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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Proverbs 3:19-20

Proverbs 3:19-20 (KJV) 19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
20 By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

Proverbs 3:19-20 (NIV) 19 By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations,
by understanding he set the heavens in place;
20 by his knowledge the watery depths were divided,
and the clouds let drop the dew.

Proverbs 3:19-20 (NLT) 19 By wisdom the LORD founded the earth;
by understanding he created the heavens.
20 By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth,
and the dew settles beneath the night sky.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
founded - יָֽסַד־ (yasad, yā·saḏ-) - Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3245: To set, to found, to sit down together, settle, consult
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon adds: perfect

and established - כּוֹנֵ֥ן (kun, kō·w·nên) - Verb - Piel - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3559: To be erect
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon adds: set up, established of God, throne

by understanding - בִּתְבוּנָֽה׃ (tebunah, biṯ·ḇū·nāh) - Preposition-b | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8394: Intelligence, an argument, caprice

By His knowledge - בְּ֭דַעְתּוֹ (bə·ḏa‘·tōw) - Preposition-b | Noun - feminine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1847: Knowledge

the watery depths - תְּהוֹמ֣וֹת (tehom, tə·hō·w·mō·wṯ) - Noun - common plural
Strong's Hebrew 8415: An abyss, the deep
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon adds: deep, sea, abyss, of subterranean waters

were broken open - נִבְקָ֑עוּ (baqa, niḇ·qā·‘ū) - Verb - Nifal - Perfect - third person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 1234: To cleave, to rend, break, rip, open
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon adds: rent open, of the water-masses themselves

and the clouds - וּ֝שְׁחָקִ֗ים (shachaq, ū·šə·ḥā·qîm) - Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 7834: A powder, a thin vapor, the firmament

dripped - יִרְעֲפוּ־ (raaph, yir·‘ă·p̄ū-) - Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 7491: To trickle, drip

with dew - טָֽל׃ (tal, ṭāl) - Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2919: Night mist, dew

Psalm 104:24 How many are Your works, O LORD! In wisdom You have made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures.

We have been studying about godly wisdom (and will continue throughout Proverbs). God can give us wisdom through the Holy Spirit He has instilled in every believer. It helps us to be discerning, to have a deeper understanding, and to have supernatural, godly wisdom in our lives to make better decisions and choices. This wisdom helps us and makes for a better life for us.

But we've also talked about how Wisdom is personified in Jesus Christ who is the beginning of wisdom for us. Before we are saved, we don't have the Holy Spirit within us to supernaturally teach, train and reveal God to us. He is working in the world to prepare hearts to face the decision of whether or not they will accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. Once we accept Jesus Christ and are saved, then the Holy Spirit moves inside us to begin the lifelong process of sanctification. So becoming a child of God through Jesus Christ is the beginning of godly wisdom in us.

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 (NLT)  18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”
20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.
24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.
26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.”

"God made Him to be wisdom itself"

Colossians 2:2b-3 (NLT) I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. 3 In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Jesus lived out and fulfilled the book of Proverbs and personified God's Wisdom. All of God's Wisdom points to Jesus Christ and He is a giver of wisdom through the Holy Spirit which He sent to to the world and to dwell in His believers. To be like Christ, we should embrace godly wisdom!

In these verses today, Wisdom was part of creation and the maintaining of Creation. God, in His Wisdom, made the universe, the earth, all that makeup the earth. God created all of it by a spoken command, "Let there be...". Then He came down and formed Adam and Eve with His own Hands and breathed His life force into them and created them in His image. God, the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were working together as the Godhead, to created.

John 1:1-5 (NLT) 1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
3 God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.

If Jesus is the Word of God, it follows that He is also the Wisdom of God. For where God's Word is, there is also His Wisdom.

Colossians 1:16 "For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him".

Hebrews 1:2-4 (NLT)  2 And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. 3 The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. 4 This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names.

God, the Father sits on His throne. Jesus, the Son, sits at His right hand, His work accomplished. The Holy Spirit has been sent to the earth to prepare hearts for Christ and then to indwell believers so that we can know God and have a relationship with Him. The Godhead, Three in One, working in absolute and perfect harmony to bring us into relationship with Him. Praise God for His Wisdom as it brought salvation to us! The mystery of the Trinity!

