Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
Here are two fabulous blessings – the fear of the LORD and the knowledge of God. Only great men and women have them. Do you understand their importance? You can obtain them, if you meet the conditions. Are you willing to do what it takes to get them?
Understanding the fear of the LORD is possible. Finding the knowledge of God is possible. Both of these great blessings can be obtained. But neither is possible without the right approach. No earthly price or human means will get them for you. God must give them to you, and He will only give them to those who seek after them rightly.
A man understanding the fear of the LORD and finding the knowledge of God is indeed blessed (Pr 8:11; Ps 112:1-3; 128:1-6). These two wonderful things have been hid from most, and the rest of men fail to use the means to obtain them. Here are two things worth selling all that you have in order to obtain the field containing them (Matt 13:44-46).
The proverb is the conclusion to a short list of conditions for getting wisdom (Pr 2:1-5). It is the failure to satisfy one or more of these requirements that keeps men from obtaining the reward and treasure. Great men have desired divine understanding and knowledge, but only a few have found them. You may have them, if you meet the six simple terms.
The first condition is: “If thou wilt receive my words” (Pr 2:1). A teachable spirit is necessary to learn. All learning requires instruction, yet most find it hard to listen to others. They believe their opinions are better. They want to teach, not listen. They argue, question, debate, and resist. Only a few are noble enough to listen and receive teaching. Cornelius and the Bereans were good examples (Acts 10:33; 17:11). A man with this trait will love preaching – and the harder the better (Neh 8:1-12; I Thes 5:20; II Tim 4:3-4).
The second condition is: “Hide my commandments with thee” (Pr 2:1). Once you are taught something, you must retain it. Many men have heard some truth, but the revelation easily passes through their empty minds. It quickly disappears. You hide God’s word by reviewing it enough to remember it (Ps 119:11). You cannot let the good things you hear slip away (Heb 2:1-3), or you will lose the benefit of them (I Cor 15:2). Paul rebuked the Hebrew believers for needing to hear elementary facts of the gospel again (Heb 5:12-14).
The third condition is: “Incline thine ear unto wisdom” (Pr 2:2). Hear submissively, by taking correction meekly. Learning and wisdom require you to admit you are wrong. Humble yourself; get down; soberly identify the faults in your life. Apply correction to yourself, not to others. Bend your heart and ear to the reproof and rebuke of the wise. Only scorners headed to destruction hate correction (Pr 9:8; 13:13; 15:31-32; Eccl 7:5).
The fourth condition is: “Apply thine heart to understanding” (Pr 2:2). Wisdom is the greatest pursuit in life, and it deserves passionate dedication. Your heart is the source of affections, and you should be intense and zealous to obtain understanding. A careless attitude toward wisdom will not work. You cannot sleep in this class and expect to pass. Love of wisdom is necessary (Pr 8:17,21; 18:1; Eccl 1:13; Dan 10:12; II Thes 2:10-12).
The fifth condition is: “If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding” (Pr 2:3). Wisdom is the gift of God, and He will give it liberally to those who ask (Jas 1:5). But few truly cry out for wisdom. The dream Solomon had offering anything he wanted was no more than God’s offer of wisdom to you. Even studying God’s word, which is neither purely science nor art, the man of God is dependent upon the LORD opening his eyes to behold the designed wonders in it (Ps 119:18; Eph 1:17).
The sixth condition is: “If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures” (Pr 2:4). God hates sluggards, who do not even show the wisdom or zeal of ants. He will not give a lazy man anything. He commands that lazy men should be starved to death (Pr 20:4; II Thess 3:10). Study is laborious work (Eccl 12:12; II Tim 2:15). But the reward is worth the effort! Reading, reviewing, meditating, memorizing, and praying are hard work, but what treasure was ever found lying on the doorstep?
There you have six simple steps to understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. Listen, review, submit, desire, pray, and seek for wisdom. You will find and obtain it. Neglect one or more of these conditions, and you will not get the reward. What in your life keeps you from wisdom? What in your heart keeps you from it?
Too proud to listen? Too lazy to review? Too stubborn to submit? Too carnal to desire it fervently? Too busy to pray? Too distracted with pleasure to seek it? Then die foolish! Wisdom will not be mocked; your calamities are coming; there will be no mercy from heaven (Pr 1:20-31). God will take away even the little you think you have (Luke 8:18).
The blessed Lord Jesus Christ, even as a child, applied himself in these very same steps (Luke 2:42-51). And by these He grew in wisdom and favor with God and men (Luke 2:52). If you follow His example and learn of Him, you will find and know the great mysteries of the universe and the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:2-3). May God bless you with the conviction to apply yourself diligently to this great treasure.