The Fear of the Lord and the Knowledge of God

Proverbs 2:1-5:

1 My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you,
2 making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;
3 yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding,
4 if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.

Note that most of Proverbs is directed primarily to young people. In Prov. 2, the young man faces two temptations. One is the temptation to follow the evil ways of others (vv. 12-15). The other is the temptation to engage in sexual pleasures with the prostitute (vv. 16-19). Young men, you face these temptations today—the temptation to follow the sin of others and the temptation for easy sex.

Note the words, “if,” and “then.” The word, “if,” indicates a conditional clause (protasis). The word, “then,” shows a consequence clause (apodosis). Verses 1-4 speak of the “if,” or conditions of wisdom. Verses 5-8 speak of the “then,” or consequences of wisdom.

Thus, “if” you receive the words of wisdom and keep it; if you incline your heart to understanding; if you pray for wisdom (v. 3); if you search for wisdom like you search for gold (v. 4), “then” you will understand the fear of the Lord. You will find the knowledge of God (v. 5).

We ask—Why is this so? Why will seeking wisdom find God? The reason is in vv. 6-8.

6 For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7 he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
8 guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints

To seek wisdom then is to find God. The reason is that wisdom is a divine gift (v. 6). It comes from God. The source of wisdom is God.

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