For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair– every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. (Proverbs 2:6-11 NIV)
This was a much easier chapter to understand. It is still about consequences, but they are stated a different way. The chapter begins with several conditions (if statements) and follows with the consequences (then statements).
God wants us to become treasure hunters. Over the past year, I’ve enjoyed reading the Fargo series of books by Clive Cussler. I can’t recommend the rest of his books as I haven’t read them, but this series is great clean beach reading kind of material. The central characters are Sam and Remi Fargo who are independently wealthy treasure hunters. Once they get a hint of a treasure they will go to incredible lengths to acquire it. In a weird sort of way, they model what God desires for us. They hear about a treasure, they go after it with everything they have, and then they rejoice when they find it.
Friday evening, we watched a movie about desire and pursuit of a dream. The movie is Hoovey and it is a story about a high school boy who desires to play college basketball. He develops a brain tumor and the surgery to remove it weakens his skull and he is told he will never play basketball again. The movie is a docudrama based on a true story. The story is a wonderful illustration of the power of faith and the single-minded pursuit of a goal. As a side note, the movie itself is only okay.
We are often hearing stories of desire, seeking, and pursuing a dream. Maybe that is why Jesus tells the parable of the pearl and the treasure in the field. We can identify. This isn’t complicated, but the seeking starts with a desire and a decision. I desire many things and that’s the problem. As much as I love God’s Word and desire wisdom and understanding, I don’t pursue them with the single-minded focus that is described in the “if” statements found in verses 1-4. Stories of the pursuit of God and his wisdom are much less common.
The consequences in this passage are not wealth or power. The consequence, or promise, is protection from evil. Solomon chooses two forms of evil to illustrate his point. The first is men who are pursuing evil and celebrating that pursuit. They walk in the dark causing harm to others and themselves. The second is women who are unfaithful and who seduce anyone they can to join them in their unfaithfulness. In both cases, the driving desire is the gratification of self.
The best contrast to this way of life is Jesus. His whole life was driven by the desire to do the will of God his father. His life was simple, but not easy. I think this is what God desires for us and should be all the motivation we need to desire God.
To my grandchildren:
Desire God more than anything else. It will be harder than it seems it should be, but it will be worth it.