Did you realize that the Trinity were all present at Creation? Father God, Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit were there at Creation. Let's look at Genesis:

Genesis 1:1-2 (BSB) 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 Now the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
God - אֱלֹהִ֑ים (Elohim, ’ĕ·lō·hîm) - Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative

Notice the word translated "God" is Elohim and that it is a noun in a masculine PLURAL sense. Because God is three in one!

In verse 2 we see the Holy Spirit "hovering over the surface of the waters". The word translated as "hovering" here means brooding over, relaxing over. Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon adds that it's like a bird brooding, or hovering, over it's young.

We have the Trinity represented here in Elohim. We have the Holy Spirit mentioned specifically in verse 2. We also saw the scriptures above where Jesus was at the Creation. So all three persons of the Trinity were there when the Universe and mankind were created. Some people may have thought that Jesus came along when He was born in Bethlehem. But the Son has always existed just as the Father and the Holy Spirit have always existed. He just took human form on that night in Bethlehem.

Some may have thought the plan of salvation was a Plan B that God had to come up with at the last moment when Adam and Eve surprised Him with their infidelity. This is not true. The Trinity, God, knew all. They knew Adam and Eve would fall into disobedience and bring sin into the World. They had developed the plan of salvation before the earth was formed. Jesus voluntarily offered Himself as a sacrifice on our behalf before the world was created. And He faithfully fulfilled His assignment and now sits at the right hand of God. When we tell children that Jesus can live in their heart, we are actually talking about the Holy Spirit, sent by Jesus.

Let's look again at our verses:

Proverbs 3:19-20 (NLT) 19 By wisdom the LORD founded the earth;
by understanding he created the heavens.
20 By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth,
and the dew settles beneath the night sky.

We know the Holy Spirit, as the breath of God, actually hovered over the "waters" from Genesis 1:2. We don't know what the "waters" were. The Hebrew word indicates a primordial liquid something. There was darkness, emptiness, chaos. Possibly from Satan's fall which happened before Creation. God's Spirit is hovering intimately over this in a caring and nurturing way (hovering, brooding) and will create perfection with His presence and His Word.

Genesis 1:6-8 (BSB)  6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters, to separate the waters from the waters.” 7 So God made the expanse and separated the waters beneath it from the waters above. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

When we read these verses we see the same Hebrew word used for "waters" as in verse 2. So whatever liquid God was brooding over is not divided. There are "waters beneath" and "waters above". The area that divided the two was "the expanse 'sky'". This is very specific. We now know that there was some type of water above the sky (living environment with oxygen) and the waters on earth. Some think this may have been an ice canopy that surrounded the earth creating a hothouse environment. That type of protection may have been why men lived so long in the days before the flood. It also would explain the Great Flood of Noah's time. You see, it didn't rain on the earth before the Flood (which is why people didn't believe Noah when he told them a great rain and flood would occur).

Genesis 2:5-6 (KJV)  5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

The earth was watered by mist due to the liquid canopy surrounding the earth. But God caused that liquid canopy to break and it resulted in all that water crashing to earth, "the windows of heaven were opened". The land mass on earth was also broken apart (into continents) releasing subterranean water, "the fountains of the great deep broken up".

Genesis 7:10-12,17-19 (KJV)  10 And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights... 17 And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. 18 And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. 19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.

Now we see what Proverbs 3:20 means... "By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew".

Why God did anything is beyond my scope of understanding as I am not God. But He has His plans, His purposes, His timing and He knows all. "In His wisdom" and "by His knowledge" everything about Creation and the running of this world and our universe is done in His wisdom. Wow! Just wow!

