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Seeking and Searching
Proverbs 2:4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 if you keep seeking her like silver
and searching for her as for hidden treasures,
The third requirement or condition that must exist if we are to understand the fear of Jehovah and find the knowledge of God is seeking and searching for hidden treasure, i.e., be committed and determined in one’s quest. History has shown the lengths humans will go to in their quest to discover gold or silver. This makes us think of the mining exploits of men, such as those of the gold rushes in the early United States of American history. Men have spent a lifetime trying to discover gold and silver. What actual value, though, does gold really have? Indeed, we can all agree that the knowledge of God demands far greater dedication, and the treasure of eternal life is a far greater find. The knowledge of God is undoubtedly a spiritual treasure. Therefore, we should have far more zeal as we seek wisdom, discernment, and understanding of God and his will. Solomon likens this knowledge to “hid treasures.” The knowledge of God (hidden treasure) will not jump out of its place of hiding and deposit itself into the minds of those who are idle in their quest or search. It requires effort and perseverance on the part of those seeking and searching.
The “her” of seeking her and searching for her is a reference back to wisdom from verse 2. The imperfect Hebrew verb behind the English seeking (בָּקַשׁ baqash) has the sense of diligently acquiring information, trying to get to or reach something that someone greatly desires. This verb is used when one is seeking information from God. (Ex. 33:7) in a similar but figurative sense, one may “seek” the face of God. (2 Sam. 21:1) Here (baqash) is used in reference to our searching for information, that is, a mental pursuit. The imperfect Hebrew verb behind the English searching (חָפַשׂ chaphas) has the sense of searching for, examining, trying to locate or discover information, in this case about the wisdom of God. The Hebrew noun behind the English treasures (מַטְמוֹן matmon or מַטְמֹן matmon or מַטְמֻן matmun) has the sense of something of value that is hidden.
Searching for treasures requires discipline and determination. It calls for much digging, be it actual treasure or seeking and searching for the knowledge of God, for “discernment,” and for “understanding.” This also demands much digging or getting below the surface knowledge. It is not sufficient to skim over the surface of God’s Word. The invaluable treasures of the knowledge of God are for all who, like a determined, tenacious, resolute treasure hunter, are willing to seek them. Are we persistent in finding the knowledge of God? How can we improve our ability to do so? Indeed, accurate knowledge of God and his Word is like a hidden treasure. What could be more valuable than the knowledge of God and Christ, which leads to eternal life? (John 17:3) Again, this treasure must also be sought for and discovered. Then, it must also be retained. It can also be expanded or grown. All of this means much effort on our part.