Proverbs 3: I don't know it all

The first time I read through Proverbs 3 I was stuck on the phrase "tree of life" found in verse 18. Did you know that the phrase is only used 11 times (NIV)? Three times in Genesis, four times in Revelations, and four times in Proverbs. This was fascinating to me.

The origin in Genesis is the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. In Revelations the term seems to refer to the same Tree, just a different time period. But in Proverbs different things are compared to the Tree of Life.

In 3:18 wisdom is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, in 11:30 the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, in 13:12 a longing fulfilled is a tree of life, and in 15:4 a soothing tongue is a tree of life. I'm pretty sure this could be a study all in itself trying to understand why "tree of life" is used, and why these things in particular are compared to this specific tree.

When I read 3:18 I thought about how Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil rather than the Tree of  Life. I thought about how often I think I know what is good and evil. I thought about how often I have made judgement calls and decided, within my own life and the lives of others, how choices, actions, or circumstances were good or evil. I would connect the dots to explain things, or dismiss something. I would use my own "wisdom" and decide what was good or evil and I have really messed some things up with my proclamations.

These verses reminded me that God's wisdom is far above my own. That I wont always understand things, regardless of how I try to connect the dots. That sometimes even when things don't make sense I simply need to keep following God and doing what He has said to do, and hold onto the knowledge that I can trust God and His wisdom.

After yesterday's post verses 21-26 also jumped out at me today. In the Message it reads, "Dear friend, guard Clear Thinking and Common Sense with your life; don’t for a minute lose sight of them. They’ll keep your soul alive and well, they’ll keep you fit and attractive. You’ll travel safely, you’ll neither tire nor trip. You’ll take afternoon naps without a worry, you’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep. No need to panic over alarms or surprises, or predictions that doomsday’s just around the corner, Because God will be right there with you; he’ll keep you safe and sound." When we hold onto "sound wisdom and discretion (ESV)" we can walk securely, not be afraid, have no inner turmoil, and the Lord will be our confidence. It really reminded me of what I talked about yesterday in regards to being who we are and having a confidence within ourselves.

So, from this chapter I learned that my own idea of right and wrong is nothing compared to God's wisdom, and if I choose to hold on to His wisdom then I can live with confidence in life because I know I'm following Him.

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track." (The Message)

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