A believer’s heart cannot be satisfied without continual learning and growing.
Yeshua taught in the sermon on the mount that believers need to have an attitude of constantly asking, seeking, and knocking (Matthew 7). There should be an attitude of openness to instruction that is carried within a mindset of vigilant persistence.
This was not a new teaching to the Hebrew ear. In the book of Proverbs, the writer is constantly illustrating the benefits of wisdom over foolishness, and how wisdom is a godly pursuit that should be followed by all who are wanting to draw closer to Yahweh.
While many of the proverbs stand independently of one another, sometimes a string of verses will be highlighting a common theme. The end of chapter fifteen is one of those themes based on the subject of attaining wisdom.
Proverbs 15:31-33: “The ear that listens to reproof lives, and will be at home among the wise. He who refuses correction despises his own soul, but he who listens to reproof gets understanding. The fear of Yahweh teaches wisdom. Before honor is humility.”
It begins by speaking to the attentiveness of the listening ear that becomes familiar with the topics and subjects that are spoken out of among the wise. It implies that wisdom is widely available, but can be missed by those who are inattentive or uncaring.
It then describes the level of discipline required to gain discernment. One who is unwilling to accept correction cannot themselves become discerning. To reject the admonitions of discipline, one is doing oneself a disservice.
And finally, the theme of ongoing discipline is capped by illustrating the need for the fear of Yahweh. This is a recurring topic throughout the Bible, and the Proverbs specifically, relating how central it is to gaining knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Proverbs 9:10 – “The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverbs 14:27 – The fear of Yahweh is a fountain of life, turning people away from the snares of death.
Proverbs 19:23 – The fear of Yahweh leads to life; one will sleep at night without danger.
To have a respect and awe of God is the foundation upon which wisdom can be built. It is the vast sea amidst which the eager student can draw limitless understanding. Yet, even having this pervasive and widely available resource, the writer of proverbs wisely adds that humility must be present before one attains any level of honor for having gained this wisdom.
All of these aspects of discipline and schooling and attentiveness illustrate the vigilance that is required of those who are serious in their walk with Yahweh. Merely having a surface understanding of his ways has only limited benefits. It is the diligent student who reaps the benefits of their labor in constantly striving to understand more.
Proverbs 2:1-6 – My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, listening closely to wisdom and directing your heart to understanding; furthermore, if you call out to insight and lift your voice to understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of Yahweh and discover the knowledge of God. For Yahweh gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
The believer’s heart should constantly be asking, seeking, and knocking. This is the discipline of wisdom.
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