“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. ” (Proverbs 2:1–5, ESV)
Spiritual wisdom is not a natural faculty. Even those wisest in the ways of the world can be without it. It must be valued as treasure, paid attention to, inclined toward (fondly desired), asked for, and sought for like mining for silver or other hidden treasure. And in our day of instant gratification, that frankly sounds like too much work. No wonder then, we have little success against our sins. For as our text will show – unless we are desperately seeking God’s wisdom, our own hearts and minds will only lead us with the wisdom they already have. And – how’s that been doin’ for ya?
These opening verses set the stage well. The insight into God’s Word which is His wisdom, isn’t something we get suddenly in an instantaneous spiritual experience. It isn’t zapped into us. It is sought out and cultivated. It is worked for. And only when we make the effort will we have the benefits so many of us desire – the means to deal successfully with the remnants of indwelling sin. Apart from it, we are sitting ducks.
We note first then that the “then you will understand the fear of the Lord” of verse 5, is predicated upon the labors of verses 1-4. There are no shortcuts. Why? Because as verse 6 goes on to say: it is the Lord Himself who gives wisdom. It comes from His mouth and nowhere else. We must get it personally from Him.
What I want to encourage you with Reader, are the results promised for the toil expended in this kind of applied seeking. There are at least five listed for us here. And each one is precious.
Benefit 1: “then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. ” (2:5)
Benefit 2: “Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; ” (2:9)
Benefit 3: “discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you, delivering you from the way of evil, from men of perverted speech, ” (2:11–12)
Benefit 4: “So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words, ” (2:16)
Benefit 5: “So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. ” (2:20)
Now THAT’S some cost/benefit ratio. Seek Him!