Proverbs 2 is an excellent resource. In this chapter, God wants us to understand the benefits of wisdom and pursue it with all our heart mind, soul, and strength. Why? Because wisdom shapes our character in such a way that it reflects the beauty and majesty of God.
When we are in-tune with the living God, the fruit of the Spirit is expressed: joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. Consequently, this inner attitude will naturally flow into the communities we live in, which will make a positive difference in God’s created order.
In Proverbs 2, the purpose is to understand the benefits of wisdom, pursue it, and allow wisdom to shape our character to make a kingdom impact as image bearers of the one true God. Let’s delve into each verse and apply them to our lives.
The importance of seeking wisdom (verse 1)
Why do we pursue or seek goals? Why do people work so hard to find a stable job or a marriage partner that will fulfill their longing for intimacy? We pursue something because it gives us peace, satisfaction, or alleviates a fear we have like financial stress or loneliness. In the same way, we should seek wisdom because it will bring about guidance that will increase our chances for success in this convoluted world.
Have you ever sought for something you really wanted? When I first became a believer, I did everything I could to learn about the glory of Christ. I was reading the Bible and listening to sermons on the internet constantly. In fact, I would listen to David Wilkerson until I would fall asleep. Looking back, I believe I sought wisdom because the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
The pursuit of wisdom as seeking for hidden treasures (verse 4)
In verse 4, the author writes that if you seek wisdom like silver or a hidden treasure, you will understand the fear of God and find the knowledge of God. Hidden treasure is a mystery that excites us because there is uncertainty of what the treasure will provide and how drastically it can change our lives.
I am reminded of a young man who went on a long journey to find wisdom. He would climb treacherous mountains, blazing deserts, and volcanic islands in search of this hidden treasure. When he got to where “X” marks the spot on the map, an old man was sitting at the trail and said, “Young man, what are you searching for?”
The young man replied, “I am searching for the hidden treasure.” The old man smiled and said, “It’s been with you the whole time.” What do you mean, the young lad replied in dismay. The treasure map you found was placed in the Bible, but it’s the Bible itself that unlocks the key to wisdom.” The young man nodded his head, went home, studied Scripture tenaciously, and confirmed the old man’s advice was spot on.
The benefits of wisdom
Practically speaking, there are many benefits of wisdom. They include protection from evil (verse 7), guidance in making wise decisions (verse 9-11), and wisdom uniquely given by God (verse 6).
How does wisdom protect us from evil? It keeps us from making mistakes that can lead to our downfall. When I was in high school, I was peer pressured into letting my friend drive my mother’s new red mustang convertible. Of course, he drove it too fast and hit a mailbox. I dealt with the consequences because I wasn’t treasuring wisdom in my heart.
Furthermore, wisdom can help us make wise decisions. Shortly after my Christian conversion, I was wavering between attending seminary or getting my doctorate degree in Psychology. I asked my mother what I should I do. She said, “Which one are you more passionate about?” The next day, I packed my bags and moved into my dorm room at seminary! In my opinion, passion supersedes practicality; yes, getting a doctorate in Psychology may be more prestigious in the world’s eyes, but doing what you love is going to fare better in the end.
III. The pursuit of wisdom
Proverbs 2 elaborates on the pursuit of wisdom. Some key themes include diligently seeking wisdom (2-3), cherishing wisdom (verse 10), and warning against the pitfalls of foolishness and the seduction of the wicked (verse 12-15).
In our counseling course at Seminary, we learned about putting off the old man and putting on the new man. The old self is the unwise, sinful nature while the new self is full of wisdom in truth because it leans on the Holy Spirit–who is full of perfect wisdom. In our lives today, we need to constantly repent from the pitfalls of foolishness and put on the glory of Christ.
IV. The value of wisdom in shaping one’s character
There is immense value in wisdom because it shapes our character to lead a life of integrity, righteousness, and honor. It prevents us from falling prey to moral corruption, and it instills upon us a life of moral excellence.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon is a good example of demonstrating compassion and grace towards others. One day, he met a homeless man who needed food and a place to stay. Spurgeon took the man inside the church, gave him a hot meal, and even offered him a job to work as a handyman at the church. Years later, the man became hugely successful and ended up building a new church for Spurgeon’s congregation as a gift. As you can see, when we treat others with compassion, it always comes back to bless us ten-fold.
Wisdom in Proverbs 2 teaches us the importance of community, seeking out wise counselors (verse 6), and learning from the experiences of those who have gone before us. The other day, I told my son Evan that he needs to limit his time on video games because they are addicting, and to go outside and play soccer with his friends.
Whenever he would reject my advice, I would remind him of the story when I was also addicted to video gaming. I would play Tom Clancy’s Rogue Spear so much that I even skipped eating meals. My brother ended up seeing my issue, took out the CD, and broke it in front of me. While it made me upset at the time, my brother cared for my soul and knew that my addiction had gone too far. I share this with my kids so they will learn from my mistakes and not have to go through the same trials as I did.
In conclusion, Proverbs 2 teaches the importance of holding fast to the words of wisdom, attaining the knowledge of God, and living a life of righteousness and honor through the pursuit of wisdom. It is my hope that you will treasure these truths and apply them into your lives today. Connect with a local church, surround yourselves with wise counsel, and devote your time to prayer and reading of God’s Word. Amen.
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