The Treasure Hunt (The benefits of wisdom -Proverbs 2-3)

I once took part in a treasure hunt. It was when I was at University. Someone left me a clue in my pigeon hole (post box). I followed it to the next clue which took me along the corridor, then to the next. Eventually I got to the laundry room. There was a problem, the next clue was missing. I never found it. No-one ever owned up to setting up this trail and I never asked. I never found out where it led and what the treasure was!

Don’t worry if wisdom is treasure and we are on a treasure hunt, then God’s Word guarantees we will reach our destination and find the treasure

Seek out wisdom’s treasures

 

  1.  
  • Notice the continuing call to seek out this treasure.

 

We are to listen and to treasure its commands (and yes God’s Word does command and prescribe) (2:1)

We are to cry out and plead for insight ( 2: 3)

We are to search (2:4)

This reminds me of what Jesus said “Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.” James says “You don’t receive because you don’t ask.”

This means asking God. It also means in church life seeking out help, advice and prayer with others.

Don’t forget wisdom is something God gives. It’s always about grace (2:6-7)

  • God gives:

 

Knowledge (2:6)

Understanding (2:7)

Common Sense (2:7)

Protection and safety (2:8-19)

We are guarded:

From evil people (v12)

-and their twisted words (v12)

– and their twisted ways v13-14) –they enjoy and take pleasure in what they do –cruelty and evil.

I believe this means both protection from temptation and from false accusation.

From the immoral woman (v16-19)

This is both a literal matter. Sexual temptation is a huge thing. Again this week I’ve been hearing the sad news of a marriage in tatters. I’ve heard about the blame and excuses. I’ve heard about the damage caused.  Husbands take delight in your wives. Love them, be faithful to them. Wives love and be faithful to your husbands. The grass is not greener on the other side!

But this is also about spiritual faithfulness. Idolatry in the Old Testament was portrayed as adultery. This means deserting God for something or someone better. And sometimes the idols are very deceptive because they look good –career, relationships, health. Sometimes it’s even within the church, loving a leader, style of worship, doctrine whatever more than Jesus.

Stay faithful to Christ. Trust Him. He is faithful and dependable.

Know where to find wisdom (2:20-3:22)

 

These verses talk about

                Following godly people (2:20-22)

A long life in the land (2:21; 3:2)

God’s ways, rules, will, discipline ((3:5-6, 11)

We can trace the theme of God’s care, protection and blessing through the Old Testament. Where do we find it? The answer is with God’s people, in God’s place/land, under God’s rule.  It meant that when they trusted God, they enjoyed safety in the land of Israel. When they disobeyed God they were punished by exile.

In the New Testament we find that Jesus is

God’s Word –in fact he is God (John 1:1-2)

Represents God’s people –as the Son and the servant (cf Isaiah 53)

Is God’s place where we find refuge, forgiveness, identity, life, righteousness (Ephesians 1, Colossians 1).

So where do we find this treasure? It’s in Christ. So that we become God’s people under his rule with his Spirit dwelling in us so that we are always in the place where He is and never separated from him.

Are you safe in Christ? Have you put your trust in him? Are you seeking to stay close to him and know him more and more? Or is your identity and security elsewhere –in a role, organisation, reputation?  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

Enjoy the Treasures of God’s wisdom 3:13 –35

  • Wisdom brings joy. Find here the secret of true happiness (v13)
  • It’s precious – money can’t buy it! (v 14-22)
  • Wisdom offers life (3:16-23)

As we see the link to creation and the promise of lasting, refreshing, fulfilling life, we realise that this is really about eternal life. Eternal life is both about eternity –after death and true life now. We find our purpose, identity and meaning in Christ.

“The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him for ever.”

  • peace and safety again (3:24-26)
  • wisdom builds good relationships (v 27-33)

And a lot of the book of Proverbs is about how God enables us to live right with others. Reconciliation with God leads to reconciliation with other people.

Conclusion

How you found this treasure? Have you captured this sense of joy and delight?

Steps today and this week

Follow up –come and pray with someone. Have a look at our First Look and Rooted courses.

  1. How can I enjoy the treasure of God’s wisdom in the week ahead

A very simple thing –read, learn memorise Proverbs 3:5-6

Look out for each other –texts, calls, visits, home groups –we encourage each other as we are part of God’s people

  1. Do you need to find –or even recapture it. The joy of the Lord, the secret of trusting and resting in him

One of the big themes in this passage is of the way that Christ’s wisdom brings life. I wonder if for some of us it’s not the warning of God’s wisdom we need to hear but we need to re-hear that call to life. When it has been winter in our souls do we need to hear rhe call of God’s springtime again?

 

When in the spring, the flowers are blooming bright and fair,[1] After the grey of winter’s gone. Once again the lark begins his tuning, Back in the meadows of my heart. Lord, to my heart bring back the springtime. Take away the cold and dark of sin. Oh refill me now, sweet Holy Spirit: May I warm and tender be again. Lord, make me like that stream that flows so cool and clear Down from the mountains high above; I will tell the world the wondrous story Of the precious stream filled with your Love. Lord, to my heart bring back the springtime. Take away the cold and dark of sin. Oh refill me now, sweet Holy Spirit: May I warm and tender be again.

[1] Bring Back the Sprigtime by Kurt Kaiser

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