Prerequisites for Purposeful Living: “Give Ear and Hear My voice, Listen and Hear My Speech.” Proverbs 2:1-5

Proverbs 2:1-5 The Message

Make Insight Your Priority

1-5 Good friend, take to heart what I’m telling you;
    collect my counsels and guard them with your life.
Tune your ears to the world of Wisdom;
    set your heart on a life of Understanding.
That’s right—if you make Insight your priority,
    and won’t take no for an answer,
Searching for it like a prospector panning for gold,
    like an adventurer on a treasure hunt,
Believe me, before you know it Fear-of-God will be yours;
    you’ll have come upon the Knowledge of God.

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

On a brochure I saw in the Narthex of a new church I read these words in red:

“If I am really a Christian … then why isn’t Jesus Christ more real in my life?”

It made for rather interesting reading considering the church was a new plant and had only opened its doors to the community a scant ninety days before.

It was actually quite thought provoking – even more so than I first expected.

If you have ever wondered about that, “why isn’t Jesus more real to me,” you should know that you are not the first and you will not be the last one either.

Even writers of the Bible, especially the psalmists, wrestled with this question.

Even the Book of Proverbs offers its readers many intriguing statements which even today have turned into contemporary Parent to Children admonishments.

1. Many hands make light work

When many people work together to accomplish a difficult task, it doesn’t seem so difficult. That is the general meaning of this proverb. In other words, if many people work together, the work is easier and is usually completed more quickly.

2. Honesty is the best policy

It is best to always be honest and tell the truth, even when telling the truth hurts you. By doing so, humbling self will win the trust and respect of others.

3. Don’t judge a book by its cover

Don’t be too quick to form an opinion or make a judgment about someone or something based on its outward appearance – you could embarrass yourself.

4. Where there’s a will, there’s always a way

If your desire to accomplish something is strong enough, you will find a way to do it.

5. Actions speak louder than words

A person’s true character can be seen by what he does, not by what he says. A person can talk as much as he wants, but he may not actually do anything to back up his words. All the bluster and bravado of leadership loses its luster if the one doing all of the bragging inevitably does nothing, retreats from their words.

6. Always put your best foot forward

The meaning of this proverb is that you should always try your best to make a good first impression on others; reveal and show your best traits and qualities.

7. Do not be wise in thine own eyes

The meaning of this proverb is very clear: the consistent witness of Scripture is that Jehovah God and God alone is the One, only true source of wisdom and life.

If we are faith-filled and faithful in following Him, He will “abundantly” bless us; if not, in our own self righteousness, we risk significant peril and judgment.

One of the most dangerous traps we can fall prey to is justifying ourselves based on our own self reported, ideals, definitions and understandings of judgment.

When we assume that we are more in the right than not and others are more in the wrong than not, including “God is more wrong,” it is a recipe for disaster.

When we automatically assume we are smarter than others, then find out we are not … much to our detriment and personal embarrassment – “eating crow.”

When we try to assume that our understanding of smart is the same as God’s and we come up square against the mirrors of our wildest display of ignorance.

The Book of Proverbs puts our perspective of our lives directly in God’s face, the end result is we invariably learn we are neither smarter nor wiser than anyone.

God desires we understand balancing our life, morals and ethics with His Ways.

We desire and boast of our own abilities, about how we ourselves balance our own lives with our own understanding of own morals and ethics absent God.

There are many reasons, of course, why people might sometimes feel that way.

I will let each reader draw from their own experiences for their own rationales.

Wisdom of Self Reliance versus Wisdom of Reliance on God and God alone?

One place to start in reflecting on this is to recognize that God highly desires and also highly values an ever growing spiritual depth, maturity in his people.

Not necessarily intellectual depth or all kinds of biblical knowledge —though these things are good—but connectional depth in relationship with God, as opposed to the shallowness, superficiality of human to human relationships.

“That we may know HIM more, that we may know OUR selves less.” (John 3:30)

Proverbs 2:1-5 talks about accepting and storing up and turning our ear and soul and applying our heart and calling out for insight and crying aloud for greater and greater understanding of God and looking and searching for God.

It uses action words like these; applying, calling, crying, looking, searching for, to describe what we should be actively engaging in our daily pursuit of wisdom.

Bottom line?

If we want to have it,

If we have to want it,

We have to be willing to engage in a process which involves actual action.

We have to be fully committed to the pursuit, wantonly going after wisdom.

It will take an enormous amount of work, and it will take your whole heart.

Most things, which nowadays, humanity is quite more reluctant to engage in.

But, without that, God, Jesus and Holy Spirit—and wisdom—won’t seem real.

With my eyes being widened from their slumber ….

