if you seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God.
INTRO—Famous Treasure Hunters: Schliemann, Fisher, Masters…Ponce de Leon...Benjamin Franklin Gates, Indiana Jones, Bilbo Baggins...
Treasure HUNT ()
The INVESTMENT… [a hunt requires something of the hunter]
Listen & store up! [diligent attentiveness]
Call out! (Chicago Fire - “Fire Department, Call out!”) [same kind of earnestness]
Seek…search! [careful, thorough search]
Treasure ENRICHING ()
The BENEFITS (Blessings)… [“then you will”; vv. 5, 9]
Hunting for wisdom, we find God…Following after God, He gives wisdom! [Essential theological foundation…Fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…wisdom]
Knowledge brings understanding and right living [application of truth to life]
Yep…righteousness & justice (eternal and ‘social’) & integrity—every good path!
“And knowledge will delight you.”
Treasure GUARDING ()
The PROTECTION… [“will rescue you from”; vv. 12, 16]
From two distractors (tempters): (1) the evil, criminal person; (2) from the forbidden woman (a.k.a. ‘temptress’)…[selling LIES!]
Life and riches without rules or responsibility
Intimacy and pleasure without rules or responsibility
Treasure ESTABLISHING ()
The CONTINUING… [“follow…keep to”; v. 20)
The way Solomon wrote this instruction, his son can never complete it. In other words, folloooooooooow…& keeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!
Promises…both for following & keeping [inhabit & remain], AND for not [cut off & ripped out] (so, serious consequences either way!)
For the upright will inhabit the land, and those of integrity will remain in it;
Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly—and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord, being double-minded and unstable in all his ways.
Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose.