There’s a great deal of difference between a casual brush with information about God and what is spoken of here as a deep hungering for true knowledge of God [Proverbs 2:5 KJV]. Along with this voracious hungering for spiritual understanding, which somehow must be quickened in us by the Holy Spirit, come the rewards of this desire.
I cannot paraphrase it any more elegantly than as recorded in this chapter. So let’s just head straight for today’s focus, which is Proverbs 2:4,5: “If thou seekest her [Wisdom] as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures, Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” Clearly the author regards this particular kind of knowledge as incredibly valuable!
The “Knowledge of God” has some interesting counterparts in the New Testament that provide clues as to just how valuable this particular knowledge is. For that we first visit John 17:3. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
Knowledge of God is eternal life! Seeking wisdom as the most precious treasure means “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” [Matthew 6:19,20].
This is the Wisdom Way of “eternal life” – to seek with all one’s heart, soul, strength, and mind the Wisdom that is found in God alone, of everlasting value, the one treasure necessary to pursue.
I think we require a particular focus, a target we can aim at with Proverbs. Going to commentaries really doesn’t cut it concerning what this amazing Wisdom Book is about, being disappointingly watered down in many cases. So let me offer my brief, concise, and clear synopsis: Proverbs is foundational Wisdom which leads us to the Knowledge of God, which per Jesus Christ, is eternal life. To know God is eternal life. Sanity, security, serenity, and success are mere byproducts of knowing God!
But I thought I was “saved” when I accepted Jesus as my Savior. Are you telling me there’s more?
Yes, and no. We begin there, but we do not stop there and wait for the sweet by and by. We move forward, asking for the Holy Spirit each day, with a pure heart desiring nothing else. We are single minded and pure of heart in this pursuit of the knowledge of God.
Let’s bring this home with a simple example, reminiscent of the song “Some Enchanted Evening”. You fall in love with that stranger across a crowded room. This experience equates to being born again.
At that point, however, you decide you’re in love, but it really goes no further. You never really get to know the stranger. You continue to date other people and live as you please – no “Getting To Know You.” It’s easier to stay infatuated, or in love with a memory as you waltz away, and that’s where it stays. No commitments, no changes. Yet you try to give yourself [and maybe others?] the impression that you two are an item.
Ludicrous, isn’t it? It would be insane to approach any love relationship in this manner. But it’s exactly the amount of commitment to knowing God which is all too common. Real spiritual intimacy isn’t given a chance. Consequently there is no practical or powerful knowledge of God.
Yet that’s about where it’s at for nominal, pew sitting Christians, who’ve in this regard taken the Lord’s name in vain like a faithless bride.They may have been introduced to God but do not get to know God. A cheap grace theology promoted by antinomian authority figures in religion – wolves in sheep’s clothing – deceives them into thinking of themselves as one with God, but they aren’t even “engaged”. In most cases they haven’t even been on a date! Jesus is someone you had a crush on a long time ago.
This is also reminiscent of the parable of the five wise and the five foolish virgins. The five wise went into the wedding feast with the Bridegroom, but what happened to the five foolish who were not ready? “Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. [Matthew 25:11,12]
There is no more room and no more time for any more “blessed assumptions”! Conditions on this planet scream at us that Lady Wisdom has been ignored, and the piper is about to be paid. There’s work to be done in this sacred quest.
We’re charged here with the pursuit of the knowledge of the Lord. Certainly He seeks us, but there needs to be some reciprocity in this relationship. It’s another of those fabulous “If – then” covenantal situations where each party has its particular input: “If you… receive my words… treasure my commandments… make your ear attentive… incline your heart… cry for… lift up your voice… seek her… search for her… then you will discern the fear of [reverence for] the Lord and discover the knowledge of God.”
These first three chapters of Proverbs remind us repeatedly of how foundational is this pursuit of Wisdom. If we listen then we hear her echoing the loving, pleading words of the apostle: “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you!” [Galatians 4: 19] Therein is the goal of the knowledge of God. Nothing short of that.
So, let us pick up the gauntlet, as we daily fortify ourselves through meditating upon these wise instructions, ingesting them, making them a part of us, and connecting the dots to Wisdom and the knowledge of God in both Old and New Testaments, as we contemplate the Proverbs together.