Proverbs (Part 017) - Pro 2:3-4


1. Pro 2:3 - "Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;" A. This verse sets forth the second condition, which itself contains two requirements that must be met to find the knowledge of God (Pro 2:5). B. If thou criest after knowledge. i. After receiving God's words and hiding them in our hearts (Pro 2:1), and inclining our ear unto wisdom and applying our heart to understanding (Pro 2:2), the next step is to cry after knowledge. ii. Knowledge n. - The fact of knowing a thing, state, etc., or (in general sense) a person; acquaintance; familiarity gained by experience. iii. We are not to cry after the knowledge of earthly things such as science, literature, the arts, or politics, but rather "the knowledge of God" (Pro 2:5). a. The apostle Paul had a lot of earthly knowledge prior to his conversion. b. He was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel (Act 22:3), one of the most prestigious teachers in Israel (Act 5:34). c. He was therefore a highly educated and accomplished man (Php 3:4-6). d. But Paul considered his renowned education to be "but dung" and "but loss" that he might have "the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord", for which he "suffered the loss of all things" (Phi 3:8), only desiring "that I may know him" (Phi 3:10). iv. The knowledge of God is not innate in man. v. Nor is it given to those who exert little effort to get it. vi. It's only given to those who cry after it. a. Cry v. - To entreat, beg, beseech, implore, in a loud and emoved or excited voice. b. Therefore, if a man desires the knowledge and wisdom of God, he must ask for it. c. But simply asking will not suffice. d. If his request is to be granted, he must beg, beseech, and implore the LORD, not in a lukewarm, lackadaisical tone, but in a loud and impassioned voice. e. God "is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Heb 11:6), not those who halfheartedly do so. f. Jesus said, "ask, and it shall be given" (Mat 7:7). g. But, as we compare scripture, we find that the appeals that are guaranteed to be granted are those that are made with importunity, not just a simple inquiry (Luk 11:5-9). h. Importunity - 4. Troublesome pertinacity in solicitation. 1526 Tindale Luke xi. 8 Because of hys importunite he woll ryse and geve hym as many as he nedeth. i. God will give His elect the knowledge they desire if they cry day and night unto Him for it (Luk 18:1-5). vii. God wants to see that His children sincerely desire to know His truth before He grants it to them. a. The LORD is longsuffering toward His elect and will never chastise them for repeatedly pleading with Him for knowledge and wisdom. b. Rather than upbraid them for their ignorance, He will instead give wisdom liberally to those who ask in faith, nothing wavering (Jam 1:5-7). c. Upbraid v. - 2. To reproach, reprove, censure (a person, etc.). d. Liberally adv. - 2. Bountifully, freely, generously. C. And liftest up thy voice for understanding. i. Understanding is the faculty of the intellect, the power or ability to understand a thing. ii. To have the knowledge of God without the power to apprehend the meaning of it is of little value. iii. Just as the knowledge of God has to be cried for, so too understanding is promised to those who lift up their voice for it. iv. Many young men have received the understanding they earnestly desired after they lifted up their voice in prayer to God, begging Him for it, no matter the cost. v. I am one such man. vi. Such are following in the footsteps of the godly psalmist who cried to God for understanding of His word (Psa 119:34, 73, 125, 169). 2. Pro 2:4 - "If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;" A. The third and final condition necessary to find the knowledge of God (Pro 2:5-6) is also comprised of two elements: seeking and searching (Pro 2:4). B. We must first ask (Pro 2:3), and then seek, before finding the knowledge of God (Mat 7:7-8). C. If thou seekest her. i. Asking is necessary, but not sufficient, for finding God's knowledge and wisdom. ii. We must prove that our desire for the truth is genuine by seeking it. iii. Seek v. - 1. a. To go in search or quest of; to try to find, look for (either a particular object—person, thing, or place—whose whereabouts are unknown, or an indefinite object suitable for a particular purpose). a. Asking involves desire, but seeking requires effort. b. Asking is relatively easy, but seeking is difficult. c. Because of apathy, few men ask for knowledge and wisdom. d. Because of laziness, even fewer yet will seek for it. iv. The fact that the knowledge of God must be sought for implies that God conceals it from men in general. v. He does so by hiding it in plain sight: for wisdom cries from every corner of life (Pro 1:20-21; Pro 8:1-3). D. If thou seekest her as silver. i. Here we see the intensity that understanding, knowledge, and wisdom are to be sought after. ii. Mining for gold and silver is not for the slothful, but for the industrious. a. For millennia men have compassed land and sea, enduring hardship and deprivation, with the hopes of finding precious metals. b. They often forsook family and career for the chance of finding a fortune they deemed worth it. c. Rarely is silver found lying on the surface of the earth, but is nearly always discovered buried deep within it, requiring extreme effort and risk to extract it. d. As it is for him who seeks silver, so it is for the man that seeks the knowledge of God: it will cost him dearly, sometimes including even his family, friends, time, reputation, career, and lifestyle. e. The knowledge and wisdom of God are far more valuable than gold or silver, and are therefore worth exerting more time and effort to find and acquire than them (Pro 3:13-15; Pro 8:10-11, 19; Pro 16:16). iii. While the act of seeking is difficult, finding the place to search is not. a. We must look no further than the word of God (Pro 2:6). b. We must "search the scriptures" (Joh 5:39; Act 17:11). c. God's law (where His knowledge is found) is more precious than gold and silver (Psa 19:7-10; Psa 119:72, 127). E. And searchest for her as for hid treasures. i. If a Christian is to find the knowledge of God, it will be by searching for it with the same ambition as he would when looking for a sunken ship full of precious cargo or treasures that ancestors had buried on the family farm. ii. To find material treasures, a man might have difficulty ascertaining where to begin looking. iii. But to find true treasure, he only need look as far as Jesus Christ, "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col 2:3). iv. To know the truth of God, we must read and study the word of God (Joh 8:31-32). v. By doing so, we can lay up "treasures in heaven" (Mat 6:20). vi. Finding the treasure of the knowledge of God is worth selling all that a man has to buy them (Mat 13:44-46). vii. It is worth giving up whatever one has to obtain that treasure (Mar 10:28-30).