Matters of Faith: What Are You Searching For?

By Reverend J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv

Proverbs 2:1-6 NKJV

“My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; 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;”

‭‭We are all in search of something. We search for people, places, locations, and opportunities. We use GPS navigational devices to search for the shortest route to destinations. Young people go to school in the hope that they will discover their occupational call in life. Sometimes, our search reveals opportunities to make life better for ourselves and our families. Other times, we find opportunities to make contributions into the lives of others. Everyday presents new opportunities to search. ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Theologians concur that Solomon wrote this chapter of the book of Proverbs. This man was the wisest person to ever live (1 Kings 4:29-30). When he was asked by God what he wanted, he chose understanding and discernment…, he chose wisdom. In this chapter, he puts that wisdom on display. He is giving advice to his sons and instructs them to pay close attention, to even treasure what he is about to say to them.

He tells them to cry out for discernment, to put themselves in a position to understand those things which are difficult, challenging and shrouded in the mysterious. He tells them to cry out for understanding. A closed mouth asks no questions and receives no answers. Not only do they have to ask, to speak up, to inquire, they are to do it whenever they do not understand something. The value and importance of a clear understanding cannot be minimized. He emphasizes it by telling them that they need to search for it like they would a precious metal or a buried treasure.

Had he stopped right there, his children might get the impression that discernment and understanding, that is to say, knowledge (gnosis in the Greek) can be obtained in their own ability. We all know that there are schools and other learning institutions where knowledge can be obtained. Anyone could sit at the feet of a wise person, go to any number of institutions of higher learning and acquire a degree that tells the world that you have a level of discernment and understanding. But this is not “just” any wise man writing to his sons. This was Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived. He is trying to teach them that in their search, they will come to the intersection that leads to a casual or an intimate relationship with God. If they choose an intimate relationship, they will stand in awe with a healthy fear (reverence) of Him. It is there that they will embrace the fact that God is the source and provider of all knowledge, wisdom, discernment and understanding. He doesn’t issue certificates or a degrees, He issues a full measure of all of them to those who diligently seek Him.

Solomon makes it clear when he sums up his counseling session by telling his sons that knowledge, wisdom and understanding do not come from intensified study, institutions of higher learning, or the minds of men. All wisdom, all knowledge, all understanding come from the mouth of God. Jeremiah shares God’s promise; “Ye shall seek Me, and find Me when ye shall search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13 KJV). Matthew quotes Jesus and puts the final touch on Solomon’s wise counsel; “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew‬ ‭6:33 KJV‬‬).‭

What are you searching for?‬‬‬‬‬‬

God Bless +++

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial &. Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays from 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen by phone at 626-226-1448. Be sure to “like” “Matters of Faith” on Facebook and email us at mattersoffaith.mof@gmail.com. Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The Book at Book Blues.

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