If there’s anything you take from these opening chapters of Proverbs, it’s that getting wisdom is a result of intentional focus. No one is going to default their way into wisdom. The secrets of skillful living aren’t just accidentally stumbled upon but, instead, diligently pursued. That, apparently, is what David told his son, Solomon.
When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”
(Proverbs 4:3-9 ESV)
“Get wisdom,” says he who was king to the one who would be king. Get insight, get understanding, get discernment. Acquire it. Obtain it. Do what you need to do to possess it. Make it your own.
Pursue wisdom as you would pursue your true love. Don’t forget her. Don’t neglect her. Don’t forsake her. But love her. Prize her highly. Embrace her dearly.
A lot of commands to obey there. But what’s clear is that wisdom is to be intentionally, relentlessly run after.
And, what’s equally clear is that, with great pursuit, there is great promise. She will keep you. She will guard you. She will exalt you. She will honor you. She will enhance the royal diadem of any kingdom with an unearthly garland of grace and crown of beauty.
Any wonder then, that after David’s death, when God appeared to Solomon and said, “Ask what I shall give you?” (1Kings 3), that Solomon asked not for himself long life, or riches, or military success, but instead asked for “understanding to discern what is right”? Any wonder, too, that it pleased the Lord that Solomon asked this?
And, for much of his life, Solomon would know her pursuit and be blessed by her promise. Tragically though, toward the end of his life he would also know the atrophy of blessing that would result from forgetting her and forsaking her as he was distracted by following after the lesser beauty of others.
So this morning I hear the voice of He who is King saying to this one whom He has made His son, “Get wisdom.”
Go after her, and keep going after her! She is found in My word. And she is realized in My Son.
Love Him, and He will guard you. Prize Him highly, and He will exalt you. Embrace Him relentlessly, and He will honor you. And He will place upon your head His garland of grace and give to you a beautiful and eternal crown of life.
Know afresh that with great pursuit there is great promise.
Found in Christ alone.
By His grace alone.
For His glory alone.