Today you should read: Proverbs 2
Cause and Effect…
The Proverbs are so rich! They are full of practical advice. It’s encouraging to read a book of the Bible and have real life, plainly stated, application right in front of your eyes. It’s not difficult to find a take-away, or in this case a walk-away ☺. This chapter in particular tells us to “walk away,” a way that will result in prosperity. Godly prosperity.
This chapter is set up in a type of cause and effect. It claims that if we will do something, we will receive something. If we believe something, we will obtain something. If we search for something, we will find something. To describe it more specifically; verses 1-4 show what we must do. They set the tone for the rest of the chapter. The rest of God’s words in this chapter are built upon the condition of verses 1-4. Verses 5-22 are the effect. They are the results that will occur if verses 1-4 become true in our lives. Notice that verses 5-22 are only true if verses 1-4 are true. Are verses 1-4 true in your life? Go back and re-read them before moving on.
Here’s the idea: in order for us to understand the fear of the Lord, find the knowledge of God, gain wisdom, have Him as our shield, have Him guard our paths, understand righteousness and justice and equity, have wisdom in our heart, have a pleasant soul full of knowledge, obtain discretion, be delivered from evil, walk in the way of good, keep the paths of righteousness, and inhabit the land, we must take heed to verses 1-4.
Verses 1-4 say that we must:
1. Receive His words. The word “receive,” like a wide receiver in football, not only catches (or hears in our case), but he brings it in. Draws it close. Holds on to it tightly. We must do the same with God’s words. (v. 1)
2. Treasure up His commands. When I think of treasuring something, I think of how a mother treasures her newly born baby. Her freshly born love colors every decision she makes and consumes her thoughts day and night. We must do the same with His commands. (v. 1)
3. Make our ear and heart attentive to wisdom and understanding. Have you ever been in church when you’re tired? You can’t help but be in a distant daydream? But you do everything you can to listen. You strain your ears, you discipline your mind, you focus your heart, because you know that you need the truth that is about to be spoken. It’s difficult, but you almost say to yourself, “heart, you need this, so listen up!” That’s the idea of making your ear attentive to God. Life is hard. It’s tiresome. But you strain your ear and heart to listen because you know God has what you need. (v. 2)
4. Call out for insight and raise our voice for understanding. I can’t help but think of desperate prayer when I read this. Like a person who is making a life or death decision and he needs to know God’s will in it. The truth is, this is a life or death situation, and we need God’s will in it. We must cry out to Him. (v. 3)
5. Seek and search like for hidden treasure. How hard do you look when standing in front of red-box when you need a movie night with your spouse? Sometimes you make the person behind you mad, because you are taking so long! Imagine if you looked at God’s Word with such intensity, trying to squeeze out as much truth as possible, weighing out all the options. But even more, what if you looked at it as if you were searching for treasure? We need to search the Scriptures for the treasures within. (v. 4)
Verse 5 starts with the word, “then.” Then verses 5-22 will be true. Verses 5-22 are certainly desirable outcomes. Let me ask you, how bad do you want those outcomes true in your life? Bad enough to make verses 1-4 true in your life?
Posted by: Sam Cirrincione