Proverbs 2:1-22 Exploring the Passage

Below are some preliminary questions to assist in the study of this passage. For a comprehensive study of the passage, download the Study Guide (PDF download).

1. What does the godly father of Proverbs urge his beloved son to do? See Proverbs 2:1-2 (printed below)

My son, if you will accept my words, and store up my commandments within you, (2) making your ear attentive to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding (Proverbs 2:1-2)

In verse 1 the beloved son is urged to receive his father’s word and store up his father’s commandments. Verse 2 defines for us exactly what is the father’s counsel. “Make you ear attentive to wisdom;” that is to say, appreciate and accept the wisdom of God as it is offered to us in the Scriptures. Furthermore, the son is urged, “Apply your heart to understanding;” diligently put your whole heart and soul into the task of getting understand in the things of God and the ways of God.

2. What promise is made to those who diligently pursue the attainment of godly wisdom? See Proverbs 2:4-5 (printed below)

…if you seek her as one seeks for silver and search for her as for hidden treasures, (5) then you will understand the fear of Jehovah and find the knowledge of God (Proverbs 2:4-5)

Verse 5 guarantees that if you diligently pursue godly wisdom (if you cultivate devotion to Christ), you will gain understanding and you will find knowledge. More specifically, “you will understand the fear of Jehovah;” you will appreciate what it means to have a wholesome, holy reverence for the Lord, because you will meet Him “up close and personal” (Jeremiah 10:6-7a). Also, “you will find the knowledge of God;” i.e.; you will experience deep and precious fellowship with the living God (John 14:23).

3. According to Proverbs 2:7-8 (printed below), for whom does the Lord store up sound wisdom? Why does He do so?

He stores up sound wisdom for the upright so that it might be a shield for those who walk in integrity; (8) so that he may guard the paths of justice and protect the way of his saints. (Proverbs 2:7-8)

Verse 7 informs us that the Lord “stores up sound wisdom for the upright.” Note that this “sound wisdom” is “stored up,” or reserved, (laid away as in a safe deposit box) and is made accessible to “the upright” (those who love the Lord, those who commit themselves to Him and desire to walk with Him in His ways; i.e., those who are disciples of Christ). This sound wisdom serves as “a shield” that guards Christ’s disciple from unknowingly and unwittingly practicing sin and guides him in the path of righteous living. This “sound wisdom” is a deeper understanding of the meaning and the application of the commandments of God; a deeper understanding of the righteousness of God and its application to our life (by way of example, note Jesus’ exposition of the law in Matthew 5:27-28).

4. Verse 9 (printed below) guarantees that if we diligently pursue godly wisdom (in New Testament terms, if we cultivate devotion to Christ our Savior) we will understand righteousness and every good path. Why is this so? See verse 10 (printed below)

Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity—indeed, every good path; (10) for wisdom will enter into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. (Proverbs 2:9-10)

Verse 9 guarantees that if we diligently pursue godly wisdom (if we cultivate devotion to Christ the Savior), we will understand “righteousness and… every good path.” This will be the case because “wisdom will enter into your heart;” i.e., the wisdom of God will go to the very core of your being: it will transform your outlook (you will begin to see things the way God sees them) and your thinking (you will begin to think like Christ), it will make you become more like Christ who declared to His Father, My Father… not as I will, but as you will. (Matthew 26:39). Furthermore, “discretion will watch over you;” with the gaining of a better understanding of the depths of God”s righteousness and a truer comprehension of the God who is righteous, you become more spiritually discerning and you become more cautious in your moral life.

5. In this present passage of Proverbs the Lord urges us to diligently pursue godly wisdom and dedicate ourselves to it as it is offered to us in the Scriptures. According to verses 21-22 (printed below), what is God’s gracious purpose in giving us this counsel?

…the upright shall dwell in the land and the blameless will remain in it. (22) But the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be rooted out of it. (Proverbs 2:21-22)

God’s gracious purpose in all of this is that you may inherit the kingdom of God (which is the kingdom of righteousness) and all of its blessing (“the upright shall dwell in the land”) and that you may be spared from the judgment and punishment that awaits the ungodly (“the wicked will be cut off from the land.”)