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Proverbs 2- Session 2

Proverbs 2

 "3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, [And] lift up your voice for understanding,”

  To cry out means exactly that- it means to call out aloud about something. What we find in practice of growing in Godliness is that, just as in my case, reading is not enough, we have to understand the words, their meanings, and most importantly how to apply them. Once we have prayed and asked God to show us what it is that we are reading and how to apply it, then we are provoked by the Holy Spirit to take the next step- this is the final step just before we begin to see results. The next step is unusual however based on the fact that we have just cried out to God for His help. It is found in verse 4:

"4 If you seek her as silver, And search for her as [for] hidden treasures;”

    Seek- #1245-baqash- to seek, to desire, to exact, to require and to request

It seems slightly odd that we would have more “seeking” to do once we have reached this stage with the Word of God. However, if we change our perspective on the word “seek” to include the whole definition, then we can make sense of it. If we have in our hearts the desire to understand the Word of God with the intention of applying to our lives what we learn, this will motivate us to request of God exactly what we want. Think not in terms of seeking around as in a treasure hunt but rather in terms of an exact request. Notice God says to “seek her as silver, the reason that He says that is so that first, we understand how valuable the understanding is and second to illustrate how pointed our requests of God must be. This would be as if we went into a jewelry store and searched for a silver ring, once we found it, we asked the clerk to verify that it was 100% silver. We would be acutely aware that silver blends exist and if the ring was not pure, then it would turn the skin colors when worn. This is what we do with the Word of God…. we verify that it is 100% pure - but how do we do that? We of course ask God for His understanding and this is the pure silver that we expect to receive. Now we know that God does not lie and that He gives wisdom freely without reproach {James 1:5} but how do we know that the voice, the explanation that we hear is from God and not our own mind trying to reason things out? The answer to that is found in the second half of verse 4- but it requires slight unpacking.

    The word translated as “search” in verse 4 is the Hebrew word #2664- chaphas- and it means to search, to hide oneself and to test. At first this definition seems to only fit here if we cut it off to just mean search, but in reality, the whole definition is applicable. The “searching” is, in actuality the function of “hiding oneself” from yourself and testing the Word you hear. This means that once you have prayed for understanding and told God exactly what it is you want to understand then you will hear a response. Once you hear that response, you must “hide” your own thoughts- or put them out of the way by testing what you hear. The word you hear should be tested in at least two ways prior to believing that it is from God. First, God says “by two or three witnesses let every word be established” {Deut 19:15, Matt 18:16, 2 Cor 13:1}. The first witness would be what is on the inside of you - does what you hear ring true in your spirit by evoking peace? The Word says that we let the peace of God rule in our hearts {Col 3:15} so when we hear something inside of ourselves, we should immediately look for peace. James 3:17 says:

  “17…. the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy."

    The second “test” is that the word that we have heard must line up with the Spirit of Scripture. This means that the words may not be exactly the same as is written in the Bible but the theme, the Spirit will be the same - and all the qualities that we see here in James 3:17 must be found in what we have heard. The most logical question at this point is what source will we use to make sure that we have heard the pure Word of God? That is explained in the last part of Proverbs 2:4- We are to “search for her as for hidden treasure.” …To be continued….

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