My son, if you receive my words
    and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
    and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight
    and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
    he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
guarding the paths of justice
    and watching over the way of his saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice
    and equity, every good path;
10 for wisdom will come into your heart,
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11 discretion will watch over you,
    understanding will guard you,
12 delivering you from the way of evil,
    from men of perverted speech,
13 who forsake the paths of uprightness
    to walk in the ways of darkness,
14 who rejoice in doing evil
    and delight in the perverseness of evil,
15 men whose paths are crooked,
    and who are devious in their ways.

16 So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman,
    from the adulteress with her smooth words,
17 who forsakes the companion of her youth
    and forgets the covenant of her God;
18 for her house sinks down to death,
    and her paths to the departed;
19 none who go to her come back,
    nor do they regain the paths of life.

20 So you will walk in the way of the good
    and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will inhabit the land,
    and those with integrity will remain in it,
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
    and the treacherous will be rooted out of it. – Proverbs 2:1-22


One of the key words to watch for in Proverbs is the word, “for.” In its context, you will see that you could probably translate it “because” without doing it any harm. A proposition that is preceded by the word “for” is often telling us the ground or foundation of what has just gone before. We have an instance of this ground in verses 6-8. Before these verses we have a series of “ifs” and a “then” followed by the “for” or the reason the if/then propositions will work.

If we receive the Lord’s words, if we call out for insight, if we seek it like silver, then we will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. How are we assured that this will prove true?

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.

The ground of our confidence is a gracious God who “gives” wisdom, from his mouth “comes” knowledge and understanding. We don’t have to force it out of him or pry it out of his cold, uncaring hands. It is his pleasure to give wisdom and knowledge.

There are, however, some prerequisites to our gaining this blessed wisdom. It does require some work. This is best depicted here by the image of seeking wisdom and knowledge like silver ore buried in the ground. To find it takes some prospecting, some digging and poking around in the ground. But our kind of prospecting is different. When a gold or silver prospector goes to work looking for ore, they don’t know for sure there is any to be found. They think there will be based on whatever geological surveys and other research and homework they have done, but it is at best an educated guess.

When we, however, go prospecting for nuggets of silver and gold in the pages of Holy Writ we know the silver and gold are there. That is guaranteed. We need only to look for it.

Oh yes, there is one other caveat. God stores up his wisdom and knowledge for those whom he describes as upright and having integrity. Does this mean perfection? No. No one would qualify if that were the case. It does describe someone whom I would refer to as having a heart that is sold out to the Lord. It is one who has a virtually undivided heart. I wrote about how to have an undivided heart here.

This person is described by

For the upright will inhabit the land,
and those with integrity will remain in it
but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.

This is the kind of prosperity that Scripture promises. It belongs to the one who has an undivided heart to love and serve the Lord. One whose goal in life is to glorify God by enjoying him forever.