  • Did you realize Father, Son and Holy Spirit were all there at Creation? 
  • How does it feel to know that God has always been aware of what would happen in our universe, in our world, in our personal lives and that it has all been "in His Wisdom" and "by His Knowledge"?
  • Is it easier to trust in a God who is all wise, all knowing, all seeing, all powerful? The same God who created the earth, created you. The same God who breathed life into Adam and Eve, breathed life into you. The same God who directs the universe, knows every hair on your head and every thought you think! The same God who created order out of chaos and perfection out of darkness, is working to do the same in your life!
  • The only one who can stop God is you. If you refuse to let Him in, He will not come. He will knock on the door of your heart (through the work of the Holy Spirit) but He will not come in until you invite Him in. The only control we really have in our lives is whether or not to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. Have you done that?
  • If you are already a Christian, has it been hard to trust God with your everyday problems? Having read through this devotion today, has it helped you see how very great He is and how very capable He is to take care of our lives?
  • Accepting that God is in control, despite the darkness and chaos around us, is hard to do. But, by faith, we can take hold of the God who brooded over the liquid chaos, emptiness, and darkness and made it into something perfect (before Adam and Eve sinned)! Through Jesus, He has again, taken something chaotic, empty and dark (our sins) and provided a way to forgiveness, perfection and eternal life! Can you take hold of this God by faith? Sometimes I feel like I'm clutching the hem of His garment on a wild ride but He never lets me go!

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Proverbs 3:16-18

Proverbs 3:16-18 (NIV) 16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.

Proverbs 3:16-18 (NKJV) 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.

"Wisdom is personification—taking an abstract idea like wisdom and casting it as a person or living thing. Since the word for “wisdom” in Hebrew is grammatically feminine (ḥokmah), when this personification occurs “wisdom” is cast as a lady. Hebrew nouns are classified by grammatical gender. This is indicated by the presence or absence of certain consonant endings... 'wisdom' is not an actual woman or feminine entity who assisted God at creation (Prov 8:30). The language simply reflects the grammar." - Dr. Mike Heiser Miqlat.org

We have previously discussed how Jesus was the co-Creator with the Father and the Holy Spirit and He is the ultimate and fulfillment of God's Wisdom.

We will further see the personification of Wisdom as feminine in Proverbs ("Lady Wisdom") and her opposite Lady Folly. A person can choose to live wisely, “Lady Wisdom,” or to live foolishly, “Lady Folly,” (Aka Madame Folly).

In these scriptures we see that godly wisdom comes with "long life," "riches and honor,"  "pleasant paths," "peace". We also see that if we "take hold of her" she is a "tree of life" and if we "hold fast" we will be "blessed".

Strong's Exhaustive concordance
[are] riches - עֹ֣שֶׁר (osher, ‘ō·šer) - Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6239: Wealth

and honor - וְכָבֽוֹד׃ (kabowd, wə·ḵā·ḇō·wḏ) - Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3519: Weight, splendor, copiousness (copious=large in quantity, yielding abundantly)
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon adds: honor and glory from men

are pleasant - נֹ֑עַם (noam, nō·‘am) - Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5278: Agreeableness, delight, suitableness, splendor, grace

[are] peaceful - שָׁלֽוֹם׃ (shalom, šā·lō·wm) - Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7965: Safe, well, happy, friendly, welfare, health, prosperity, peace

of life - חַיִּ֣ים (chay, ḥay·yîm) - Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 2416: Alive, raw, fresh, strong, life
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon adds: as welfare and happiness in king's presence; as consisting of earthly felicity combined (often) with spiritual blessedness

to those who embrace her - לַמַּחֲזִיקִ֣ים (chazaq, lam·ma·ḥă·zî·qîm) - Preposition-l, Article | Verb - Hifil - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 2388: To fasten upon, to seize, be strong, obstinate, to bind, restrain, conquer

and those who lay hold of her - וְֽתֹמְכֶ֥יהָ (tamak, wə·ṯō·mə·ḵe·hā) - Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural construct | third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8551: To sustain, to obtain, keep fast, to help, follow close

are blessed מְאֻשָּֽׁר׃ (ashar, mə·’uš·šār) - Verb - Pual - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 833: To be straight, to go forward, be honest, proper
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon adds: to be happy, blessed

Our action words are "embrace" and "lay hold". Look back over those. We aren't talking about a gentle hug. The definitions are much stronger... seize, fasten upon, bind, restrain, conquer! And sustain that restraint, keep fast and follow closely. It made me think of a football tackle where one tackles the one holding the ball and holds fast until they capitulate.

In my earlier posts on Proverbs, we've seen how godly wisdom can practically help us to have better health and finances so please refer back for those. But in these verses today we see that godly wisdom can also reward us with honor among men, respect, a good reputation.

By using godly wisdom, we can avoid the destructive results of sin that affect our health, our finances and our relationships with others.

