The book of Proverbs has more to say about the practical side of parenting than any other book of Scripture. This makes the study and mastery of Proverbs a must for parents. All of Scripture was written ultimately by the Holy Spirit, who both anticipated the coming of Christ and built upon his advent with every word he breathed out for our good. Proverbs is no exception. If you want to teach your children the true meaning of Proverbs, you must do so through the lens of the gospel. Understanding the cultural and linguistic issues is vital, but no more so than understanding that the Holy Spirit anticipated that coming of Christ and his teaching in Proverbs. The following series of posts on Proverbs will attempt to help you do just that.
I want to begin with the opening verses of chapter two. This passage describes the consuming passion necessary to apprehend the knowledge of God. Here are the first verses in this chapter:
My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
3 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
There is a series of if statements culminating with a then statement in verse 5. The goal of the first four verses is found in this fifth verse: understanding the fear of the Lord and finding the knowledge of God. The preceding four verses describe how this knowledge is to be acquired.
There is a great sense of urgency in the languages of verses 1-4. Notice the phrases:
Turning your ear
Applying your heart
Crying out for insight
Cry aloud for understanding
Look for it as for silver
Search for it as for hidden treasure
We must cultivate a deep, compelling passion to acquire wisdom. The first nine chapters of Proverbs are dominated by this theme. If you want your children to know the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God, then you must first be driven to find these things for yourself.
Verse four of chapter two says you must search for wisdom and insight as if it were hidden treasure. The search for treasure will be a failure if you are passive. Hunting for treasure takes courage, dedication, and turning aside from other pursuits. It is this way with finding the knowledge of God. You must be consumed by it, because nothing else on earth compares with the value of wisdom. Someone observing your search for wisdom might even say that you are obsessed with finding the knowledge of God. This is not far from the truth. You children know what is important to you. These verses in Proverbs are a good reality check: how important is finding knowledge and wisdom in your life?
If your desire is to see your children love wisdom, it must be your own first love. True wisdom will always point to Christ, and there is nothing of greater value on the earth. Are you crying out for wisdom?