26th December 2019


“As a tree makes fruit, wisdom gives life to those who use it.”
Proverbs 3:18 (ICB)

We can’t help noticing trees this time of year. But how many of us think of them in the context of this verse? We should, you know. Proverbs has quite a few verses that are about trees: 11:30, 15:4, 27:15 and others. These verses speak about how trees are of benefit to ourselves or how we can be like trees to others. Metaphorical? Yes, but so is much of this Book. The rest of the above verse continuing to speak of wisdom, is also nice, “Everyone who uses wisdom will be happy.”

What is wisdom? It is the practical application of knowledge in a way that benefits ourselves and others. We’ve just had an election and we may have our own thoughts on how wise the manifestos of the contending parties seemed to be. Often we ourselves may make a decision and afterwards we might say, ‘That was (or was not) a very wise decision.’ Sometimes, if it wasn’t, we might say, ‘O well …’ But it might have been an extremely unwise decision. For example, deciding that one or other of God’s commandments can be broken with impunity. Yes, God forgives and doesn’t hold it against us, but human beings do not forgive so easily, particularly those who have been hurt by actions based on our unwise decisions. We may never live it down.

Wisdom is a tree of life. People eat fruit from trees. If they ate fruit from our symbolic trees, we hope they might find they were eating something nice and juicy, but it might be so sour they would want to spit it out. Paul wrote about fruit – the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. The Book of Proverbs gives an example of wisdom being a tree of life: “As a tree gives us fruit, healing words give us life. But evil words crush the spirit” (Proverbs 15:4). That is a nice juicy fruit, and it must come from a healthy tree. Jesus said “You will know these people because of the things they do. Good things don’t come from bad people, just as grapes don’t come from thornbushes. And figs don’t come from thorny weeds” (Matthew 7:16).

And so we move to the Tree of Life. That tree was offered to Adam and Eve but they didn’t eat of it: they (and we) preferred to eat of the other tree, which was forbidden (Genesis 3:3-6). However in the age to come the Tree of Life will once again be available and this time people will eat of it. All its fruit will be juicy and all our lives will show wisdom (Revelation 22:1-2). May that time come soon.

Praise God for wisdom. May I find it and cherish it, and may others be blessed through its fruits. In Jesus’ name.

Study by Christopher Reeve

About the Author:
Christopher Reeve is assistant pastor of the Invicta (Blean) Congregation near Canterbury, which is part of Grace Communion International/Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Invicta Fellowship
Blean Village Hall
School Lane

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11.30 a.m.

Local Congregational Contact:
Mrs Annette Woods
Phone: 07473 188326
Email: annettewoods2@nhs.net

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