My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
The Holy Bible : Today’s New International Version. 2005 (Pr 2:1–5). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
The acquisition of wisdom and knowledge–mostly equivalent terms in Hebrew and the reason they are in parallel with one another–takes effort. And it takes time. Reading and studying the book of Proverbs can shorten the time and ease the task, but effort and struggle are unavoidable. God loves us, he saves us freely, he places the Holy Spirit within us. As Peter writes, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3 TNIV)–but it’s as if we have been given a 747, unlimited fuel, an airport and staff, and a stack of manuals on how to fly. We have everything we need to have dinner at a café in Paris. But it’s still going to take some time and effort learning to fly, and the eight hours flight time, before we sit down and sip our coffee on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.