the ministry of Jesus Christ. Being teachable/open to correction equates to heeding Christ’s words, similarly the life offered by wisdom is received from him.
Rival voices in our culture compete for our allegiance and obedience. Ultimately the choice is between God’s wisdom (embodied in Christ) and the world’s wisdom (folly). Proverbs 9 depicts this choice by making two contrasts, between on the one hand 2 invitations we can accept and on the other hand between two types of listener we can be.
1. We must choose between 2 invitations - life from wisdom or death from folly (1-6, 13-18)
Wisdom and Folly personified and contrasted. Folly a cracked mirror-image of Wisdom, a doppelganger. Both have set up house, both have prepared a banquet, both invite the simple/gullible.
The difference is deadly. The food on offer from Wisdom is life/insight – being able to make sense of life and live it properly/successfully, true life. Folly on the other hand offers tantalising illicit pleasures, but those who dine with her are dead. Folly promises pleasure but serves up death.
Folly’s many guises today (the different ways we can choose to run our lives and how they lead to death).
Whose banquet are you going to dine at?
2. We can be one of two types of listener - foolish and arrogant or wise and humble (7-12)
The scoffer is proud and arrogant and unable to bear criticism/change their way of life and will therefore never submit to God’s wisdom (in fact hates it).
The wise man however is distinguished by his teach-ability and openness to correction (and therefore loves God’s wisdom) – this amounts to humble fear of the LORD the author of life.
The importance of being open to correction by God’s wisdom. The danger of pride.
Matthew 7:24-27. The choice between being wise/foolish, between life/death is seen ultimately in how we listen to Jesus’ words – he is God’s wisdom and to be wise is to listen to him in rebuke and correction. To 'fear the LORD' is to bow the knee to him.
What type of listener are you going to be?