Proverbs 2:1

Chapter 2 provides a contrast between the virtue of wisdom and the wickedness of evil men and strange women. The chapter opens with a different perspective from chapter 1. In the first chapter, wisdom cries out to give instruction, but in this chapter we are exhorted to seek out wisdom as though we were searching for treasure. The first chapter depicts the accessibility of wisdom and the second shows we must seek for it diligently.

The first half of chapter 2 is an important passage of Christian discipleship. It deals with the need to seek wisdom as the foundation for life. That search must begin with the fear of the Lord. Regardless of where we are in maturity or sanctification, this is always a freshly relevant passage for us.

My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
– Proverbs 2:1

At first glance, we notice apparent repetition. This verse is similar to verses already read and some that follow after. This isn’t rote for memorization like it’s some limerick, but rather this seeming repetition emphasizes the need for continual seeking and attendance to wisdom. Wisdom can be both gained and lost.

Receive means to accept or to take in. Contrary to popular thought, wisdom is not latent inside of us but is rather outside of us. Most of the wisdom we learn will come in the form of teaching that we must pay heed to. Hide means to hoard up or to treasure up. We must take in and store up the teaching of wisdom. These dual commands have two important implications for us.

  1. We take in and store up in order to meditate on wisdom. The teaching of wisdom is not always immediately practical and applicable. As well, the understanding of wisdom is beyond the face value. We must meditate on them to come to fuller understanding.
  2. True wisdom must be stored up also because it’s not always immediately useful to us. If we have them treasured up, then we can bring them out as it were in the time of need.

Both of those implications reveal the necessity of patience. They also reveal the folly of those who constantly clamor to “just give us something we can use.” We are an impatient generation that doesn’t want to hear what we must meditate on in order to understand.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

About Jeff Short