In Proverbs 2, we read words of encouragement from a father to a son, urging him to reflect on his commands and why he should obey them (vv. 1-2).
In verses 1-8, there are three ″ifs″: ″if you accept my words″ (v. 1); ″if you call out for insight″ (v. 3); and ″if you look for [understanding] as for silver″ (v. 4). If these things are done, the result is gaining an understanding of the fear of the Lord and knowledge of God (v. 5).
Wisdom is a gift of God (v. 6) as well as a result of searching, listening, and applying. Human effort is involved but ultimately, wisdom is God’s to give. In the same way, God also gives success and protection (vv. 7-8). To see things the way God sees them, and to live wisely acknowledging that all we have is from God, is a very great blessing.
Wisdom will help us in three main ways:
- First, it gives us the discernment to distinguish between the right path to walk, and the dark one to avoid (vv. 12-15).
- Second, it reveals reality and brings the true consequences of actions to light, so that we can see a seemingly attractive offer for what it really is (vv. 16-19). Wisdom enables us to see through the seductive words of the adulterous woman, and to recognise that behind the veneer of attractiveness lies a path that leads to death (vv.18-19). It shows us that God’s way is the foundation of life.
- Third, it leads to the blessing of living in God’s land forever (vv. 20-21). The unfaithful and the wicked, on the other hand, have a very bleak future (v. 22). Notice that there are only two options! The son who listens to his wise father and comes to fear the Lord will escape the dark path and house (v. 18) which lead to death, and enjoy life in the land which God promises His people forever.
Wisdom is to be passionately sought and yet, it is also God’s gift (James 1:5). What would this mean for your pursuit of wisdom?
God’s wisdom gives discernment as well as knowledge of the consequences of our actions. How can these benefits of wisdom be helpful to you?