Imagine for a moment that I came to you with a little secret. Suppose I told you that before you bought your home, the previous owners hid a stash of gold pieces in their backyard, and it’s still out there. You don’t know exactly where, but you know that it’s buried somewhere in your yard. We both know that you'd break out the shovel and pick and immediately tear up your yard until you find it, right?
Yesterday we talked about the negative consequences of not seeking wisdom. But there are a lot of benefits to it as well. We’ll talk about some of those in the next few days, but for today I’d like to talk about the image in this passage. I’m reminded of two of Jesus’ parables, found in Matt. 13:44-46. He told about a man who had found a treasure out in a field and emptied out his life savings in order to buy it. The other short story told of a merchant who found a rare and valuable pearl. Once again, the man gave up everything he had in order to obtain his prize.
I know I’m repeating myself here, but it’s important: I believe that we’re saved by grace through faith in Christ alone. So what's the Lord trying to tell us through these images? Not that we’re saved by giving up our possessions, but that no matter what we do give up for the Kingdom, it’ll be more than worth it. God will—in the end—be the debtor of no man.
So what's the Lord offering to us here, and how do we get it? We noted on the 1st that wisdom is not learning a new set of facts as much as it's getting to know a Person, deepening your relationship with him. As we spend more time with him and become more like him, we’ll grow in wisdom, which will include the benefits we talked about a couple of days ago (knowledge, prudence, insight, etc.).
So what is Solomon calling for here? What type of effort is described? Let’s get a quick summary of what’s involved:
• “Store up my commands”—memorize Scripture
• “Turning your ear to wisdom”—Listening to God’s word as it's being taught
• “Call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding”—Pleading with God for it like your life depends on it
• “Look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure”—Studying God’s word in depth, not giving up until you’ve got all he has for you
Do you get the impression that he’s calling for more than five minutes a day in reading a couple of verses? A little more than praying over your meal? Again, if I told you about that sack of gold pieces in your yard, how much effort would you put into it?
Father, your word is so precious to me. . . or is it? May my schedule and everything else about me show just how much I value listening to you first above everything else.