Someone who does not use godly wisdom will not have good relationships. The sins of lying affect our relationships. The sins of infidelity and adultery affect our relationships. The sins of addiction affect our relationships. If you've been in some type of relationship with an unbeliever, you learn they can't be trusted, are undependable; and/or are selfish (self-involved, self-promoting, self-centered);  or they are serial adulterers; or their addictions completely control them. It can go on and on. An unbeliever has no reason to care about anyone but themselves. Now, not ALL unbelievers are untrustworthy, serial adulterers or drug addicts. And not all BELIEVERS are, unfortunately, trustworthy, truthful and monogamous. But we can say that all believers are forgiven and have the Holy Spirit who is working on them from the inside to try to form them into people of integrity, more like Jesus. We can say that unbelievers do NOT have the Holy Spirit within them to do any training, or empowering, to be more Christlike and they have yet to experience Christ's forgiveness and freedom from the bondage of sin.

If we take hold of godly wisdom and follow it closely, we should be people of high integrity, honest, with good character, trustworthy and dependable, with truth coming from our mouths. People should be able to recognize you are someone who doesn't give trouble and a person who is generous. Not someone who focuses on minors and nitpicks someone to death. We should be people who are honest, truthful, compassionate but strong when we need to be. Our word should mean something and people can depend on us. We should be people who generally make wise decisions and stay out of trouble. The result is a good reputation and respect from others.

One time, in junior high school, I got called into the principal's office. The one and only time I ever got called in. A teacher had mistakenly marked me absent in one of my classes but I was present in the others and it looked like I had skipped a class. He was going to call me on it. I hadn't skipped a class. I was so scared I was almost in tears. He took one look at me, told me what happened but said he had never had trouble with me before, he thought it was just a mistake and let me go. I had a good reputation and stayed out of trouble so he could believe me despite the evidence.

I don't use that example to say I was a perfect kid. I'm sorry to say I made mistakes in high school. But what I'm trying to point out is you can have a good reputation and it help you in life. It will help you on your job, in your business, in your family life, with friends, etc. It's worth working on.

There is a deeper meaning too. We have a deeper purpose. God's goal in creating all of this (mankind, earth, the universe) is revealed in this verse:

Ephesians 3:10-11 (NLT) 10 His purpose was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to the eternal purpose that He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

To God be all the glory! We are to show His work of wisdom and power to "the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms". We are on display. Someone is watching us. Are we representative of God's glory? Jesus certainly was! He did all to the glory of God. He showed all of God's wonderful attributes to us and to anyone else watching!

Another word to look at in these verses is "peace". If we use godly wisdom we can generally be peaceable people. God tells us to be peacemakers whenever possible. We shouldn't be the ones that throw gas on a fire. We should be people who pour oil on troubled waters to calm them down. We should be the ones who call the meeting to order when it starts getting out of hand. We should be the people who are tactful and try to bring about sensible resolutions rather than mouthing off and stirring things up. We can be firm about a subject without resorting to yelling, cursing, violence, intimidation, or being personally offensive. If I'm rightly upset about something, look for ways to be firm without it resulting in out-of-control anger or personal attacks.

For instance, you have a question about a bill and you call customer service. You may be totally in the right and they are totally wrong and it's costing you money. But at no point should you break off into berating the person you are talking to on the telephone. More than likely it's not their fault and they are only doing their job. There is no cause to call them names, curse at them or start yelling at them. And when you can't get a resolution, it's better to back off and take the financial hit than turn it into verbal abuse. It's better for you and, for them to let it go. You will have learned never to deal with that company again or never fall into that situation again. There are usually ways to register your complaint about something truly wrong so that others don't face the same problem (like leaving a bad review). Even then, don't make it personal by calling someone names. State the problem how you see it and that it was never resolved and you don't recommend them.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Hebrews 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

