“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.” – Proverbs 2:1-5
A wise, good father has his family’s best interests at heart, so much so that he will do all he can to guard and protect them. A wise father knows that there are many voices in this world who will try to gain and hold the attention of his children. Such a father knows that many of them are masters of deception as they seek to lure those who will listen to ignore wisdom and follow them. The plea of Solomon, the plea of a good father is for his son to listen to him. For the father knows the right path. He has been given and has experienced the understanding and knowledge he guides his son to.
Notice his plea is not only that his son would merely lend him his ear, but that he would truly receive and cherish the godly wisdom imparted. Solomon’s words in verse 1 should remind us of what he said in Chapter 1:8-9 “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; For they will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck.” Whereas Solomon’s instruction here was in the form of an imperative. His plea in Chapter 2 is structured in “if…then” statements. He desired to impress that God blesses when His wisdom is valued in obedient pursuit.
If we parents are honest, it can often feel like we’re dragging or pushing our kids down the path of wisdom, rather than being their cheerleader as they walk down it themselves. Though that be good and necessary, we can agree that some times it’s hard to get them to listen. It’s a challenge to get them to pursue and rightly apply the good they hear. We too can and should admit that we had and have our own struggles with the same. We need to hear Solomon’s call as much as they do.
His call involves four big picture actions about how we should handle and attend the Word of God, as the wisdom of God is contained and revealed therein. I encourage you to write these down, memorize them, and make them active in your own life as they serve an important purpose:
- Receive and Treasure – True listening involves reception. Whether it’s being preached or read, we need to hear it and welcome it. We receive it with our minds being ready and willing to take it in. As we take it in, we highly value it. We store it up in our hearts so that it’s ready to use. (Psalm 119:162, Colossians 3:16; WLC 160)
- Incline and Apply – We listen to the words of wisdom attentively and seriously. We then seek to apply what we’ve heard, for attentive listening without application will be fruitless. (Ephesians 5:15-17)
- Cry out and Lift up – As the hungry beg for bread, as newborn babes cry for milk, this should well represent what our desire is like for true discernment and understanding. Our cries in prayer for the Holy Spirit’s work is in view here. We cry out, for we hunger after Christ and His wisdom. We hunger to know Him more and more. (James 1:5)
- Seek and Search – Knowing the high value of wisdom, we aren’t to simply be content to sit and wait for it to come to us. Our treasuring of it moves us to have zeal in looking for it. (Proverbs 4:7)
As we take this approach to our Father’s words, what will the fruit of valuing wisdom be? Understanding the fear of the Lord, understanding how to maintain a right relationship and communion with God. Further, finding the knowledge of God, which we need to revere Him rightly. Matthew Henry said it well – “It concerns us to understand how much it is our interest to know God, and to evidence it by agreeable affections towards Him and adorations of Him.”
By God’s grace, may Solomon’s words resonate and truly become our passion today and this week. May this be what we seek to teach and lead our children in, that they would know and grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, that they would fear God well, treasuring and applying His Word, His wisdom more and more in their lives.