Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Proverbs 3: 13 – 18

Today’s verses are a summary of many of the benefits of finding God’s wisdom and understanding it. Most of these have been listed before in various verses we have already looked at. First let’s look at today’s verses:

Proverbs 3: 13 – 18

13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom,

And the man who gains understanding;
14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies,
And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand,
In her left hand riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who retain her.

This section begins by saying that a man who FINDS wisdom will be happy, and it ends with the statement that those that RETAIN her will be happy. The word
“retain” is a verb and indicates an action that is continuous. The Online Dictionary gives these definitions that could apply: 1. To maintain possession of, 2. To keep or hold in a particular place, condition, or position, 3. To keep in mind; remember, 4. To keep in one's service.

It is not just “finding” wisdom that makes us happy, but we must continue to keep the things we have learned in our minds and memories, and USE it. Gaining understanding through that wisdom is another part of what brings happiness into our lives.

Verses 14 and 15 use the symbolism of things like silver, gold, and rubies to show just how valuable wisdom is to people… and in this case, we are speaking of Godly wisdom, and spiritual, as well as, emotional, mental and physical value. These riches are much desired by people, but the end of verse 15 says that wisdom is so far above these riches in value that they can’t even be compared.

Verse 16 speaks of two sides of retaining wisdom. The first side (right hand) tends to give a person long life, as we already studied in chapter 1: 33, and, earlier in this chapter in verse 2. The second side, (left hand) tends to bring riches and honor into our lives. If we use “Godly financial wisdom” in our dealings, we will see riches (spiritual and often physical) in our lives, and since wisdom nurtures the growth of the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives, people will be drawn to that love, etc. and we will have places of “honor” in their lives.

Verse 17 continues to portray wisdom as a woman, and says that her ways are pleasant and that following her (her paths) all lead to peace… at least in the end. I expect that this means that though we will go through hard areas, by closely following wise “ways” we find oasis of peace, and eventually total rest and peace as we get to heaven.

Verse 18 again speaks of wisdom as being “lifegiving”… being a “tree of life to those that take hold of her.” Once more we see an instruction to take action by “taking hold.” If we do, we RETAIN wisdom, and the result will be a life of happiness and peace.

1 comment:

  1. Well I didn't think I had missed this many. I hope you get back comments I will play catch up and comment as I go. Sorry How time flies. :)