“Leave your simple ways and live, and walk in the way of insight.” (Proverbs 9:6)
We know that God’s love is not conditional; He has chosen to set His love on us. However, as we learned last week, that is not the case with God’s promises. God doesn’t set conditions on His promises to make us “earn His favor”, His conditions are necessary for us to enjoy His favor. Jesus wants to bless us with every spiritual blessing. We will learn in this week’s lesson that long ago He prepared the way for us to enter into His grace.
The Preparations of Wisdom
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
While I do not have the spiritual gift of hospitality, I am blessed to know many women who do. Their homes, whether simple or fancy are always welcoming. They take great joy in having you sit at their table to enjoy a meal. In the presence of those who possesses this wonderful gift, you feel warm and valued. Those with the gift of hospitality have a way of making you feel special; as if your comfort is all that matters.
Peter writes: Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. (1 Peter 4:9-10)
As we read the words of this week’s passage, we see that Wisdom has made the house ready, prepared the meal, and set the table. All the needed preparations have been made and now the invitation is extended; Wisdom says “come”.
This same invitation can be found throughout scripture.
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (Isaiah 55:1)
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. (John 7:37)
Just as Solomon wrote millennia before Christ’s birth, Jesus affirms for us that He has made all the necessary preparations. He has extended the invitation to all who are willing.
Jesus says: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also”. (John14:1-3)
What is our RSVP to Jesus’ invitation? It is simply to abandon that which is foolish, follow what is wise, and open the door.
Think about some people in your life who have blessed your life through the gift of hospitality. What are some specific ways they made a difference in your life through the use of their gift?
Search the scripture to see how many passages you can find concerning hospitality.
Do you think you may have the gift of hospitality? Here are some check points that might help you identify if that could be your gift:
- You want to bring people into your home for fellowship and food.
- You create an atmosphere where people feel valued and welcomed.
- Your home/environment feels comfortable and safe to guests.
- You put people at ease when meeting them or hosting them.
- You enjoy sharing your home, relationships, food, and resources.
- You take initiative to plan events to bring people together.
- You extend yourself to others and find they are drawn to you.
- You overcome challenges of cleaning, budget limits, or cooking to host.
- You use appropriate etiquette and planning as tools to care for people.
- You delight in having people in your space, especially your home.
READING FOR NEXT WEEK: