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 2:10-11: “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee.”
Solomon has told us the purpose of the Proverbs, warned youths of the enticement of sin, spoken of the result of scorning the call of wisdom and expressed the value of wisdom. Now we are instructed of the evils from which wisdom preserves us.
Wisdom, the knowledge of God’s Word, must enter into the heart. The verse does not say anything about inviting wisdom into our hearts. Our hearts are not being approached by a beggar seeking entrance, as if we hold all the power and nothing happens to our hearts without our permission. We are not told that we must make a choice to allow wisdom in our hearts. Apart from God’s grace, we are dead in sin and not able to do any good. Inviting or allowing wisdom to enter our hearts is impossible for corrupt sinners.
Wisdom enters our hearts. She does not have to wait for an invitation. She does not have to wait for us to open our heart’s door. She is not waiting pensively for us to make the right choice. God speaks and His wisdom enters. It is irresistible.
The location of wisdom is important also. If our knowledge of God and His Word is only in our intellects, He will not be pleased. It is out of the heart, not the head, that are the issues of life. Wisdom in the head will do nothing to change the corruption of the heart, though it may change the outward behaviour.
This wisdom must not merely enter our mouth, either. If all we do is speak of what we know of God, but His wisdom is not in our hearts, we will not truly live out of our faith. It would not take much temptation or trial to cause us to change what we say and live in a way that brings us more earthly convenience.
When God’s wisdom is in our hearts, we are changed. The law, which once seemed only to prevent us from doing everything that was fun, will become the way to express our gratitude for all that God has done for us. Such wisdom will seem to us to be sweeter than honey.
When wisdom enters our hearts, the knowledge of God will be pleasant to us, and the results given to us in verse eleven are sure to follow.
God will give us the discretion we need to recognize the difference between good and evil. This wisdom is not merely an external rule which keeps us from what is not proper in the eyes of men. It will not just prevent us from making a bad career move or cost us social standing among those who matter to us. It is a discretion which will preserve or keep us. This discretion will be as a bodyguard to us to keep us from the harm of the foolish way of sin.
Now we realize our total dependence upon God to keep His promises to us. Even if we are not able to remember all the names of our former students as quickly as we would desire, we do learn to care for them deeply. There are many things we would like to do for those about whom we care. We are concerned about their health and physical well-being. We want them to develop mentally and do their work properly.
However, that which is most important to us, that they grow in the wisdom of God and walk in His way, is something we can never do for them. No matter how much we love them, we cannot put life into their spiritually dead hearts. We cannot write God’s law there so they live antithetically.
Once more we are humbled and are forced to confessed our inability to change what so desperately needs changing. We depend completely upon our covenant God to keep His promises with us. We cannot pray well enough so that God will decide our students are worthy of allowing His wisdom to enter their hearts. We cannot be so pious that God is almost forced to shower blessings on us. We cannot rely on what we are, but we can safely rely on the God of Scripture who has revealed Himself to be merciful in Jesus Christ.
May our Lord be pleased to cause His wisdom to enter the hearts of our students so they have the discretion needed to live for Him.