Yesterday we took Chapter 2 of Proverbs as a whole – and it is a lot to bite off, no question.
For today, let’s try to summarize the main ideas in a more compact form.
Solomon wants his son(s) and daughters to have 4 things:
1. (5-8) To understand and experience The fear of the Lord.
2. (9-15) To understand and then live out true righteousness, justice and equality.
3. (16-19) To experience deliverance from temptation.
4. (20-22) To actually walk in righteousness.
In verses 1-5 he outlines 7 steps to that end – but let’s just consider three things that show themselves as absolutely necessary to true understanding (seeing all things as God does) and growing close to the Father:
a. Knowing and TREASURING God’s Word. We need to remember again that “Keeping” His Word throughout Scripture is not as much observing the letter of it, as it is seeing it as precious. That which is precious to us, will capture our devotion.
Wisdom and spiritual knowledge are not gained by osmosis, sporadic study, lazy attempts at searching out God’s Word or abstracting magical insights. We must set a value on it first. Treat it like treasure. Keeping our eye and ear peeled for it – looking for it all the time. Praying about it and then taking the pick and shovel and digging, sifting, searching, refining, and looking for more. Nothing less will yield the result of understanding the fear of the Lord, and finding the knowledge of God.
b. Seeking to understand God’s Word, studying it – not simply preserving it like an ancient artifact. Having a Ming vase that is never used AS a vase, but merely as a work of art, is the picture. Many approach God’s Word this way. They know it is “precious” but precious in the sense that it is to be put on a self and admired – but not as though it is to be employed in the fabric and situations of everyday life. We cannot approach God’s Word in this way and hope to be truly impacted by it. We must study it not as a curiosity, but as the study of life itself. We must employ it. It will resist being turned into a religious, social or intellectual artifact.
c. Prayer (3). If we are not interacting personally and regularly with our Lord – we cannot hope either to understand Him, or His Word. We must never allow knowledge about Him to eclipse firsthand knowledge OF Him in living discourse. Lose this aspect, and religion freezes into form and mere doctrine at best, and random subjectivity at worst.
Solomon wants his children to have a living, vibrant, experiential walk with God. What Jesus died to give to all who put their hope only in Him.