How To Find the Knowledge of God
1.) 1:20-33 consisted of a lengthy plea from Lady Wisdom.
2.) Now the author returns to the format he used previously: a father/son format. (cf. 1:8)
3.) Here, Solomon teaches his son HOW to obtain the knowledge of God.
• If… then condition. (vs. 4a-5a)
4.) Many people want this knowledge and yearn for it, but do not obtain it. It is not obtained through scholarly exercises of the mind.
5.) Rather, it is obtained only by means of a right heart attitude.
I.) RECEIVE MY WORDS—(A WILLING HEART)
1. Receive: to take, lay hold of, seize, acquire, marry, take a wife, snatch, take away… (to take for oneself)
2. The words that Solomon is passing on to his son is TRUTH… we might paraphrase—“Bible truth.” “Divine wisdom.”
3. If we really want to know God—then we must begin with this as our heart attitude: willing to receive Divine truth… desirous to soak it in…
4. I Thess. 2:13 – These saints were praised for receiving God’s Word…
a. They received it AS God’s Word.
b. They acknowledged its supreme authority.
5. If we are not willing (deep, down inside) to receive truth from God, we will never obtain that knowledge of God!
6. God knows our hearts, too. If God knows that a person is not really willing to receive His truth, He will NOT illuminate that person’s mind.
7. If our heart is unwilling to receive light… darkness will set it! Blindness.
8. I think it is fair to assume that Solomon means ALL of his words, too. His son was not to pick and choose which words he wants to receive and which he wants to reject!
9. So, too, with God’s Word. We must be willing to receive it ALL…
a. If there are portions of God’s Word we are not willing to hear or receive, then something is wrong with our heart!
b. We must be willing to receive the WHOLE counsel of God—the blessings AND the cursings—or we are not really willing!
c. If we are not willing to hear anything and everything God wants to teach us through His Word, then we are NOT willing.
d. If we are not willing, then we will not obtain the knowledge of God.
e. Obtaining wisdom and the knowledge of God is not a matter of the brain, but is a matter of the heart. That puts us all on equal footing.
II.) HIDE MY COMMANDMENTS WITH THEE (AN OBEDIENT HEART) [VS.1]
1. The second requirement is obedience.
2. Solomon says that we must “hide” his commandments within us.
3. Ps. 119:11 – thy Word have I hid in my heart.
4. To HIDE God’s Word in our heart implies that we VALUE the commandment.
a. We hide the truth away in our heart as we would hide a valuable jewel away in a safe place… for safe keeping… so that it will not be lost or snatched away!
b. If something is NOT valued, you would not be so concerned about hiding it away somewhere. (junk mail!)
5. The fact that they are commandments also implies obedience is required.
a. If we value commandments, then of course, we will obey them!!
b. To disobey is to ignore them… which demonstrates we do NOT value them.
6. Thus, if we want to know God… then we must be WILLING to hear what He has to say to us through His Word AND we must be willing to obey that commandment… and keep it in a safe place the next time occasion arises to obey it!
7. John 7:17 – If you want to know doctrine… if you want to know truth… and gain spiritual understanding—then we MUST be willing to obey!
a. God knows our heart!
b. Why should He feel obligated to illuminate our minds concerning a truth in the Scriptures—a passage that seems to be an enigma to us—if we are not willing to obey it?
c. If we are lacking discernment, it may just be that it is because in our hearts we are not willing to respond in faith and obedience!
d. John 8:31-32 – IF we continue in the Word—(obedience) THEN we shall know the truth and experience the benefits of truth.
e. In order to know God and gain spiritual discernment, God requires a willing and obedient heart. (Superior intelligence is not a requirement).
III.) INCLINE THINE EAR UNTO WISDOM (A READY EAGER HEART) [VS.2]
1. Incline: to hear, be attentive, heed, incline (of ears), attend (of ears), hearken, pay attention, listen.
2. It speaks of a heart that is attentive to what is said…
a. Not everybody pays close attention to what is said.
b. If we are not paying close attention, then it reveals a heart that doesn’t really WANT to know or understand!
c. Paying attention indicates that we VALUE the truth or wisdom spoken!
