Proverbs 2: Internal,external, and active process

Yesterday I finished talking about Proverbs 1 saying that I have a choice in the matter. If I want to turn my back on God and His wisdom I have the ability to do that. I don't want to do that, so the next question would be how do I understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. How do I even go about seeking it? 

Yes, Proverbs 2 helps us answer that question. In fact, the first block of verses is an if then statement where the then is "you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God." So, what is the if part of the statement?

"receive his words, treasure up commandments, incline heart to understanding, call out for insight, raise your voice for understanding, seek it like silver, search for it like hidden treasure"

Thankfully I didn't expect it to be answered neatly with a bow on top, but I did find the answer curious. It seemed to incorporate the all of us in the answer.

The first three listed are all things we do within ourselves.We have to receive God's words so we are listening and accepting. We have to treasure up commandments, or "store up my commands" so we are to take what is said to heart and prioritize them. And we are to incline our heart to understanding rather than think we know it all. These three are done within us. They cover how we think, what is in our hearts, and our attitudes. If we don't have these set in place and aligned correctly then nothing else will follow. 

The next two are similar, in that they come from us, but they are requests that we ask of others. We can't do this life on our own, and believe me I have tried. Instead we are to call out and raise our voice for insight and understanding. Who are we asking? God, first and foremost, but then also others who have walked a little ahead of us. Those who have experience and wisdom and display it so that we know they are the ones to ask. 

Because the last two are action statements. We seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure. We've already prioritized, and we have found others to learn from as well, and now we have to be active in the learning. This means we will fail occasionally, but it's not a sedentary thing. While God calls out to us we can't simply wait. We either turn away or turn to, but we have to move.

The rest of the chapter talks about why God wants us to look for the fear of the Lord and knowledge {because he gives it, guards us, watches over us}, what happens when we find it {we will understand every good path, wisdom will come to our heart}, and what that will deliver us from {the way of evil}. 

Plain and simple, just like we spoke about the choice we had in Proverbs 1, we see it mentioned here in Proverbs 2 again. God tells us why we should choose His ways, and at the end of the chapter He speaks of consequences again.

"So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous; for the upright will inhabit the land and those with integrity will remain in it, but the wicked will be cut off from the land and the treacherous will be rooted out of it."

While I spoke of the proverbs being generalities I believe we must also remember that some of these are not consequences we will all see. We can't begin to understand how one person truly feels they inherit something nor how another feels cut off. It may not be a literal interpretation in a person's life, and it might be more of a spiritual application. I have a tendency to look at this verse and think of others who might be an exception, but maybe I need to simply stop looking at others, and rather look to myself.

For instance, this morning was really hard to get out of bed, and I fell back to sleep after the alarm went off. Last night was a full night physically and emotionally and I was wiped out. After a not so good night's worth of sleep I was ready to fully justify going back to sleep for a few more hours. Had I done that I would not have seen the flock of birds that just flew over my house twice. I love the way they swoop and turn in the sky so gracefully. The sky shades of blue and pink all blended together like a water color painting. I would have lost that moment had I stayed in bed for another hour of sleep. 

Would I have then cut myself off from a blessing? Without even knowing what I was missing. 

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