More / Book of the Month / Two Tables / Proverbs 9:1–10 / Pr. Ted A. Giese / Sunday August 15th 2021 / Season Of Pentecost / Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Two Tables / Proverbs 9:1–10 / Pr. Ted A. Giese / Sunday August 15th 2021 / Season Of Pentecost / Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Posted in Pentecost / 2021 / ^Proverbs / Audio Sermons / Sermons / Pastor Ted Giese / Trust / Wisdom



Two Tables / Proverbs 9:1–10 / Pr. Ted A. Giese / Sunday August 15th 2021 / Season Of Pentecost / Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Mount Olive Lutheran Church / Pr. Ted A. Giese / Sunday August 15th 2021: Season of Pentecost / Proverbs 9:1–10, "Two Tables"

          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.”

         

          Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,

                   and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.

          Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;

                   reprove a wise man, and he will love you.

          Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;

                   teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.

          The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,

                   and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. 

Let us pray: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in Your sight O Lord. Amen.

Grace peace and mercy to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Good Christian Friends. Today our readings present two tables, the Table of Wisdom and the Table of Foolishness; King Solomon, by the grace of God, in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in his Proverbs tells you about the House that Wisdom builds and the table that she sets, this is the one we heard about in our Old Testament Reading, but read only a bit further and there you find the contrasting table of folly, in the house of foolishness:

          "The woman Folly is loud;

                   she is seductive and knows nothing.

          She sits at the door of her house;

                   she takes a seat on the highest places of the town,

          calling to those who pass by,

                   who are going straight on their way,

          [saying] “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”

                   And to him who lacks sense she says,

          “Stolen water is sweet,

                   and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”

          But [he who lacks sense does] not know that the dead are there,

                   that her guests are in the depths of Sheol"[1] [without life.]

On the contrary, as our Old Testement reading puts it:

          "Wisdom has built her house [perfect in every way, and] …

                   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.”"

Further back in the Old Testament in the Book of Deuteronomy when God renewed the covenant He made with Abraham, with the children of Abraham’s grandchild Jacob whose name was changed to Israel by the LORD, after Moses, by the grace of God in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, had taught the children of Israel about repentance and forgiveness, on his 120th birthday Moses imparted these words from the LORD to them saying, “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in His ways, and by keeping His commandments and His statutes and His rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”[2]

Now we are not living in modern day Israel, we live here in Saskatchewan, but King Solomon who wrote the proverbs we are hearing this morning did live in that promised land and he lived there only because the people before him remained faithful, even when at times it was only a few who did. He was a beneficiary of the wisdom they had retained because they remained faithful to God and did not follow after other gods, after other ideas, after foolishness.  

Back even further to the beginning: eat the forbidden fruit, don’t eat the forbidden fruit. In that fruit Adam and Eve had trust in the LORD and distrust of the LORD set before them. And each of us must grapple with this, from Adam and Eve to Abraham to Moses and the Children of Israel, to King Solomon, to Saint Peter and Saint Paul right down to you and me today. Solomon near the beginning of the book of Proverbs says,

          "Trust in the LORD with all your heart,

                   and do not lean on your own understanding.

          In all your ways acknowledge Him,

                   and He will make straight your paths.

          Be not wise in your own eyes;

                   fear the LORD, and turn away from evil."[3]

More often than not the foolish don’t know they are foolish, they have entered the House of Folly and sat down at her table and eaten of the meal set before them because to their own eyes the food she places there looks delightful and in their desire for wisdom they believe that the food of that table would make them wise,[4] but all of them were deceived, and all who sit at the table of foolishness eat only death and have no life in them.

And have no life in them? … What does Jesus say today in the Gospel? “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on The Last Day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

Jesus had two kinds in the crowd that were before Him as He taught, those who trusted Him and those who did not. Those who had turned into the House of Wisdom and sat down at the table she set for them and those who had turned into the House of Foolishness and sat down at the table that she set for them. Jesus had been making this connection between the bread of heaven that the children of Israel received from the LORD in the wilderness which sustained them for the day and pointed them to the coming Messiah, to Him, to Jesus who is the true eternal living bread from heaven that will not only sustain you for the day but for eternal life. Jesus was setting before them life and death, they need only trust in Him and in the one who sent Him, God the Father.

We heard in our Gospel reading how it was that even when many of Jesus’ disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in Himself that His disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” … [St. John continues to record how it was that] “After this many of [Jesus’] disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him. So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that You are the Holy One of God.”[5]

Do you trust in Jesus or do you trust in the opinions and ideas of the World? Do you trust God’s Word or do you lean on your own understanding? Are you eating at the Lord’s Table or the table of the Devil? Will it be wisdom or foolishness, eternal life in Christ or eternal death in the desires of your heart apart from Christ Jesus? You may ask: “What do I do when the World is so hard pressed against my Christian Faith? What do I do when the World and my friends, even my family become more and more foolish with every hour?” “What do I do?”

Sometimes a fool will concede a truth. This is like when a broken clock is right twice a day: In 1955 Erich Fromm, a German born Marxist psychoanalyst philosopher wrote, “The fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make these vices virtues, the fact that they share so many errors does not make the errors to be truths, and the fact that millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane.”[6] So if every person in the World, present company excluded, all turned off the straight and narrow path into the House of Folly and sat down at her table, if every able body person left their seat at the table of wisdom and crossed the street to the table of foolishness to eat her food of death it would not make it true. Truth is not a democracy, it is not evaluated by popular vote. As Jesus prayed in the hours before His arrest, trial and crucifixion: God His heavenly Father’s “Word is Truth,” and Jesus’ prayer for you is that His Father would make you Holy in that Truth.[7] This is the same Jesus who said of Himself on that very same night, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”[8] The same night in which Jesus instituted Holy Communion and completed the circle of what He was pointing to with His words in today’s Gospel reading: At Jesus’ table He takes the bread, gives thanks to His Father, breaks it and says, “This is My body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”[9] At Jesus’ table He takes the cup and said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”[10] He says, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”[11]

The World says 'a sip of wine and bit of bread? That’s the Body and Blood of your god? And he forgives you when you eat it? What foolishness!' And we say with Saint Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that You are the Holy One of God.” So at the word of Jesus we sit down at His table, the table of wisdom and we learn from Him, we trust what He teaches, we do not seek forgiveness from the World but from Him alone, we eat what He serves us here regardless of what the World thinks of it for the World no matter how loud and enticing and seductive has nothing for us but death and foolishness, to drink the wine of the World, to eat her bread is death for today and eternal death on The Last Day. Amen.    

Let us pray:

Lord have mercy on us, Christ have mercy on us, Lord have mercy on us, “take our minds and think through them, take our lips and speak through them, take our hearts and set them on fire; for the sake of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.

[1] Proverbs 9:13–18
[2] Deuteronomy 30:15–20
[3] Proverbs 3:5–7
[4] Genesis 3:6
[5] John 6:60–64, 66–69
[6] Erich Fromm, The Sane Society, Routledge & Kegan Paul 1955, page 15.
[7] John 17:17
[8] John 14:6
[9] 1 Corinthians 11:24
[10] 1 Corinthians 11:25
[11] Matthew 26:28

Photo Credits: Main Photo Detail of Woman at Table by Rachel Claire from pexels; Scripture from schultzphotographic; Detail of Fruit from Kira Schwarz from Pexels; Detail of Candle and Cake at Table by Rachel Claire from pexels; Host from David Eucaristía from Pexels; Communion Cup from schultzphotographic; Detail Last Supper from pexels; Detail Receiving Holy Communion by cottonbro from pexels


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