Wisdom is a tree of life. Today's proverb of the day informs us of that fact as well as how wisdom will help us to be happy if we hold fast to it and not allow the world or the desires of our own flesh to loosen our hold upon it.
The tree of life is a thoroughly biblical thing from the beginning of the Bible to its close. We open in Genesis with the garden of Eden and the tree of life - and end with the tree of life bearing fruit on both sides of a river that runs through heaven itself. There are things in the Scriptures that are referred to as "a" tree of life - and then there are the references in Genesis and Revelation to "the" tree of life. The tree of life is a wonderful picture of Christ Himself - Who is the One who gives us life itself, while "a" tree of life is something that we should note - because it is a means of God blessing us with His life. Wisdom is described in this way.
Wisdom is a tree of life to those who hold strongly to her. The statement here to "take hold" of wisdom comes from the Hebrew word "hazaq" which meant to be strong, to strengthen, to be courageous, or to overpower. When we take hold of wisdom, we are fastening upon it with strength and courage. We hold fast to wisdom as we use it to overpower other thoughts that might enter into our thinking that run contrary to Scripture or God's ways. She yields to us sweet fruits of life itself when we do this. But the opposite is true as well. When we let go of wisdom and prefer the wisdom of this world that is passing away - it will yield to us fruits of death. That is why it is not enough just to have wisdom enter our ears - we must learn to hear it and hold it fast with all our strength and all our will.
There is a promise for us though, to motivate us to hold wisdom fast. When we do we are promised that we will be happy. The word for happy here is "asar" which means to go straight ahead, to advance forward, be blessed, or to be made happy. According to Zhodiates it was a figuative phrase that meant to follow a straight path in understanding which in turn will give us a single heart and will also help us advance in God's ways and paths. If we were to compare this with the Beattitudes in Matthew 5, we would see that the ways of God's wisdom always promise for us a state of being blessed. In Matthew the word for blessed, did not just mean a happy emotional state - but had the idea of being blessed because God is smiling upon us. Wisdom will bring us to the place of knowing God's favor and His smile. That is why we need to hold fast and hard onto wisdom. It is the way to a life blessed by Almighty God - and as such is the best way to life.