Have you ever wondered where the blessings are you thought God would give you?
Scripture makes it clear: God gives us the greatest blessing of salvation for free, while other blessings are often a direct result of our obedience.
Proverbs 1:7 states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Solomon continues in 2:5-6: “Then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
Notice the word ‘then’ at the beginning of verse 5. What does ‘then’ point to? It points back to all of the conditions that must be met in order to receive the ‘then.’ Solomon understands that blessings are a result of our obedience to God.
Solomon makes several ‘if/then’ or conditional statements. If you do ____, then _____ will happen. Solomon does not simply say that we will understand the fear of the Lord and find knowledge. Solomon makes several ‘if’ statements in Proverbs 2:1-4. Meaning that if we do these things then we will understand the fear of the Lord and find knowledge.
2:1- IF you
- Receive my words.
- Treasure up my commandments.
- Make your ear attentive to wisdom.
- Incline your heart to understanding.
2:3- IF you
- Call out for insight.
- Raise your voice for understanding.
2:4- IF you
- Seek [wisdom] like silver.
- Search for [wisdom] as for hidden treasures.
The Hope of ‘Then’
2:5- THEN you
- Will understand the fear of the Lord.
- Will find the knowledge of God.
2:9-16- THEN you
- Will understand righteousness and justice.
- Will have wisdom in your heart.
- Will have discretion.
- Will have deliverance from the way of evil.
The remainder of Proverbs 2 tells the reader what happens if one does not heed the conditional statements at the beginning of the chapter. It is wise for us to do our best to keep the ‘if’ statements before us in this passage.
The Good News
The good news is that the Lord does not leave us to meet these conditions on our own. The most significant work the Lord gives us is the blessing of salvation that leads us to strive to be more like Christ. We become more like Christ by understanding these ‘if’ statements. Our work to become more like Christ is not first or decisive. Praise God that the work He began in us is first and decisive.