The search for wisdom brings much blessing from God Himself, but requires work.
This much is clear in the first part of chapter two.
King Solomon wants the reader, who he calls “my son” (and in other places, “my children”), to be involved in the search for wisdom.
He does not assume like some might, that God will just bless one with wisdom without them asking and searching for it. He prompts action; “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… (vs.1-4)”
So what’s the outcome of all this? Solomon says that one will “… understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. (vs.5)”
An earnest desire to treasure good commands and apply oneself to discernment will lead you to understand the fear of the Lord. So what exactly is the fear of the Lord?
This is the third time it has been mentioned in Proverbs. Does it follow that the more wise be become, the more afraid we are of God? It seems at least the more we understand God, the more we see how good and how majestic He is. As we see in Deuteronomy 10:12, the people of God are called to love Him as well as fear Him: “and now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul…”
I’m sure your mind (like mine) flies to the passage in 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.”
All I can work out is that the tormented fear in 1 John is talking about a doubtfulness of God’s grace for saved sinners on judgement day, and the right fear of the Lord in Proverbs is talking about a good and healthy respect and acknowledgement of who God is and that we are subject to Him.
God is the one to give us wisdom. Solomon writes, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; (vs.6,7a)”
From God all blessings flow and wisdom is just one of those blessings. Here are some more detailed here: “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. (vs. 7b-9)”
These wonderful promises of God sound conditional and for the “upright”, but I believe are also as much a measure of grace. We don’t deserve anything from God, and it is thanks to His love for us and His working in our lives we can do anything in response. Amen
Questions to ponder: Am I living an upright life? Am I rightly fearing God?