In the second “My Son” poem in Proverbs, Solomon talks to his son about the pursuit of wisdom. The entire poem is a large conditional statement. The first four verses are the “if” portion, delineating the responsibilities of the son in the pursuit of wisdom. Following this, Solomon gives the “then” portion of the statement describing the results or benefits of acquiring wisdom.
In the first four verses, Solomon lays out the pursuit of wisdom. In order to acquire it, a person must receive or accept Solomon’s words and treasure them up in himself or herself. Next, they should “incline their ear” and “bow their heart.” These speak of submitting to wisdom. Thirdly, Solomon instructs his son to call out for wisdom and use his voice to cry out for it. (Just like James instructs people to ask God for wisdom.) Finally, the son should search for it, as if it were silver or buried treasure.
In the following verses, Solomon gives the results of acquiring wisdom in two “then” statements. The benefits of wisdom demonstrate that, though it is difficult to find, one can gain wisdom. The first of these “then” statements (in verse 5) tells us that when one finds wisdom, he or she finds God. True wisdom and knowledge come from God. The second “then” statement comes in verse 9. Here we discover that wisdom will be pleasant to the life of the one who finds it. In each of these statements, Solomon talks about protection or about God watching over the one who finds wisdom. Much of the remainder of the chapter further describes this protection.
So, where are you in your pursuit of wisdom?