Study to Grow
By Randy Dillon
Proverbs 2:1-11 " My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path. When wisdom enters your heart and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you . . . "
What is the value of wisdom? How do we receive wisdom? What does wisdom result in? Proverbs warns us about associations that lead to evil, destruction and eternal death (Proverbs 1:20-33). But it also shows us a way out of such eternal damnation starting with a sober analysis of where we begin in attaining knowledge and wisdom.
Our search begins when we "incline [our] ear unto wisdom." An old children's poem reminds us of where listening belongs in our priorities: "A wise old owl lived in an oak; the more he saw, the less he spoke; the less he spoke, the more he heard. Why can't we all be like that wise old bird." (unattributed.) There is a direct relation among the senses of seeing, speaking and hearing. But as Solomon says, "incline thine ear unto wisdom." Listen! "Apply thine heart to understanding." To become wise, shut up and listen. Watch first, then speak less, then listen intently. James reiterates this advice: "Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." (James 1:19b)
Next, Solomon advises that we use our speech in search of wisdom. “Cry after knowledge, and lifteth up thy voice for understanding." Says Solomon, Ask questions. Do not accept foolish or simplistic and unrealistic answers to complicated issues. Dig deep into every line of reasoning with intelligent questions. As Jesus said in Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Solomon says to "seek" wisdom as one would seek silver, as a precious commodity of great value; as a treasure.
We accomplish this by listening carefully then asking questions which are probing.
What then is the value of wisdom? One will understand the fear (not just terror but also wonder, awe, amazement) of God and one will find the knowledge of God. This means that hearing and asking questions will open a person to the awe of God and also to knowledge that was previously not available. And what do seekers receive? Seekers are then recipients of wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
But these are not for everyone. These are available to the righteous and God will serve as a protector to those who are obedient to God's moral code since God maintains His judgment of the righteous and protects the saint in their daily walk. For the one who is wise there will be an "understanding of righteousness and judgment and equity." A wise man is capable of translating Godly morality into his daily decision-making which results in goodness. Contrast this with the consequences politically, economically and morally among non-Biblical people who claim these attributes but refuse to adhere to scriptural admonitions of Godly morality. They have forsaken Godly wisdom and morality for worldly wisdom and morality. The results bear both temporary and eternal consequences.
The final result of seeking wisdom accrues to the individual. When one allows wisdom to govern the heart and knowledge to possess the eternal soul, then discernment and understanding will keep the soul safe. A fool will follow his own disabled judgment in matters to his ultimate demise, but wisdom enables a Godly man to discern, or "see" the truth in events and people as they really are. Thus, he will not be misled but rather preserved and kept safe from the evil of the world.