“If… Then’s” to pay attention to…
In the next few weeks, I thought it would be good to look at some of the “If…then” statements in Scripture. And there are plenty of them. We will not be exhaustive here, but rather some that I hope will be instructive, and encouraging to our faith. Things that will strengthen us to continue to seek His Face, and love Him with all our heart and soul and strength and mind.
Since the Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 11:10, Proverbs 1:7, and Proverbs 9:10), let us begin to look at some of the “If…then’s” related to wisdom and the fear of the Lord.
I want to focus primarily in this session on Proverbs 2: 1- 11. Of course, all of proverbs could be considered an “If… Then” but for this session let’s look at what this passage has to tell us about wisdom.
Let’s begin by looking at the “If” statements as they appear in the New King James Version. We will look at the meaning of the words as we go along.
Verse 1: My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you
Verse 2: incline your ear to wisdom
And apply your heart to understanding;
Verse 3: if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding
Verse 4: If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures
Active verbs here:
Receive – to capture, keep, acquire, or buy
Treasure – to hide, store up or save
Incline – to listen carefully, pay attention, to obey. paying close attention to something,
Apply – to turn, to show love, inclining one’s heart
Cry out – to call, or to summon
Lift up – to put, or place something
Seek – to seek after something, try to obtain
Search – to track down, to search with mind and imagination
Objects: the Word of the Lord, Wisdom, understanding, and knowledge
Verse 5: Then you will understand the fear of the LORD,
And find the knowledge of God.
Verse 6:For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
Verse 7: He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
Verse 8: He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints.
Verse 9: Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
Equity and every good path.
Verse 10: When wisdom enters your heart,
And knowledge is pleasant to your soul,
Verse 11: Discretion will preserve you;
Understanding will keep you,
Conclusions: What we see in these verses is the promise that if we will give ourselves to search out God’s Word, capture it in our hearts and minds, treasure and keep it, and obey it, That is, we are truly wise when we reverentially submit our lives to God in obedience to His commandments. Then we will have a knowledge of God, and a fear of the Lord that will give us wisdom and understanding that will be a shield to our lives, give us understanding of how to handle ourselves in life’s situations, and preserve us on our life’s path.
Sounds like a pretty good deal to me! It’s a true promise from the Lord for our lives. If we will apply ourselves in this way to His Word and His ways, then He promises us the wisdom and knowledge to walk through life under His protection and shield. He will preserve us, and we will learn to walk in wisdom, and equity in all of lifes up’s and down’s. It doesn’t mean we won’t have troubles, but His wisdom will assure us that He will preserve our path through whatever comes our way.
Worth seeking out? Worth pursuing? It is indeed, we must seek for it with the same kind of intensity as if we were hunting for hidden treasure or precious jewels. Job 28:17 (NLT) Wisdom is more valuable than gold and crystal. It cannot be purchased with jewels mounted in fine gold.