Day 31: Treasure
My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
My son, when learning how to read, would occasionally come across a word he had never seen before. He would spot the first few letters and take a guess at the rest of the word. Then if he got it wrong, he would take another guess and then another. So I would gently correct him: “No, son, try to sound out every word. Don’t get lazy. You can do this.” There were times, of course, when the word was just too difficult and I had to tell him the answer. Yet I knew that he would never learn to read by guessing, but by good old-fashioned hard work. Likewise, our heavenly Father makes us study hard to ingrain the truths of Scripture.
Wisdom is a gift of God, yet wisdom requires work. Proverbs 2, therefore, promotes active learning: “Receive my words,” “treasure up my commandments,” “[make] your ear attentive,” “[incline] your heart,” “call out,” “raise your voice,” “seek . . . and search,” “understand . . . and find.”
Dads, daily excavate God’s Word: “Seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures” (Prov. 2:4). Digging is hard, but it yields great wealth. What would you do if, in your backyard, buried six feet below the ground, was a massive cache of diamonds? Would you yawn and return to surfing the web? Would you plop on the couch to watch a reality show about treasure hunters? Or would you round up digging tools and get to work? So also, spiritually, is your Bible a mine or a museum? Do you go to work every day in God’s Word? Do you strap on your hard hat and your headlamp? Do you bring the right tools and the motivation to search for buried treasure? Do you turn over every rock and verse, combing through debris, determined not to miss a precious gem? Or is your Bible like a museum displaying dusty artifacts from expeditions past? Maybe someone else found them first and you are just the curator? You might visit the museum every Sunday or even work there. You might know the descriptive captions by heart, but have never examined that treasure personally. Do not think you are a treasure hunter, for even greedy men will chase after fools’ gold and injure others to get it (1:10-19). How much more should be your single-minded fervency for the precious Word of God?
Dads, “if you bring your digging tools” (2:1-4), “then you will understand” (vv. 5-9). Then apply God’s wisdom by teaching it to your children. Let God’s Word rule your heart (Col. 3:16). Read, study, and think about its meaning. Examine the Scriptures even when taught be respected Bible teachers (e.g., Acts 17:11). Follow accepted rules of interpretation, instead of arbitrarily deciding what you feel the text should mean. Shape your life to fit the Word of God and not God’s Word to fit your life. Then whenever you minister to your children, let God’s Word be the basis of your counsel. One day, my son and I were talking in the car about the armor of God. He was especially interested in “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Eph. 6:17b) and he asked if we smacked people on the head with it. I told him, “No, we just read it and explain it and let God do the rest.” Dads, God created your children to trust you from a young age, so do not neglect to teach them the whole counsel of God’s Word (see Acts 20:27).
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Fill my heart with your Word that I may pass it on to my children. Help me search for it like buried treasure and delight with each discovery. Show me how to apply this joy as I lead my family on a treasure hunt. In your Son’s name, Amen.
LifeWork: Write down one way you will apply today’s Proverb.
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