“My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; for if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as sliver and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of Yahweh and discover the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2:1-5 NASB).
I love the words “my son”; there is something about them when I read them aloud, when I think of them, when I meditate on them. On the second of the month (at least most months) when I come to this chapter and begin with the words “my son” there is a sweetness and encouragement, a reminder that my heavenly Father is ever present for me and always desirous that I draw nearer, ever nearer, to Him – that my koinonia in the Trinity be ever more delightful and intimate – the Holy of Holies is vast, vast and yet intimate.
I ponder the action I am called to: make my ear attentive; incline my heart, cry for discernment, lift my voice, seek her, search for her; make – incline – cry – lift – seek – search; I am called to action, called to engagement, invited into participation with my Father. I am reminded of Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount; Jesus teaches us to pray “Our Father”; then He beckons us to ask, seek, and knock; Jesus then promises, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:7-11).
I am called to seek “her”, the one who in Proverbs 1:20 “shouts in the street” and “lifts her voice in the square”. I am called to seek her who is rejected by the scoffers, ignored by the wayward ones. I want to receive the words of my Father and Lord Jesus, I want to treasure their commandments within me; as James says, I want to receive the engrafted word of God – but it is a continual gardening process, morning by morning, day by day, season by season. I want to learn how to receive the words of my Father and I want to learn how to treasure His commandments – I am still learning, I am still undervaluing His words; it hurts to write this but it is true. Would I treat the Hope Diamond, were it mine, the way I treat the Word of God?
Again, the words “my son” comfort me because they remind me that I am the child and that He is my Father; no matter my chronological age I am still His child – yes, hopefully I am learning to live and think and feel and joy as a son growing into the image of the Firstborn Son…but I am…after all…still a child…and as a child I desperately need to hear the words, “my son”.
So I ask my Father to teach me again and again what it is to make my ear attentive to wisdom and to incline my heart to understanding. I want to learn to make some noise, to get serious, to become desperate, to cry for discernment and to lift up my voice for understanding – I don’t want to play around, I want to pursue the words and commandments and wisdom of God.
Paul reminds us that it is in Christ Jesus that we find all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians Chapter Two); I know that it is in Christ that I will find what my Father calls me to. I also know that then I will discern the fear of Yahweh and discover the knowledge of God. I am not afraid of the fear of Yahweh for He is my Father, in His fear I find comfort and shelter and I know in some measure what David meant when he described Yahweh as his rock, his fortress, his strong tower, his shelter – that is a fearful place to live and yet it is a place of safety; it is fearful because it is holy and just and good…and holiness and justice and Divine goodness is foreign to us, and that which is foreign can be fearful.
I hear my Father, our Father, saying in this passage, “Oh my child, I have so much for you, come and listen, come and learn, come and seek, come and find – I am coming to you, I am waiting for you, and I will guide you to myself. I am your Father and you can trust me; and when you discover the fear that gives wisdom and knowledge, in the midst of that fear you will know inexpressible love and care and shelter. Come my son, come my daughter…come to me.”