My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him. Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy.
Wisdom comes in two ways: It is a God-given gift and also the result of an energetic search. Wisdom’s starting point is God and his revealed Word, the source of “knowledge and understanding” (2:6). In that sense, wisdom is his gift to us. But he gives it only to those who earnestly seek it. But because God’s wisdom is hidden from the rebellious and foolish, it takes effort to find it and use it. The pathway to wisdom is strenuous. When we are on the path, we discover that true wisdom is God’s and that he will guide us and reward our sincere and persistent search.
God gives us wisdom and victory but not for drifting through life or acting irresponsibly with his gifts and resources. We gain wisdom through a constant process of growing. First, we must trust and honor God. Second, we must realize that the Bible reveals God’s wisdom to us. Third, we must make a lifelong series of right choices and avoid moral pitfalls. Fourth, when we make sinful or mistaken choices, we must learn from our errors and recover. We can pray for all aspects of wisdom and take the steps to develop them in our lives.
The first few chapters of Proverbs are Solomon’s fatherly advice to young men and anyone else seeking wisdom. What’s the best advice you’ve been given? What godly advice would you offer a child or an adult?