Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 8:19
"My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold, and my yield better than choicest silver"
This is the Hebrew word peri, which means fruit. Fruit is the product of trees that are planted and cared for. It is a way of turning sunlight, water, and land into useable and saleable commodities. It is also a way of collecting sugar and making a dessert in a non-industrialized society.
All of these ideas are wrapped up in the word fruit as Solomon uses it. He is saying that when a person goes after and then gains wisdom, they will have turned breathing, working, choosing, and relating to others into a useable and even saleable product. The process of collecting wisdom will also sweeten life.
This is the Hebrew word tob, which means good but in this instance is translated as a measure of contrast between the yield of wisdom and the yield of gold. Gold just sits there and can purchase things, but wisdom has a much better yield. It grows and grows.
What is the better yield of wisdom over gold? Well, wisdom can accumulate material possessions, but it can also accumulate relationships which make life worth living.
It is important to realize that without relationships, all the money or power in the world is not worth it.
If you are chasing power or prestige or fame or popularity – but you have no real relationships – then you are chasing a dream, a shadow, even a nightmare. I was recently talking with a young woman who was trying to adapt herself to those around her so that she could be powerful and popular. Every time she thought she was about to arrive, it still did not satisfy and it did not yield two-way relationships.
This is the Hebrew word charuts, which means gold.
This is the Hebrew word tebua, which means produce, yield, increase, gain. The idea is that there is significant increase or gain. Solomon is saying that the gain or increase from having stockpiles of wisdom is greater than from having stockpiles of gold. Don't go after the wrong one. If you go after wisdom, you will most likely get all the wealth you need; but if you go after gold, you will usually not end up with wisdom and, in many cases, even riches.
Again let me remind you that relationships are the real key to a satisfying life. Relationships are what give meaning and depth and joy and satisfaction. Whatever is needed to produce these is what you are after. What you need is wisdom.
Solomon is approaching this as though he were talking to an investment banker. Do you want to invest in the better yield or the less secure yield? He knows that everyone will choose the higher and more secure yield.
Even if you are a loner you will want to have at least a few people who love you and know you. Relationships are the real keys to life. Everyone has nine relationship possibilities in their life:
The relational possibilities with God
The relational possibilities with their spouse
The relational possibilities with their family
The relational possibilities with their work
Their relational possibilities with their community of faith
Their relational possibilities with their finances
Their relational possibilities with their community and society
Their relational possibilities with their friends
Take each one of these relationships and rate them from 1-10 in terms of how much wisdom you have on how to make that relationship really blossom.