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Proverbs 3:18 (Mini Sermon)

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18. Pro 3:18 - "She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her."
A. She is a tree of life
i. Wisdom is the source of life.
a. Jesus, the wisdom of God (1Co 1:24), came that His sheep may have life and have it more abundantly (Joh 10:10).
b. Life n. - I. The condition or attribute of living or being alive; animate existence. Opposed to death. 1. a. Primarily, the condition, quality, or fact of being a living person or animal. d. Animate existence viewed as dependent on sustenance or favourable physical conditions. (For necessary of life, staff of life, see those words.) Hence, that which is necessary to sustain life; a livelihood, one's living. 5. a. The cause or source of living; the vivifying or animating principle; he who or that which makes or keeps a thing alive (in various senses); ‘soul’; ‘essence’. Hence (poet. nonce-use) = ‘life-blood’.
c. Food which comes from natural trees is for the maintenance of man's physical life (Deut 20:19).
d. Wisdom that comes from Christ is for the maintenance of man's spiritual life (Ecc 7:12; Pro 4:22).
ii. The "tree of life" in Pro 3:18 is a reference to the tree of life that God placed in the garden of Eden along side the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:9).
a. The fruit of the tree of life had the ability to cause Adam and Eve to physically live forever if eaten (Gen 3:22).
b. There was apparently something contained in that fruit which stopped and reversed the aging and degenerative process which ends in death (Rev 22:2).
c. The Lord barred Adam and Eve from the tree of life to prevent them from living forever (Gen 3:24).
d. Those that partake of Christ, the wisdom of God (1Co 1:24), have eternal life (Joh 6:51, 54).
e. Those that overcome this world by faithfully keeping God's commandments will be given access to the tree of life in heaven (Rev 2:7; Rev 22:14).
f. We have access to a foretaste of that tree of life when we embrace wisdom through the word of God.
B. to them that lay hold upon her:
i. Wisdom is only a tree of life to us if we lay hold upon her (Pro 4:13).
ii. Fast adv. - 1. a. In a fast manner, so as not to be moved or shaken; lit. and fig.; firmly, fixedly. Often with stand, sit, stick, etc. 2. a. With firm grasp, attachment, or adhesion; so as not to permit of escape or detachment; tightly, securely. Often with bind, hold, etc. lit. and fig. See also hold v.
iii. Hold v. - 1. a. To keep watch over, keep in charge, herd, ‘keep’ (sheep, etc.); to rule (men). Only in OE. and early ME. Obs. 2. a. To keep from getting away; to keep fast, grasp.
iv. We must hold fast the faithful word as we have been taught (Tit 1:9; 2Ti 1:13).
C. and happy is every one that retaineth her.
i. We are blessed (happy) when we retain wisdom.
ii. Retain v. - 1. a. To restrain; to hold back, check, or stop; to prevent or hinder. Obs. c. To keep in custody or under control; to prevent from departing, issuing, or separating; to hold fixed in some place or position.
iii. We will not be blessed if we let it go.
iv. We must buy the truth and sell it not (Pro 23:23).
v. If we retain God's words, we shall live (Pro 4:4).