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Wow the value of wisdom and understanding

Wow the value of wisdom and understanding

Proverbs 3:13-14 launched wisdom and understanding for us again. From there Solomon shiningly offers us a richer understanding of the true value of enjoying the fruits of striving for wisdom and understanding.

She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.

Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.

Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.

She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.

Proverbs 3:15-19

I just learned that Proverbs is written in the form of poetry and must be read as such. Not fiction or non-fiction but as a type of poem called an encomium. Encomiums are praise poems, poems of celebration, poems that honour something. Isn’t it interesting that Solomon chooses the word wisdom and honours her?

Let’s quickly explore the feminine personification of ‘wisdom’ and  ‘ understanding’ that Solomon uses. If we look back in Genesis, specifically Genesis 1:27 we see that “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” He created them side by each zakar and neqeba, male and female.  We cannot progress further without one or the other. Neqeba is made up of two parts ne and qeba. Qebah is the stomach, belly, or maw of a woman. Put together it forms the whole woman. Women and men together as one make a whole.

In many cultures, words take on the form of male and female – masculine and feminine. With English, that is not the case. But in Hebrew, words are given the personification of male or female. Wisdom in Hebrew is chokmoth, which is grammatically feminine. In keeping with the grammatical construction Solomon personifies wisdom as she. When the word is in the make form then it is personified as he. We cannot allow ourselves to get tripped up into distinguishing one sex as better than another, it is just a continuation of the initial gender assignment of the Hebrew word.

More precious than rubies, now that is a powerful statement. Many believe that the ruby was the most precious stone created by God; for many cultures in the past, it was the stone of kings. The symbolism of a ruby was commanding, it not only protected what you had, but had the power to help you acquire more power, riches, and gems. Due to the red colour of the gem, some cultures believed it provided invulnerability or life-sustaining powers.   In fact, today rubies can cost more per carat than diamonds.

Now we will look at what is in her left hand and her right hand. But before we do that, we need to look at the distinction between right and left hand. The bible uses the term left and right hand often. On the day of judgment, those saved are on the right and those condemned are on the left. The right hand was used to lay a blessing on someone. It also denoted a place of honour. The left is known for foolishness and weakness. This is an important distinction because many automatically assume that riches and honour are good, but they may not always be. Interestingly, the right hand was associated and “read” for women and the left hand for men in ancient Chinese traditional culture. Furthermore, the right denoted the mother and the left was for the father. In the occult, there are two paths, left-hand path, and right-hand path. The left was “dark and evil” while the right was “light and positive”.

In her right hand is long life, most of us want a long life, and not too many people are opposed to riches and honour. Although there are several passages later in the bible about riches getting in the way of true belief and total acceptance of God. As well as passages about people seeking honour for the sake of honour and needing to take on a servant’s attitude to get right with God.

Long life comes from living wisely. Living wisely gives us the ability to follow the will and purposes of God. By following the will and purposes of God we live with direction, purpose, peace, and in doing so enjoy quantity and quality of years. And there is the promise of life after death with Him in Glory.

Now, who doesn’t want pleasantness and peace in our lives? Yes, that is a rhetorical question but when we drill down, isn’t that what we want for all our relationships – peace and happiness. Life is full of struggles and hills to climb, everywhere we turn there is discord, arguments, differences of opinion, two sides to every coin. We are never going to escape challenges but what we can do is learn to respond and not react. Through wisdom, not knowledge, we learn to look at things differently and respond in such a way that pleasantness and peace can be found. We need to put ourselves in a place of peace and pleasantness and then share it, sharing our freedom.

I love what Dr. Glo has to say on freedom and peace,

“Over the years, ‘diving into my freedom’ has taught me that there is a deeper kind of wisdom than I once knew; one found more in my heart and soul, and less in the ‘head knowledge’ I used to depend on. I often say that my healing journey has been like a journey of a thousand miles – from my over-functioning academic brain into the peace of my heart and soul.

No longer do I just let my head rule, so that my peace gets lost to worry, stress and confusion – or whatever leads my mind and body away from belonging and God’s peace. My choices and practices now support what I desire. And each time I ‘indulge’ in them, they take me deeper, closer, to what it is I truly want.”

Solomon goes on to describe wisdom as the tree of life and those who enjoy her will be blessed. Another perfect day for me, I got to learn something new, the symbolism of the Tree of Life is ancient, crosses many beliefs and symbolizes the connection to the afterlife! It represents connection, strength, growth, uniqueness, rebirth, family, and tranquility to mention a few. It is found in Genesis as the symbol of God’s fellowship with Adam and Eve. A truly spiritual and real fellowship. Or, in other words – a truly blessed relationship.

The key here is that a tree is a living growing entity. It needs nurturing, water, fertilizer, and pruning. This is our responsibility; this is our job. We are to nurture our relationship with God and develop it fully. By reading the word of God, we water our tree and gain wisdom. By asking for God’s help and talking to Him daily we fertilize our relationship with Him and keep it healthy. By reflecting and looking forward and back we learn what we need to prune in our lives to truly show our wisdom and gain peace in our lives.

May you find peace!

 

Chuck Groot is an author, speaker, teacher. His love of God has spanned over 6 decades and he finds the more he studies the Bible, the less he knows, the more he succeeds the more dependant on God he becomes, and that there is nothing outside of loving God our Father, and being loved in return.

 

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Bibliography

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