3. God praised the Berean believers for this attitude—willing and eager and ready to receive God’s Word! (Acts 17:11)
a. The Bereans had a readiness of mind—(Readiness of mind = zeal, spirit, eagerness)
b. They searched the Scriptures carefully to make sure that what they heard was actually true! And to see if there is something MORE they can learn!
c. That is hearing attentively! Zealously.
4. This is reminiscent of the way Mary listened to Jesus. She sat at His feet and listened attentively… with zeal to hear His Word. (Luke 10:39)
5. If we really want to know God and His wisdom… we must have that kind of attentive zeal towards truth.
IV.) APPLY THINE HEART TO UNDERSTANDING (AN ACTIVELY EAGER HEART) [VS.2]
1. Apply = to stretch out, extend, stretch.
a. Stretch out—reaching out—stretching to grab something that seems almost in your grasp… but requires effort.
b. Like a child who is standing on the edge of a chair stretching up to the cookie jar—because he really wants one!
2. This speaks of a heart that is ready to hear more truth.
a. This is the heart that has heard truth—loves it—and wants MORE!
b. He is applying himself to obtain more, too—stretching himself!
c. Some folks hear truth—realize the responsibility that accompanies it—and wants to hear no more!
d. This person applies or stretches himself to obtain understanding.
3. The thought is similar to that of being eager—but takes it one step further.
a. This person is not just eager in his mind. He APPLIES himself to obtain it!
b. He doesn’t just sit around wishing and hoping for more wisdom. He stretches himself to obtain it!
c. God has stored wisdom in His cookie jar. And when we actively stretch ourselves to get at that jar—then God will see to it that the cookie jar is in our reach—though we will have to stretch—it IS obtainable!
d. Its okay to get caught with your hands in that cookie jar!
V.) CRIEST AFTER KNOWLEDGE, AND LIFTEST UP THY VOICE FOR UNDERSTANDING (A HUNGRY HEART) [VS.3]
1. IF we want to know God and obtain Divine wisdom and discernment, then we must CRY OUT for it.
2. Solomon taught his son and us — that we must PRAY for wisdom.
3. This speaks of a spiritual hunger for it—that results in prayer to God—the only One able to give this kind of wisdom.
4. James 1:5 – if we lack wisdom in trials—ASK! Ask in faith and you shall receive!
5. Too often we have not because we ask not!
6. Praying also implies a deep, abiding relationship to God.
7. The kind of prayer spoken of in Proverbs 2:3 is not a quick little ditty!
a. He speaks of crying after knowledge! Lifting up your voice loudly for it!
b. Of course, prayer alone is not sufficient. It must be accompanied by a heart that is willing… eager to learn… ready to obey… stretching out for it!
c. When that is our heart’s attitude THEN pray… and receive!
VI.) SEEKEST HER AS SILVER, AND SEARCHEST FOR HER AS FOR HID TREASURES (DILIGENCE)
1. And in addition to all of the above, God demands DILIGENCE of us.
2. Wisdom and knowledge of God and discernment is not something you stumble across.
3. Rather, it is to be sought with the same diligence and effort that men exert in their search for silver and hidden treasures!
a. Read about the gold rush—the sacrifice men made to find gold… the resolve… perseverance… dedication… devotion!
b. Unfortunately, most of them died before striking it rich.
c. God promises us that IF we put in that kind of effort in the pursuit of the knowledge of God, then we WILL find it!
THEN SHALT THOU UNDERSTAND THE FEAR OF THE LORD, AND FIND THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.
1. vs. 5- this kind of effort will not go unrewarded… ever.
2. It is an all out effort—ears, heart, voice!
3. The end result is assured – but only under the conditions listed above.