“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path.” (Proverbs 2:1-9, ESV)
Many people claim to want the wisdom of God. They claim to desire the direction and understanding of the Lord for their lives. So many times, though, when that wisdom is bestowed it is ignored or refused because it is not the answer that was desired.
When it comes to receiving the wisdom of God, Solomon says there is one key term: “if.” Three times in this text a phrase begins with this key word. “If you receive my words;” “if you call out for insight;” “if you seek it like silver.” Each of these is an aspect of what we must have to receive the wisdom of God. While the wisdom itself is free, its ability to have an impact in our lives has a price. We must be willing to receive it, to listen to what God has to say. We must be willing to ask for it, to make known what it is we are trying to understand. Further, we must be willing to seek it out for ourselves, not wait for someone to bring it to us.
If we truly want it, seek it, and ask for it, we will receive it. We will understand the righteousness, judgment, equity, and paths of God. Then it is up to us to put them into practice. If we do not listen or seek it out, we will miss or ignore what is directly in front of us. Are we truly desiring God’s wisdom, or simply looking for someone to tell us what we want to hear?