We are in a short series called Storm Proof as we look to the book of Proverbs to see what we can do to help prepare our lives for difficulties before they come. One of the key points we have observed is that God has to convince us that we need wisdom. I noted with you earlier that the first nine chapters of Proverbs have a basic intent of convincing people to seek wisdom. The way we think is right will not help us to prepare for life’s hardships. God’s wisdom is necessary if we are going to live skillfully, insightfully, and successfully before God in this world. The primary message of the Proverbs opening is that life begins with God as your foundation. Without God as your foundation, you cannot see life correctly. The second half of Proverbs 1 taught us three preparations. First, listen to your parents because they have experience. Second, remove yourself from friend circles who are leading you to do wrong. You will save your life if you do this. Third, wisdom is like insurance. You need to have it before disaster comes for it to be useful to your life. Proverbs 2 is a template for the instruction that are found in chapters 3-9. Chapter 2 stands as an important overview to teach us what wisdom can do for us. Proverbs 2 is going to teach us three key benefits that come from the work of wisdom in your life. Open your copies of God’s word to Proverbs 2.
If You Will Seek Wisdom… (2:1-4)
I would like for you to look at all the conditional statements that are made in the first four verses of Proverbs 2. Look at verses 1-2. If you receive my word and treasure my commands within you, listening closely to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding… Think about the first picture given to us. We must be a people who want wisdom and understanding. We must be a people who receive God’s teachings and treasure them up in us. Look at the next picture in verse 3. If you call out for insight and understanding… We are pictured as a people who want wisdom desperately. Then look at verse 4. If you will seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasures… What is God telling us? You have to want wisdom to get wisdom. But you will notice that it is far more than just saying that we want wisdom and insight. You have to really want it. You have to want it like wanting the wealth from hidden treasures. We must place on wisdom the high value that it is. Wisdom is considered so valuable that other pursuits are considered secondary. So there are three pictures of the necessary seeking. If you receive my words, if you will call out for insight, and if you will seek wisdom like silver, then you will have God and his help. Look at verses 5-8.
Then You Will Have Results (2:5-8)
If you will get real with God, then you will have results with God. If you will seek God’s wisdom, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God (2:5). If you really seek God, God will give you understanding. How can God do this? Look at verse 6. The Lord can do this because he gives wisdom. It is from his mouth that knowledge and understanding come to us. The Lord stores up sound wisdom for the upright. The Lord is a shield to those who walk with integrity. If you pursue God, then God has rewards for you. If you seek him and his wisdom like great wealth, then God will give you understanding and knowledge. Then God will give you sound wisdom and success. Then God will be a shield for your life (2:7). Then God will watch over our ways (2:8).
In short, if we will get serious with God, he can get to work in our lives. What is the problem? The problem is that we typically do not get serious with God. The problem is that we typically do not seek him like great treasure. The problem is that we typically do not call out for his wisdom and give our hearts to understand him and his ways. God is simply not our burning priority. We do not meet the conditions given in the first four verses so we do not see the results promised in the next four verses.
Then You Will Have a Transformed Life (2:9-11)
Now listen to the results that come from pursuing God and his wisdom in verses 9-11. Then you will understand justice and righteousness and equity. Wisdom will come into your heart. Knowledge will be pleasant to you. Discretion will watch over you. Understanding will guard you. God is telling us that he will change your life. You will not only have wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. But God’s wisdom will change you. Look at verse 9. You will understand every good path. God’s wisdom will change how you live. It will change how you think. It will change everything about you. Pursue God if you want life to change. Pursue God if you want a different life. Pursue God if you want to know the right way to go. Pursue God if you want to have understanding for life. Pursue God if you want God watching over your ways. We have to get real with God if we are going to see any life transformation. One of the big transformations that God is offering is rescue. God is offering safety for life. Look at verses 12-22 and notice that there are three pictures of safety that God is offering for our lives.
Safe from Wicked Men (2:12-15)
The first picture of rescue is that God will keep us safe from wicked men. In verse 12 God says that he will deliver you from the way of evil and from people with wicked words. God will keep you from people who rejoice in doing evil and who delight in perverseness. God’s wisdom will allow you to see through their words. God’s wisdom will keep you from listening to their perversity. You will see their traps and not fall into them. You will see the harm in their ways and you will not follow.
Safe from Deadly Women (2:16-19)
The second picture of rescue is that God will keep us safe from deadly women. Look at verses 16-19. The adulterous woman has smooth words. This warning that we are about to read is expanded on for three chapters, found in Proverbs 5-7. But listen to the simplicity of what is told to us in verses 16-19. The words for the sin of sexual immorality are seductive. You are being tempted to abandon the companion of your youth and ignore the marriage covenant that you made with God. They are going to flatter you, making you feel good about yourself. But listen to the result. Her house sinks down to death (2:18). Her paths lead to the departed. No one who goes into her returns and no one regains the path of life.
Friends, please hear these words. Committing adultery is the end of your life. Your life will be destroyed. The seductive temptation is that you can do this and no one will ever find. How do we suppose that no one is ever going to know? It is always found out. You can only juggle your lies for so long. You can only explain your disappearances so often. You can only make excuses for why you are not home so much. You are going to be found out. It is the end of your life as you know it. I know someone who recently is going through this. Bravely, he wrote publicly on social media about his experience as a warning for others to listen to. He was confirming the word of the Lord. Her house sinks down to death. None who go to her come back. You are forever wrecked by this decision. You are forever changed by going down this road. Do not listen to the seductive words of adultery. Do not experience the destruction of sexual immorality that the Proverbs constantly say will happen to us. Listen to the wisdom that he gives later for our safety.
Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths. The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray. (Proverbs 5:15–23 ESV)
God’s wisdom is keeping us safe from wrecking our lives. But we have seek God’s wisdom so our hearts will be transformed to walk away from the allure of evil men and women seducing us to sin.
Safe in God’s Blessing (2:20-22)
Finally, God says that you will be transformed so that you will be safe in my blessings. You will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous (2:20). We will be enabled to enjoy God’s blessings. We will be able to enjoy the simple blessings God gives to us each day.
Why do we need to seek wisdom? Why is it so important to have wisdom for our lives? God is giving us some really important reasons. But here is the big idea. There are so many decisions that you can make in this life that will wreck your life. There are so many paths that you can take in life that will cause you more heartache and pain than necessary. There are so many people who are going to try to encourage to do things that are wrong under the guise of those things being right and pleasurable. God is trying to keep us safe. God is trying to keep us from self-inflicted wounds. God is trying to help us not destroy our lives. God is giving his wisdom so that we will not have our lives forever changed for the worse.
God’s offer is very simple. Pursue him and his wisdom and he will give you a new life. He will keep you from so many painful experiences if you will receive his words, call out for his insights, and seek his ways like silver and hidden treasures. To say this another way, God has given his wisdom to keep you from derailing your life. If we will get serious about God and getting his wisdom, he can seriously transform our lives for his glory and for our good.