Proverbs 2: 2020 Bible Challenge

Devotional Text and Meditation for the Day

Walt Townshend

Proverbs 2

This is Solomon’s second teaching to his son concerning the benefits of wisdom.  In composition it is a long “conditional” or “if-then” clause, with a summation at the end in verse 20.  That is…“If you accept my words…” and if you “call out for insight”, and if you “search for it as silver[1]”, THEN “you will understand the fear of the LORD…” and THEN “you will understand what is right and just…”.  The conclusion the father provides is a pleasant reminder of the benefits of following the path Solomon lays out: “Thus you will walk in the ways of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous.”

Meditation: Verse 6: “For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

If I asked you if a tomato is a fruit or vegetable, most likely you’d say, “Of course, it is a VEGETABLE! Everybody knows that!”  Indeed, this question came before the United States Supreme Court in 1893.  You see, Congress imposed a 10% tariff on imported whole vegetables, but not fruits. The Nix family argued (a case developed over six years!) that tomatoes are a fruit, and thus exempt from the tax. The vegetable growers cried foul. The court ruled that botanically, tomatoes are a fruit, but for the purposes of trade and commerce— the things covered by the tariff act— tomatoes were really vegetables. Nearly 100 years later, journalist Miles Kington[2] summarized the debate once and for all: “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”

Wisdom (sophia) is the ability to judge correctly and follow the best course of action, based on knowledge (gnosis) and understanding, also seen as discernment (phronesis). Wisdom is the ability to see something from God’s viewpoint; or, stated another way, is God’s character in the many practical affairs of life. Warren Wiersbe[3] suggests that “If you want wisdom, you must listen to God attentively[4], obey Him humbly[5], ask Him sincerely[6], and seek Him diligently[7], the way a miner searches for silver and gold….Obtaining spiritual wisdom isn’t a once-a-week hobby, it is the daily discipline of a lifetime. But in this age of microwave ovens, fast foods, digests, and numerous ‘made easy’ books, many people are out of the habit of daily investing time and energy in digging deep into Scripture and learning wisdom from the Lord. Thanks to television, their attention span is brief; thanks to religious entertainment that passes for worship, their spiritual appetite is feeble and spiritual knowledge isn’t ‘pleasant to [their] soul’ [8]. It’s no wonder fewer and fewer people ‘take time to be holy’ and more and more people fall prey to the enemies that lurk along the way.”

Perhaps more sobering is this:  If we love the wisdom only God can give, we may be marked favorably versus the person that Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 13:2: If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom [discern or understand] all mysteries [E=MC2] and all knowledge [Ken Jennings+], and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”


But WISDOM is from on-HIGH!

Read Proverbs 2: |

[1] See Matthew 13:44-46 NIV – The Parable of the Hidden Treasure.

[2] Philip Sheldrake The Business of Influence: Reframing Marketing and PR for the Digital Age, Chichester: Wiley, 2011, p.153.

[3] Wiersbe, Warren. Be Skillful (Proverbs): God’s Guidebook to Wise Living (The BE Series Commentary), p. 36.

[4] Matthew 13:9: “Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

[5] John 7:17: “Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.”

[6]James 1:5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

[7] Isaiah 55:6-7: Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

[8] Proverbs 2:10: For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.


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