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.
One of the most common things I hear from people when I share the Gospel with them is this: “I tried to read the Bible, but I don’t understand it.”
There are a lot of reasons for this:
I am not sure where to start, so I start anywhere.
If you pick up the Bible for the first time and just pick a random starting place (ie jump right into the middle of Leviticus), I can see why you are having problems. (Why do people do this with the Bible? They wouldn‘t with any other book!)
A difficult Bible translation.
I have no problem with the KJV, but it is a very difficult translation to read for “first timers”. And because KJV is the most widely distributed translation, this is the one people use to start reading (sometimes by jumping in the middle of Leviticus).
These things must be spiritually discerned.
We can’t accept these things naturally. (1 Corinthians 2:14) Spiritual truths are spiritually discerned.
But here is another thing: You gotta haveta want it.
When it comes to pursuing the wisdom of the Lord, this can be no half-hearted interest.
Look at the way the Proverbs writer describes going after it: receive, treasure up, ear attentive, heart inclined, calling out, raising voice. Not a casual approach to God’s Word! Going after it like my son goes after Starburst candy! (Editor‘s note: Jeff‘s son likes Starburst candy.)
You gotta haveta want it. Want. It. Like how? Like, to what extent? Notice he says to go after God’s Word as you would go after hidden treasure.
If I gave you a treasure map that leads to 5 billion dollars in hidden treasure, would you simply fold it up, stick the map in a drawer, and say, “Maybe someday…” NO! You would drop everything and go after it!
What if this map were written in Spanish? Would you just discard it. “Bummer. I don’t speak Spanish. Oh, well.” NO! How quickly would you learn Spanish? For 5 billion? You would do whatever it took to learn the language to use the map to get the treasure.
Go after God’s infinite, eternal wisdom with the same gusto
… then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God (v5).
Would you go after the wisdom of the Almighty with the energy and effort you would use to go after money?
p.s. - would totally become a spokesman for Rosetta Stone.