Hovering over Proverbs 2 this morning. Almost overwhelmed with the sense that we need to desperately pursue the word of God if we are going to have any chance of walking in this world with our witness in tact. What’s more, we need to be people abiding in the Living Word if we are going to thrive as children of God and not be compromised by the corrosiveness of our culture. And this, even as I’m aware that many, even in the church, don’t really see a direct correlation between knowing the written word of God, nor abiding in the living Word of God, and navigating the complexities of life.
But if I’m picking up what the Spirit’s laying down, there is a promise for the pursuit.
First, the pursuit.
My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures . . .
(Proverbs 2:1-4 ESV)
There’s a lot of action words in those opening verses. A lot of to do’s. Receive, treasure up, make attentive, incline your heart, call out and raise up your voice. But not dispassionate action. Not check-it-off-the-list to dos’. Seek it like you would seek what you most value. Search for it like it was the mother lode for making much of life. It starts with God’s word. The treasures are His commandments. Go after them hard. As Jesus would exhort His disciples centuries later,
“If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear. . . Pay attention to what you hear . . . For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
(Mark 4:23-25 ESV)
Then, the promise.
. . . then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. . . . Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you . . .
(Proverbs 2:5, 9-11 ESV)
Ours is a culture caught up in matters of righteousness and justice and equity. You could argue that, in the public square, never has there been a greater emphasis placed on what is deemed to be the moral high ground nor a greater intolerance for that which is inherently unjust.
But it is a righteousness increasingly divorced from any absolute mooring of rightness outside ourselves. A justice, which often identified correctly, is increasingly left to vigilante approaches to administer as there is no view of an arbiter above us. An equity founded on shifting sand rather than the transcendent truth that all are equal because all are created in the image of God. A righteousness and justice and equity which comes out from the heart of man rather than from a wisdom which is implanted within the heart of man. And that from the word. The written word of God. The living Word of God’s Son.
If we pursue the way of God then we will now the wisdom of God. If we seek to know the Creator as He has made Himself known, then we will have knowledge to satisfy the soul, discretion to direct our ways, and understanding which will protect us from the false narratives of the world around us.
Pursue God’s truth, then God’s wisdom will enter your heart. Is it really that simple? I’m thinkin’ . . .
Sure, it’s a big step of faith to act on the belief that God’s word is what we really need to direct our ways, but hey, we’re to walk by faith and not by sight (2Cor. 5:7). And, might I suggest, the proof is in the pudding. For those immersed in the written word, for those abiding in the Living Word, there is a clarity (though, not a perfection . . . thank you, Jesus, for the cross) in navigating this fallen world.
By His grace. For His glory.