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Proverbs 2:16; 3:57 comment (0)

June 26, 2014

By Kenneth B.E. Roxburgh, Ph.D.

Related Scripture: Proverbs 2:16; 3:57

Bible Studies for Life 
Chair and Armstrong Professor of Religion, Samford University

God is Wise

Proverbs 2:1–6; 3:5–7 

Information is one of the key words of today. We are overwhelmed with demands for information and we want it immediately. Yet information is one thing — knowledge, understanding and wisdom is another. Even to gain knowledge and understanding is not sufficient for our growth in spirituality. Knowledge can corrupt as well as edify. Knowledge is power — it can puff us up in pride. Knowledge can make us intolerant of other people and it can make us manipulative. Knowledge can be gained at the expense of virtue and at the cost of integrity. We can long for knowledge to make it in life — to have the best possible qualification, for its own sake. Such is the way of wisdom that characterizes the world. There is a higher good than information and knowledge, and the Scripture describes it as “wisdom.”

God is the Source of Wisdom (2:1–6)

The way of true wisdom is the way of godliness, to look to our God who is wise in all His ways, willing and able to lead us in paths of righteousness. It is a wisdom that we learn in the Scriptures, by turning our minds and hearts over and over again to the Lord who alone can “teach us the way of His statutes” and “give us understanding so that we may keep His law and observe it with our whole hearts.”

Verse 5 indicates the key to wisdom. It is to know God, to “fear the Lord” and thereby find “knowledge of God.” This phrase doesn’t mean to be “frightened of God” but rather to honor, revere and obey Him. Isaiah 11 reminds us the Messiah was a person who would know the presence of the “Spirit of the Lord upon Him ... the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord” (v. 2). The Book of Acts tells us the mark of a growing church is that they “lived in the fear of the Lord” (9:31). Those who fear God are the people who prosper spiritually and seek the companionship of fellow believers as they “talk with each other” and together discover the will of God for their lives.

Don’t Trust in Your Own Wisdom (3:5–7)

Living in this world it is all too easy to look to our own resources. After all, we have been striving to learn all our lives. We progress through school, college and enter into the workplace having learned all sorts of skills and knowledge. We come to the point where we feel we have made it. It is this attitude that strikes at the heart of faith and trust, depending on our own wisdom rather than the wisdom of God.

True wisdom begins with acknowledging God in our lives, putting Him first, seeking to honor Him by turning to His Word over and over again to lead and guide the way we live our lives. In all our attitudes and actions we are called to “acknowledge” Him and to put His ways before our own ways. When we do this then His promise is precise: He will “make straight our paths.” He will direct us in the way in which we live our lives and make our choice pure and clean because we are living close to Him. Solomon is not talking about gaining wisdom for its own sake or for the purpose of using it for some ulterior end but so that we might live a life of godliness. We study the Word of God so that we may learn how we ought to live as the people of God.

The way of wisdom and knowledge is not to be judged in human terms by worldly success but by knowing the will of God and walking in ways that please Him.

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