Today, let's take a look at Proverbs 2 (NIV). I honestly believe that the King James Version of the Bible is the most accurate word-for-word translation from the original Greek and Hebrew languages available. However, I tend to use NIV due to it's easy-to-understand language for today's readers. The highlights are mine in the following:
"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, (2) turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, (3) and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, (4) and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, (5) then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. (6) For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (7) He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, (8) for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. (9) Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path. (10) For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. (11) Discretion will protect you and understanding will guard you. (12) Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse and (13) who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, (14) who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, (15) whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways. (16) It will save you also from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words, (17) who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. (18) For her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. (19) None who go to her return or attain the paths of life. (20) Thus you will walk in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous. (21) For the upright will live in the land and the blameless will remain in it; (22) but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it."
Please note that little, tiny word "IF." It's small but it's mighty. I get so sick and tired of listening to the TV preachers (and others) who talk about all of God's promises but they fail to mention the conditions attached to those promises. Quote the whole scripture, not just half of it please. There are a lot of "ifs," "buts," and "thens" that need to be applied to the meaning of the verses. All of God's promises are conditional. Bet you don't hear too many people tell you that, do you?
We can see here in verse 1 that we need (#1) to accept God's words and then we need (#2) to store up His commands within our hearts and minds. We need (#3) to call out for insight through prayer and cry aloud for understanding. He won't just automatically give it to us. We need to ask for it. We have to really search for it as if we were looking for a buried treasure. IF we do those things, then God tells us that we will understand the fear of the Lord and we will find the knowledge of God. "For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding." Now this isn't just any old wisdom. This is God's own wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Imagine that! God's wisdom is available to us. That's almost incomprehensible really but it's true nonetheless.
The rest of Proverbs 2 tells us all the many benefits of having Godly wisdom, knowledge and understanding. He gives the upright victory, he's a shield to those whose walk is blameless, he guards the course of the just and he protects the way of his faithful ones. Notice there are some things we need to do here. There is action on our part involved. We need to be upright, our walk needs to be blameless, we must be just, and we must be faithful. It's not a free ride! It requires some heavy duty work. Sounds impossible, doesn't it? It's not. Faith comes first and that faith will lead us to a sincere love of God. That love in turn will lead us to a strong desire to do what God wants us to do: to pray, to study His Word, to learn His Word, to talk to Him, to be in relationship with Him. Pretty soon, out of love for Him, we will find ourselves living a godly life full of faith, right living, blamelessness, justness, uprightness, etc. We will learn to love the same things that God loves and we will want to DO them too! He tells us that wisdom will enter our hearts then and knowledge will be pleasant to our souls. It will save us from wickedness. It will keep us on the straight path and it will lead to eternal life (versus eternal death) in the end. The wicked will be cut off but the blameless will remain in God's hands for all eternity.
Proverbs 2 isn't about wisdom and knowledge for the sake of knowledge alone. No, it's about Godly wisdom and Godly knowledge. By putting God's Word into our hearts and minds we will learn to live righteously and wisely in our relationship with God. We can then become victorious over sin with God's commands and His words in our hearts. It's not a free ride folks. We have to DO some things. We have to earnestly pray and seek and ask for God's wisdom. We have to study, not so much to become a Bible scholar, but to understand God's character and His ways. Through prayer, the Holy Spirit will help us have revelations about God's Word and what it means and it will transform us from the inside out. It's only when God's Word actually enters our hearts that it will produce life and power within us. Following God's commands will become a pleasure to us, not a chore. We do it out of love for Him. We will learn how to discern good from evil; truth from a lie. God will protect us in so many ways and will make us be able to live a victorious life. Not everything is easy. We have to work at this thing called our Christian walk. But it will come with prayer and study and God's gift of Godly wisdom and knowledge.
So pick up that sword (Word/Bible) and read it, study it, pray over it. Guard your hearts and minds. Put on that full armor of God. Ask God to reveal things to you as you read and study His Word. He will. Strive to live a life that is pleasing to God. The benefits of living for God are worth it all!