I. The three ifs
I. The three ifs
A. If you will receive my words, and treasure my commandments.
1. The “if” represents a decision that every young man must make.
a. This decision is not salvation: because before we can value words we must value the person that gave those words.
b. The decision centers around his words and how they apply to me and my life
2. The word receive mean in the Hebrew: to take, grasp, seize; accept, receive; fetch, bring.
a. The bit of advice the father gives his son is to accept the word word of God.
b. Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
c. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. (17) Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
3. The Hebrew word for treasure means: be hidden, be stored up, treasured up, hide.
a. The father wants his son to meditate deeply on the word before making a decision.
hif.: impf. תַּצְפִּינֵנִי; inf. הַצְּפִינוֹ (!): hide .
b. Some people read (‘But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him’) and imagine that God simply zaps us with the quality of wisdom when we ask him.
1. Proverbs explains that God grants wisdom by means of a process.
2. In order to gain this treasure, you must exert effort in digging deep for it.
4. Verse 2 says the student should listen attentively to the teacher.
1. That is, he must accept the teachings as valid, commit them to memory, and focus all his attention on them.
4. The student should listen attentively to the teacher. That is, he must accept the teachings as valid, commit them to memory, and focus all his attention on them.
2. In 1849 thousands of men were willing to leave their comfortable homes to travel to far-away California, where they lived in tents and spent day after day in back-breaking labour, all because they hoped to find a few nuggets of gold.
a. Would that we approached our personal Bible reading, the sermons we hear at church, and Bible classes with the same fervor.
b. Merely going through the motions of religion will not make you wise. You must fully exert yourself and dig deeply.
B. If you cry for discernment and lift your voice for understanding
1. The student must “call for” ethical understanding and discernment.
2. He must “lift up the voice” in even greater intensity in order that his mind and heart might be filled with godly principles.
3. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (14) But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
a. We need the Holy Spirit to give us the light and sight of understanding.
b. Without the Spirit’s help, you can’t correctly apprehend God’s truth.
Newheiser, J. (2008). Opening up Proverbs (p. 47). Leominster: Day One Publications.
C. If you seek her as silver and search for wisdom as for hidden treasures.
1. affirmed people’s inability to ascertain God’s wisdom fully, in contrast with the triad of antagonists who claimed they knew what God was doing in Job’s life.
2. This discourse does agree with Job’s earlier words about man’s inability to know God’s wisdom and with Job’s words about God’s sovereignty over death and nature.
3. As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. (2) My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
a. The deer looks until it finds water and quenches its thirst with great joy.
b. So the psalmist longs for God’s presence with his whole being.
c. He intensely longs for fellowship with God and will not be content until he may return to Jerusalem and praise God with great joy.