Summary: Conditions for, Consequences of and Conclusions to attaining wisdom
What would you ask for if you could have anything in the world? What would be the one thing that added to your life, would impact your life the greatest? What would you say? Money? Power? For those with small children maybe peace. Some desire popularity and prestige.
You know that actually happened once. King Solomon was given such a choice by God. God told King Solomon to ask for whatever he wanted and God would provide it. God gave Solomon a signed, blank check for Solomon to purchase in a sense whatever he wanted. Solomon asked for wisdom and it was granted to him. But wisdom was only the beginning. In Solomon’s lifetime he would accumulate greater riches than anyone imagined. He was sought out by royalty. His popularity and reputation spread throughout the world. His kingship was a time of great security and peace. And it all started with wisdom.
At this point it would be a good idea to define what we mean by wisdom. Webster’s defines it as understanding what is true, right or lasting. Good judgment. Wisdom is more than a high IQ. In the country we call it horse sense. In the original language of the Bible, wisdom was understood as skill. The word that we translate as wisdom described the ability of craftsmen and seasoned mariners. They were thought of as wise or skilled in their abilities. Counselors and administrators were judged by the skill they exhibited in their advice.
I like to think of wisdom as skillful living, or the ability to understand the way that life works. To me that is wisdom. Wisdom is the skill that lets you know how much freedom to give your teenager. Wisdom is the skill that allows you to handle money. To be loose enough to enjoy spending it while being prudent enough to live securely. Wisdom is the skill to understand your spouse. Wisdom is the skill to look in the mirror and not be deceived.
Wisdom can be understood as the key to success. Now if there is one thing that grabs people attention today it is success. But the question how to get it. Experts tell us that we now live in what is called the information age. Experts tell us that as a people group ours today is more knowledgeable than any other in the world’s history. So it makes sense that if we want to know about success that we should go down to our local bookstore and pick up the latest title that Ophrah Winfrey is reading. Or read the latest expert in the field that concerns us. After all we are more knowledgeable now than ever so doesn’t it make sense that we should understand success better than ever before? But I am not interested in what some man or woman that has experienced moderate success in a small aspect of life for a small period of time has to say. I want to know what the Creator of life is thinking.
Open your Bible to Proverbs to find out about wisdom/success. In Proverbs chapter two, we will read the advice of King Solomon, the man who had it all. If there was an expert on success, it was King Solomon. The book of Proverbs is made up mostly of his keys to success. I like to think of chapter 2 as, “C the Value of Wisdom” for the three words that start with the letter C that guide us through the chapter. In C the Value of Wisdom we first come on the Condition laid out for us in verse 1-4. Next we come to the Consequences in verses 5-19. Finally, we are presented with the Conclusion in verses 20-22. What is the key to success? It is c-ing the value of wisdom by recognizing the conditions and consequences and applying the conclusion.
In verses 1-4, we see that certain conditions are laid out. If you would look at your bibles and notice that three times Solomon writes, “If you”. Verse one, “If you will receive my words and treasure my commandments.” Verse three, “If you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding.” Verse four, “If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasure.” Now notice something about the conditions of the statements, they move from passive to active. In verse 1 we are receiving. Now in verse 3 we are crying out. Then in verse 4 we are on the move. Wisdom takes effort to attain. This begs the question, “What are we doing to attain wisdom?” I think for the most part many people feel that wisdom goes along with getting old, its part of the package, but that is not always the case. As the saying goes, “We can only be young once, but we can be immature indefinitely.”