1 Peter 3:11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.

There are times when it's serious enough that keeping the peace is not an option. That's usually pretty rare. But let's say you see someone being assaulted. You could react in various ways to "keep the peace" while someone is being assaulted. Are any of those the right thing to do? No. You need to step in and try to prevent the assault or call the police or scream for help or whatever. Keeping the peace at all costs is not biblical. There are times when we as individuals, and as a nation, need to make a hard decision and step in with both barrels. It should be done reluctantly and with thought, but sometimes it just has to be done. We saw many countries who were so reluctant to go to war with Germany that they let Hitler take one nation after another, giving him the impetus, power, supplies and men to nearly take over all of Europe and Africa. Then he declared war on America! Isolationists and their "peace at any cost", nearly cost us our freedom! So there has to be a balance. We are to be peacemakers but we are also to be strong and make the hard decisions when we need to be. We are at that place now in America. There are those who want open borders and to allow anyone and everyone in to America because it's the "humanitarian thing to do". But there are those of us who are seeing it as an invasion and the problems it will, and are, causing and we feel like we have to say enough is enough. It's a hard decision and one politicians are afraid to make but it has to be made or we will lose America. Losing America is losing freedom for the entire world as we have been the peacekeepers. We are the big country carrying a big stick that keeps many maniacs in other nations from destroying the world. We lose America and chaos will probably ensue.

Matthew 10:34-36c (Jesus speaking) 34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn “ ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— 36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’"

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Jesus makes peace between us and God. In our sins, we are separated from God. Jesus provides the way back to a relationship with God. He is our peace.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

"The peace that Jesus came to bring was not the peace of appeasement, or the peace of compromise and conformity. It was a spiritual peace. The world doesn’t give peace, for it doesn’t have any peace to give." - Billy Graham

One last thing to look at in these verses is the Tree of Life. Godly wisdom, in all practicality, brings better health, better finances, a good reputation and respect from others, peace and is a Tree of Life to those who tackle and hold on to it. But there is a deeper meaning as well.

"This expression obviously refers to "the tree of life" (ets-hakayyim), which was placed in the midst of the garden of Eden, and conferred immortality on those who ate of its fruit (Genesis 2:9; 3:22). So Wisdom becomes equally life-giving to those who lay hold on her, who taste of her fruit. She communicates life in its manifold fullness and richness (so the plural "lives" indicates) to those who seize her firmly. " - Pulpit Commentary

We also know that Jesus symbolizes the Tree of Life. The tree of life is like the cross of Christ. Wood often symbolizes humanity in the Bible. Jesus gave His life for humanity to be saved. He voluntarily laid on the wooden cross (humanity) to save us! He is the one who confers eternal life through His death and resurrection. Therefore, we see Him as the Tree of Life. If we take of His fruit and eat thereof, we are forgiven and have eternal life!

  • Have you ever watched someone lose their reputation due to their sins?
  • Have you ever watched someone turn their lives around and gain back a good reputation?
  • Do you have a good reputation? If not, what can you do to begin to repair your reputation so as to bring glory to God?
  • Have you ever tried to do the right thing but were unfairly accused of something that affected your good reputation? I know it hurts and makes you angry. But how can you react in a Christlike manner to something unfair or downright untrue?
  • What does Jesus mean when He said He didn't come to bring peace but a sword? We know Jesus also said, "In Me ye might have peace". Is He contradicting Himself? He came as the Prince of Peace but the result was conflict and hatred. People who refuse Jesus and prefer their sin, will hate those who choose Jesus and are forgiven of their sin. People who love sin, hate Jesus and His people! People are hostile to the good news of salvation in the Word of God. People want to sin and want to "control" their own lives and are afraid of Jesus, therefore they hate Him. Because they are determined to have their sin, they make up all kinds of lies about Jesus, the Bible, the gospel message, God's people, Heaven and Hell, etc. Their hatred can be so virulent that they would kill Him (they crucified Him), and us (persecution and martyrdom), and burn every Bible if they could.
  • Have you ever thought about how dangerous peace-at-all-cost is? Have you ever meditated on where the balance is between peace-at-all-cost and doing the right thing even if it's hard and not very peaceful?
  • Have you ever struggled between your "rights" and laying down your rights before Jesus? It is very difficult to humble ourselves, submit and to trust God for the outcome versus forcing an outcome because it's our "right"? Write your thoughts down about it.
  • Have you eaten of the Tree of Life, Jesus Christ? If you have, you are immortal. Had you ever realized it that way before? Not only your spirit is born and will live forever. But your body will be resurrected, and immortal, to join your spirit one day. Did you realize that? You will one day be an eternal 3 part being: body, mind (soul), spirit just as God is a 3 part being. It's what He meant when He said He would make us in His image! Read 1 Corinthians 15:35-58 and journal your thoughts.

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

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