My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:1-5
I have a group of friends who are trying to lose weight together. One of my lovely friends is wanting to try and conceive soon and so wants to shift a little bit of weight in preparation for that. Another friend was told if she didn't lose some weight, serious health consequences would follow. Other's are joining in to be healthier for this New Year. These friends know that it's going to take some effort to lose this weight. The friend who was told that her health would suffer if she didn't lose weight has been a real inspiration. She slogs away at the gym, she eats healthily and intuitively. She is getting stronger and fitter and slimmer. She is doing so well! But that doesn't come by sitting on her backside and wishing the weight would disappear. She isn't getting healthier and fitter by watching TV, playing computer games and eating chocolate cake.
Losing weight is an effort. It takes effort. Some more than others. But for this group of women it's a big effort.
Gaining wisdom or "knowledge of God" is exactly the same. It takes effort. You can't expect wisdom to come by flipping open your Bible and glazing over the Words. Listen to what the Proverbs say:
"Tune your ears"
"Cry out for insight"
"Ask for understanding"
"Search for them as you would silver"
"Seek them like hidden treasure"
These will all take effort on your part. But I really want to focus on the last two - Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.
We have all seen movies, we have all seen how much work it takes to find buried treasure. The Pirates of the Caribean didn't waltz on in and grab treasure that was laying around where their ship was. They had to travel, they had to fight bad guys, elements, weather etc. When you go treasure hunting, you have to study the map, you have to work out how to get to the place you suspect treasure lies. You will have to prepare to dig deep, getting hot, dirty and sweaty to find that treasure. Silver mining back in the days before machinery was a hard slog. Sifting through dirt, digging mines with shovels, sweaty and hot. Silver rarely is laying around just on the surface for you to pick up. It takes effort to find treasures.
Just as it takes effort to find treasure in the Word of God. We can't just scratch around on the surface and expect wisdom. We need to dig, search whole heartedly - spend time, spend energy, turn off the TV and just concentrate on what we are reading. Glazing over the Bible does not benefit anyone. Claiming "I don't understand it" will not benefit anyone. How can you speak the Word of God into people's lives if you don't take the time to dig deep? Really read and make the time and the effort to dig up treasures? Research, read studies that have been done on these scriptures if you have trouble. There are so many ways that you can find treasures in God's Word - but you have to make the effort to do them.
Then when you do find treasure in God's Word - remember to listen to what I say, and treasure my commands.
Thankyou Lord for showing us how precious your Word is to us. Thankyou for giving me the ability to read and the provision of a Bible so I can grow and learn from you. I pray that you will continue to direct me to where the treasure lay, so I can grow in you. I pray that I will remember that if no effort was put in, no treasure will be found.
Thankyou for you Grace and provision in my life.
In your name, Amen