Thursday, June 4, 2009

Proverbs 2: 1-8

Today's Thought Questions:
  1. What are the benefits of wisdom?
  2. Reread verses 6-8. God offers to do what, for whom?

My translation of our passage today comes with the title "The Pursuit of Wisdom Brings Security." The word that first jumps out at me, after reading the first four verses, is pursuit. From what we have already read in our short time, that wisdom brings security is not a surprise. But, we need to pursue wisdom--that requires activity on our part, and these verses are full of verbs explaining how we ought to pursue.

"Receive my words...treasure my commandments (vs 1)
Make your ear attentive...incline your heart (vs 2)
Cry for discernment...lift your voice (vs 3)
Seek her as for her" (vs 4)

These verses are listed in a natural progression, a necessary progression. Before we can know wisdom, we must start with receiving God's Word and treasuring His commandments. Acquiring head knowledge is not enough. Psalm 119: 11 says, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." (NIV) We need heart work, too (vs 2)!

After we acquire knowledge, we cry to God for discernment of what we have received. My S.B. has a sobering note on verse 3: "The least bit of indifference will leave one bereft of the fullness of wisdom." We need to be wholly committed to God in our search for discernment...seeking and searching as if for precious metals. (vs 4)

Who is a mentor for us in knowing how to find wisdom? Job. In Job, we find one who was righteous and yet one who suffered to great depths. We find one who sought understanding and discernment. We find one who shared his journey with friends and was redirected by a loving God.

In chapter 28, Job elaborates on the challenges of mining for precious metals, such as silver--the great efforts men will go through to find such valuable treasure. Beginning with verse 12 of that chapter, he then explains how the search for wisdom is harder than that.

"But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?
Man does not know its value, nor is it found in the land of the living." (vs 12)

Job comes to a place of understanding his circumstances in which he says it is not to be discovered, as in mining, but rather revealed, as only God can do.

"God understands its way, and He knows its place....
And to man He said, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.'" (vss 23 & 28)

Thus, we are given Proverbs verse 5: "Then you will discern the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God."

And not only will we receive knowledge and understanding, but He will store up this wisdom within the faithful (vs 7), and He will protect us as a shield (a buckler, in the King James Version, which is one of those small round shields worn on hand to ward off arrows, swords and such).

Eight verses, but powerful instruction for us if we want to lay hold of God's Word--understanding, discerning and faithfully carrying it out--as well as live in His glorious promises as we follow Him.


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Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Questions:

Proverbs 2: 9-19
  1. Wisdom saves and protects us. Explain.
  2. What challenged you in today's reading?

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Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation, specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB). I will quote other sources if used in a post.
I also use Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (with notes from the King James Version).


B His Girl said...

Wisdom gives me the ability to move in a situation I really don't understand. I can handle it in a way that pleases God and points others to Him. I can trust God's eyes that see everything. He is always proved right. B

Sue J. said...


Isn't that so true!? How else can we step out of that "comfort zone," which can include situations we don't understand as well as those we maybe don't care for? And He does use these opportunities to show others who He is--and we don't always see that, either!

Thanks for your insights today.