Wisdom requires commitment and effort; it’s not something that can be purchased in a shop or easily handled. Prov 2:2 tells us ”Tune your ears to the world of wisdom; set your heart on a life of understanding.”

We live in a world of instant gratification, where we don’t like to wait. That’s partly why credit cards are so popular, because they allow us instant access to what we desire. Unfortunately, this kind of attitude doesn’t translate well to the world of spiritual growth, which cannot be rushed or hurried and certainly cannot be bought. It takes time and effort to grow in God. We are urged to make insight our priority and the image is that of a prospector panning for gold or treasure (Prov 2:4) .That image conjures up in my mind the old films where the cowboys start looking for gold with their gold pans and tiny nuggets of gold can make their fortune. So it is with us.
Looking for wisdom requires the painstaking effort of searching through all life has to offer to find those nuggets of gold: common sense, insight, knowledge, understanding – all things that are under-rated in the world but valued and highly prized by God. Candour, honesty and integrity are the things that we should prize and should be aiming for in life.

The other image which features in Proverbs 2 and which is set to recur in the book is that of life as a journey or road to be navigated. Wisdom helps us to understand what is ‘right and just and fair – every good path’ (Prov 2:9) and we can then choose to walk on the right path (as Jesus taught His disciples, ‘small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.’ (Matt 7:14) and ‘lead us not into temptation’ (Matt 6:13).) Proverbs is a very practical book and warns of the pitfalls that are there in life (the adulteress is mentioned in Proverbs 2 and countless other temptations will be found along the way as we progress through this book.) The writer wants us to be wise so that we can avoid the pitfalls (think of the potholes in the roads last winter after the snow and how hard it was to drive on those roads and you get a fair idea of how difficult it can be to navigate life!) and live lives that are honouring to God.