A Charge and a Reward (Proverbs 2:1-5)

My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,

So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as
for hidden treasures;

Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.

 

1. Greeting

546232_10151396009578688_918246607_nGod addresses us with the greeting, “my son”. These are the words of a Father to a Son, a passing down of wisdom, of experience and of understanding. We are sons of God, sharing with Christ and co-heirs in His promise and His inheritance [Romans 8:16-17]. Thus, these are words that God directs to us as His children – words meant to grow, teach and mature us in His way so we might be good stewards and worthy co-heirs in His coming kingdom.

 

2. IF – we would choose

398070_10151448893408688_1979893731_nGod has given each of us free-will out of His love. He will never force anything upon us, yet He desires that we would walk in all the fullness of His glory. A popular verse is Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” God’s predisposition is always to lead us towards a fullness of life in Him and abundance of His grace on this earth. However, we also have a choice to make in whether we follow him down this path. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 says, “Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power.” How can we be counted worthy? We are counted worthy when we accept Christ. He covers us with His robe of righteousness and enables us to stand as pure and blameless before God. Here again is a choice. If we desire salvation, if we desire relationship with God, if we desire to walk in the fullness of all God has prepared for us, then we must CHOOSE Christ. We must choose to allow Him to direct our lives because only He knows the Father’s thoughts exactly. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” [Matthew 11:27]

 Examples (God’s promises in through these people could only have been fulfilled if they made the choice to obey the Lord and submit to His will): Abraham, David, Daniel, Esther, Jesus, Paul and many more

3. Instruction

Receive my words and treasure my commands within you

    • To receive requires humility because we are allowing someone else to impart something to us. We acknowledge that we do not have everything and are blessed by another’s gift.
    • When we receive God’s words, we allow Him to fill us. We acknowledge His wisdom and authority. We recognise His truth and we submit ourselves to Him. As John the Baptist said of Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” [John 3:30]
    • To treasure something is to hold it dear and precious. We recognise its worth and guard it carefully and with reverence.
    • When we treasure God’s commands, we recognise that these commands are precious and we guard them within our hearts. In doing this, we remember and meditate upon them.

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We receive and treasure God’s words and commands IN SUCH A WAY that we –

  • Incline our ear to wisdom
    • LISTEN – learn to discern the voice of the Lord. Take time to be quiet before Him and allow Him to speak.

[Proverbs 1:33] – “But whoever listens to me will dwell safely. And will be secure, without fear of evil.”

  • Apply our heart to understanding
    • DESIRE – set your heart to seek after God, that our intentions would be towards Him.

[Psalm 63:1] – “God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.”

  • Cry out for discernment
    • PRAY – with proclamation and faith, crying out the promises of God as in His word, that we would have discernment of His will and He promises as He reveals them through Christ
      • “Cry out” = קָרָא (qara – Hebrew) meaning to proclaim, call out aloud/loudly

[Philippians 1:9] – “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.”

  • Lift up your voice for understanding
    • ASK – in knowing that God is our good Father who desires to give good gifts to His children, and this includes understanding of His goodness [Matthew 7:11]

[John 14:13-14] – “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

  • Seek diligently as if looking for silver or hidden treasure
    • MEDITATE – on the word, in prayer and persevere in searching

[Proverbs 25:2] – “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”

4. Consequence

(I) We understand the fear of the Lord

 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” [Proverbs 9:10]

As we meditate on the word of God, and as the Holy Spirit gives us understanding of Jesus, our hearts gain understanding of God’s power and glory. We may read about God’s power, and imagine His eyes of flaming fire but this does not compare to experiencing His glory in these images and pictures. Such an experience results in fear of the Lord as we recognise His glory and give Him worship and reverence as He deserves. This fear of the Lord causes nations to proclaim, “O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places, The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people Blessed be God.” [Psalm 68:35] This fear of the Lord causes the heavenly host to declare “The kingdoms of this word have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” [Revelation 11:15]

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(II) We find knowledge of God

In Psalm 119, David writes out of his understanding of this instruction. Even with the very brief snippets given below, we can see how David’s words bear evidence that he understands God’s command. David recognises that to receive God’s words and treasure His commands is a blessing, and he greatly desires this. David desires an intimate relationship with God and enjoys discovering the many life-giving aspects of His character – restoration, strength, giving of faith, capacity to hold love, perseverance, omnipotence. David’s testimony occurs as a consequence of relationship with a personal Saviour, which results in greater understanding of God’s character, and further cultivates greater love for God in response:

    • (V4) “You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently.”
    • (V11) “Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.”
    • (V32) “I will run the course of Your commandments. For You shall enlarge my heart.”
    • (V66) “Teach me good judgement and knowledge, For I believe in your commandments.”
    • (V97) “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.”
    • (V107) “I am afflicted very much; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.”
    • (V129) “Your testimonies are wonderful; Therefore my soul keeps them.”
    • (V152) “Concerning Your testimonies, I have known of old that You have founded them forever.”

Psalm 119 is bursting with the overflow of a heart filled constantly with knowledge of God and yet, with great desire to know Him even more. This is the testimony of a man who loves the testimony of God and knows where to search for it. If we would receive God’s words and treasure His commands, our hearts will be filled to overflowing with this kind of knowledge and personal experience of intimacy with God.

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