Seeking Wisdom as Silver
Brian D. Dykstra (Teacher at Hope PR Christian School, Walker, MI)
*This article was originally written as a devotional for his fellow teachers at Hope CS. It is posted here because of its broader value for our website readers.
Proverbs 2:1-6: “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”
At the beginning of this chapter, we again have a covenant father giving instruction to his son. There are certain aspects of his son’s spiritual life which the father greatly desires to see. He wants his words of instruction to enter his son’s heart. He wants his son to take his instruction with him where ever he goes. When the son hears the instruction of wisdom, the son is to pay attention and apply his heart to understand wisdom. The father wants to see his son show love for the true and living God.
The father wants to see that spiritual matters have importance in his son’s life. He is not merely to whisper after wisdom or even just raise his voice to call after wisdom before she gets away. He is to cry and lift up his voice after knowledge. He cannot let her get away. He understands just how important wisdom is to him. He has to have it. No substitute will suffice.
He is to seek wisdom as one seeks silver and hidden treasures. Think of all the trouble many people have willingly endured for the opportunity to find sliver. Great distances were covered under conditions which were extremely difficult. Hazards, sickness, and even death were risked by some of the people in their quest for earthly riches.
In Rocky Mountain National Park there is an old silver prospector’s camp. It takes some time to hike there, and that’s with a car giving a head start on what this prospector faced in his journey. It struck me as a tough place to live. Imagine the trouble he endured. He had to move enough supplies up into the mountains to survive. He had to build a shelter. Yet, what really displayed to me this man’s great desire to strike it rich was the fact that he hauled up a large, heavy and cumbersome iron boiler to help him separate the silver from what he didn’t want. I often wondered if all this were worth the trouble. He must have worked hard.
That’s the type of desire this father wishes to see his son have for the wisdom of God. Such a desire leads to an understanding of the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom, and with such a desire he will find the knowledge of God. There is no doubt about it. Verse five gives us the guarantee: “Then SHALT thou understand the fear of the Lord ...”
Wouldn’t it be nice to see such desire more often in students? All too often various forms of entertainment or sport can dominate young lives. Wouldn’t it be great to have children be as eager to pick up their Bible homework or catechism as they are to pick up the various sections of the newspaper? Does it seem that the only time the children need to be woken up and practically dragged out of bed is on Sunday morning? Why does it seem that there can be a nodder, dozer or sleeper in every other pew or row of desks, but never in the bleachers or before some video screen?
I am concerned about our denomination’s future. The blessings we have in church and school are often taken for granted or deemed to be of little importance. How often don’t we hear that children do not like school. I hope the facial expression of nearly absolute disinterest in all things academic, which some older students have perfected and some younger ones are developing, is a veneer for public display.
Yet, we must continue to point out the wisdom of God’s Word. Only God is the giver of wisdom in Jesus Christ. Godly wisdom cannot be found in any other place. Knowledge and understanding proceed only out of His mouth. That old time miner can serve as an example in the search for the wisdom of God. You have not found the valuable ore yet? Keep digging. You have struck a vein of valuable silver? Do not be satisfied until it has all been removed.