“My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:1-5
Proverbs 2 begins by telling us how we will find wisdom–by believing God’s Word, applying it, and pursuing it. It’s not enough to simply hear the Word; we must apply it (verse 2). We must also desire the Word and ask for wisdom (verse 3). These actions will lead us to the knowledge God offers us.
Verse 1 mentions storing up God’s instruction. We collect things that we treasure. Verse 4 discusses searching for wisdom like we would look for buried treasure. God’s Word is valuable and worth pursuing. Matthew 13:44 says,
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”
Verse 5 tells us that respecting God’s Word gives us an understanding of the fear of the Lord, which gives us respect for Him. The Reformation Study Bible notes that goal of wisdom is to know God better and be more like Christ. Wisdom gives clarity to God’s grace. When we see how much mercy we have been given, it gives us respect for God. The proverb continues:
“For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
We see here that wisdom is given (verse 6), and wisdom also involves our own actions (verse 4). These work together–no matter how much we search for truth, we won’t find it until God gives it to us. Similarly, we need to desire truth in order to receive it (Reformation Study Bible).
Verse 6 also gives us the image of knowledge coming from God’s mouth. God’s Word was spoken by God. Deuteronomy 8:3 tells us how much we need His scripture:
“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
Verses 7 through 11 parallel well with our discussion about the benefits of fearing God in my last post. These verses make it obvious that respect for God leads to smoother lives because wisdom gives us guidance. Look at the ways that God’s protection is described in the following verses:
“He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.
Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.” Proverbs 2: 7-11
Next, verses 12 through 19 point out how wisdom helps us to avoid the sinful situations we discussed from Proverbs 1. Wisdom gives us strength to resist the temptation to sin (see Proverbs 1:8-19). It will also guard us from those who delight in sin (see Proverbs 1:22-32). God’s protection is seen further here:
“Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,
from men whose words are perverse,
who have left the straight paths
to walk in dark ways,
who delight in doing wrong
and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,
whose paths are crooked
and who are devious in their ways.
Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman,
from the wayward woman with her seductive words,
who has left the partner of her youth
and ignored the covenant she made before God.
Surely her house leads down to death
and her paths to the spirits of the dead.
None who go to her return
or attain the paths of life.” Proverbs 2:12-19
Proverbs 2 ends by saying,
“Thus you will walk in the ways of the good
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
For the upright will live in the land,
and the blameless will remain in it;
but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the unfaithful will be torn from it.” Proverbs 2:20-22
The Reformation Study Bible notes that land was often part of God’s covenants with people. It also symbolizes eternity with God. See Hebrews 11:16,
“Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”
When we turn to God, He gives us the strength we need to walk righteously. Matthew 7:13-14 talks about the road the righteous walk that leads to life:
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Wisdom saves us from the wide road to destruction, and we benefit from God’s knowledge in more ways than this. When we turn to God, we will:
- be given wisdom (verse 6)
- have a fear of God (verse 5)
- know how to live righteously (verse 9)
- find pleasure in wisdom (verse 10)
- have a blessed life (verse 21)
It is obvious that a life of wisdom not only gives glory to God and honors him, but it also benefits us in several ways. Proverbs 1 warned us about what happens to those who reject God’s wisdom. We see from Proverbs 2 how seeking God’s wisdom leads to a blessed life. What a beautiful contrast!