The Benefits of Godliness.
“For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.” – Proverbs 2:6-7 MSG
Proverb 1:7 tells us fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. The Message reads, “Start with God – the first step in learning is bowing down to GOD.” And now, in Proverbs 2 we read the why. Because He grants wisdom. He is the source of all knowledge and understanding. Only God can give common sense. But all of these things are granted based on a relationship with Him. It says He grants common sense to the honest. He is s shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to Him. This is not talking about a performance-based relationship. In other words, Solomon is not telling us that we have to earn the right to receive wisdom by being honest, by living with integrity, being just and faithful. This is speaking of a reciprocal relationship in which, as followers of God, we receive His character and nature when we seek Him and serve Him. We become like the One we worship. Solomon begs his child to turn their ears to wisdom, concentrate on understanding, cry out for insight, ask for understanding, and to search for them as if they were silver and seek them like they were hidden treasures. But we have to seek them from the only source for them – God. Solomon says that when we make the pursuit of God our highest priority in order to receive wisdom, understanding and knowledge from God, THEN we will understand what it means to fear the Lord. In my desire to receive wisdom, understanding and knowledge from God, I will have to listen to Him. I will have to develop an intimate relationship with Him. His Word will teach me, convict me, reveal the truth about me, and clearly communicate His expectations of me. I will discover more and more about His holiness and my own sinfulness. I will learn to fear Him for who He is. The relationship will become the priority and wisdom, knowledge and understanding will become the byproduct of that relationship. We tend to want wisdom for our own selfish purposes. We desire knowledge so that we can benefit from it. We think greater understanding will somehow benefit us in this life. And they will, but the real point of it all is that we are receiving wisdom from God that will protect us from the foolishness of this world. We receive the understanding of God so that we have a clearer picture of life lived with Him as the center, not me. We get a healthy dose of godly knowledge so that we can see the world and our lives from His perspective, unhindered by the warped perspectives of sin.
When we seek God, we always benefit. When we make Him our highest priority, He gives us more than we could ever expect. We gain an understanding of what is right, just and fair. We inherently know the right way to go. Wisdom enters our hearts, knowledge fills us with joy, wise choices watch over us, and understanding keeps us safe. The life of godliness has its rewards. There are tremendous benefits from seeking and serving God. He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Start with God.
Father, thank You for all the benefits and blessings you give to those who make You the highest priority in their lives. We bring nothing to the table but our humble faith in You, but You give us so much in return. It pays to start with You. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men