With a constant sensation of a “tap tap tap” upon my shoulders ….

With someone or something putting their “elbows” into my side ….

With my interest being peaked ….

With my soul being quickened by something or someone ….

It makes me want to dig a little deeper, again.

It makes me want to listen more to what the Holy Spirit is trying to say to me.

“Where is Jehovah God nudging me towards … what future with what hope?”

What if we really listen and hear what God really says in Proverbs?

Proverbs 2:1-5 Amplified Bible

The Pursuit of Wisdom Brings Security

2 My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,

So that your ear is attentive to [skillful and godly] wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding [seeking it conscientiously and striving for it eagerly];


Yes, if you cry out for insight,
And lift up your voice for understanding;

If you seek skillful and godly wisdom as you would silver
And search for her as you would hidden treasures;


Then you will understand the [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome]
And discover the knowledge of God.

Have you ever thought about the difference between hearing and listening?

Did you know there was a real difference?

To “listen” means that we are paying attention to the sound, thoughtful and considerate attention to the sound.

To “hear” refers to perceiving something with our ears, kind of like seeing with our ears.

In the long and winding concourse of living and loving life today there are quite literally hundreds of diverse noises a day which are competing for our attention.

There are so many different noises and sounds that most of us do not pay very much attention to most of them – we shut them out as “background noises.”

The television can be on, the phone ringing, video games blasting, radios in our ears and everyone in my house talking at once and I can still tune most of it out.

It is not I am not hearing all the cacophony of noise, but I am not listening to it.

But all of that discipline of “tuning out,” and “not listening” carries a big risk.

What else am I “tuning out,” or “not hearing” or “listening to?”

Psalm 19:1-3 Amplified Bible

The Works and the Word of God.

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

19 The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And the expanse [of heaven] is declaring the work of His hands.

Day after day pours forth speech,
And night after night reveals knowledge.

There is no speech, nor are there [spoken] words [from the stars];
Their voice is not heard.

My Mom used to tell me when everything seemed to be going backwards;

“Look unto the sun by day and the stars by night and know it will be alright!”

God gave us eyes to see the sunshine, beauty and grandeur of nature around us.

God gave us a curiosity that when we see the stars at night – we have to know just how many of them we can count – so we lie back on the ground and count.

God also gave each and everyone of us two ears to hear the beauty of sound and one mouth, He gave us the ability to listen so that the sound can be understood.

When both hearing and listening and minimal speaking working together in unison, we have a quiet, quieted, understanding of the purpose of the sound.

You can hear music and feel music but not actually listen to the words.

When both music and lyrics are understood, the beauty and meaning of the whole song is revealed to you.

You can hear the words of a person speaking to you, but if you truly listen to the person, you will better understand their heart, the meaning behind their words.

The same principle holds true with God’s Word.

We can hear the Word preached, taught and read.

We can read the Word ourselves and hear our own voices speak it.

But, when we really listen to God’s Word, then our understanding begins to change.

So many times, people leave church after having heard a sermon and not ever remember anything about it.

When we look up to the heavens, we may only hear the sound of the winds rushing through the trees, crickets or the frogs in the pond, birds in the air.

We cannot see the winds nor the crickets nor the frogs nor the birds in the air.

We know they are there because we can hear the sounds of the winds through the leaves, from rubbing of the crickets legs, frogs croaking and birds singing

When we are listening and giving consideration to what we are hearing, we will leave thinking about what we just heard.

The next step is to start talking back to God, asking Him to open up more of our hearts and souls to understanding what is being communicated from all sides.

Take time today, think about how much you hear versus how much you listen.

How much are you missing of what God has for you?

Is He talking to you but you are not paying attention?

Take your Bible, dust off its cover and read today’s text from Proverbs 2:1-5.

Instead of just reading the words and hearing them in our heads, pray the Holy Spirit will give us the power to listen, to understand the message God has for us.

When the Word of God truly becomes His voice in our life, then our hearing and our listening will open up our souls unto a new world of understanding for us.

Our lives are guaranteed to change.

But it all begins with God’s wisdom which comes from understanding the difference between hearing and listening—so, start listening to God today.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Jehovah God, Lord of wisdom, Author of my life, there are so any truths to sort out, so many ways of understanding what my eyes behold and what my ears hear, I cannot listen to it all for it is just too overwhelming. Being overwhelmed, I am sometimes finding understanding the wisdom of Bible to be difficult. I know you want me to apply your word to my life. I thank you for giving me your word so I can grow in my relationship with you. Help me to grasp what you want me to know as I read your revealed word. Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions. Be my teacher, so I can live and obey your word. Thank you for your wise advice. Amen.

Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

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Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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