Proverbs 3:17-18 “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.”
It is amazing how one word can get you to thinking…
I saw that phrase “…and happy is every one that retaineth her.” and thought – ‘Is it like keeping wisdom on retainer’? I had to look up the definition:
1. One who retains; as an executor, who retains a debt due from the testator.
2. One who is kept in service; an attendant; as the retainers of the ancient princes and nobility.
3. An adherent; a dependant; a hanger on.
4. A servant, not a domestic, but occasionally attending and wearing his master’s livery.
5. Among lawyers, a fee paid to engage a lawyer or counselor to maintain a cause.
6. The act of keeping dependents, or being in dependence.
The first five chapters of Proverbs are rich in describing wisdom, admonishing us to get wisdom, telling us the benefits, and bringing home the point of making sure we retain her (wisdom).
I am told that I will be happy when I find wisdom (Proverbs 3:13)
Gaining wisdom is measured on a scale far above any monetary scale (Proverbs 3:14, 15)
Length of days, riches, honor, pleasantness, peace will be mine (Proverbs 3:16-18)
She is a tree of life, and I will be happy when I retain her.
So, what is the cost of her retainer, I wonder?
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
A heart that is wholly trusting God for everything.
I must be submitted, obedient, teachable, and able to be corrected. Then to obtain the wisdom I seek is only a prayer away.
James 1:5-8 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
God puts some conditions on such a request as this. Just as you wouldn’t place a weapon in an untrained hand, God wants us to desire wisdom so that He can use it in our lives to teach, guide, govern, and protect.
That ‘retainer’ with which we ‘purchase’ wisdom… who wouldn’t want to meet those conditions? Who wouldn’t want the benefits of possessing her (wisdom) or being possessed of her?
The hindsight we all use to rethink our choices in life should help us to make better decisions in the future – right?
There are fewer who actually learn from history than those of us who repeat it. Wisdom can be that time in our life where God asks us to stop, come aside, and show us a better way.
Jeremiah 6:16 “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”
We have a choice – just as Israel was given a choice.
I want to put wisdom on retainer for those times when I am enamored with the new and shiny; the quick and easy.
Time has taught me that if it’s new, it’s not true; and if it’s easy, it most certainly not free.
Take some time to ask for the wisdom we so desperately need from God. He promised to give it if we met His conditions. Come to Him with a clean, unwavering heart and see what God will do!