Thursday, August 2, 2012

Proverbs 2

Read Proverbs 2:1 – 22. One of the keys to understanding the book of Proverbs is to locate the main theme words. The words “wisdom” and “understanding” appear most frequently and they act in specific ways. In Verses 12 – 15, wisdom protects adherents from wicked men and their paths. In Verses 16 – 19, it protects from temptations like adultery. When you need protection from temptation, do you attempt to distract yourself or do you seek wisdom that will give you a fuller picture of consequences you risk?

Reread Verses One through Five. Solomon encourages his son to gain wisdom by several methods. Pay close attention to the growing intensity of the actions the son is challenged to take. In Verse One, he is told to “accept” his father’s words and to “store up” his commands. While this takes agreement, it can be still done passively, as if taking notes for future reference. In Verse Two, the son is told to “turn” and “apply,” stronger words that imply not just passive intake, but intentional focus on the source of the wisdom and willful plans to use it, once it is acquired. Verse Three says to “call out” and “cry aloud” for these gifts, raising the sense of need on the part of the son. He is beginning to want God’s wisdom. Verse Four intensifies the son’s search even more. He hunts for it like he would search for physical treasure. What is the result? The son desires more and more wisdom, as he sees his life change. Do you usually feel passive about God’s wisdom or do you intensely desire it in a way that makes you search?

This chapter introduces us to key things from which God’s wisdom can shield us. We’re protected from wandering off the good path (v. 9), and from pursuing the lie that ill-gotten gain comes free of consequence (v. 12 – 13). We’re also kept from believing the seductive idea that we can have whatever or whoever we want without acknowledging any boundaries (v. 18 – 19). However, none of these protections will come without first finding the desire to seek out God’s wisdom.

Take one minute to consider your strongest desires today. Do they involve possessing something (like wealth, power, fame, or comfort) or someone (like a boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse)? Do you have any significant desire for wisdom from God by which you can evaluate your other pursuits and change them, if they don’t line up with His will? What would have to change for you to deeply desire God’s wisdom? Spend a few moments in prayer asking Him to increase that desire in you today.

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