What leads to an understanding mind, one of which God approves? Proverbs chapter 2 today shows us the right way to “find the knowledge of God” (2:5) and that this is far more than ‘head knowledge’ developed purely by intellectual investigation and deduction. Notice the little word ‘if’. The chapter starts, “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 …” (verses 1,2).
That is the start of it, the foundation, but what follows? “If you call out for insight, and raise your voice for understanding” (verse 3). How do you do that? It seems to us this is the earnestness and intensity of private prayer in seeking a full awareness of God. Solomon further emphasizes the complete dedication that is needed – another “if” follows. “If you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear (awe) of the LORD and find the knowledge of God” (verse 5). This is the ‘knowing’ of God surely – the establishing of a real relationship through prayer and the actions and experiences that then flow.
The following verses indicate the wonder of that relationship, how the LORD (and His Son) “is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints” (verses 7,8). What understanding then results; it is far more than intellectual knowledge for “then you will understanding righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul” (verses 9,10).
Consider the final perceptions of Job; he confesses to God, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself …” (42:5,6; note verse 3). These thoughts parallel Paul’s appeal to the Ephesians that God “may give you a spirit of wisdom … in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened” (1:17,18).
May our hearts develop this kind of wisdom, “then you (and I) will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge (knowing) of God”.