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Proverbs 18:1, Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.
James 1:5, If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
You may ask of God for wisdom but do not expect a heavenly wand to be waved over your head with the immediate result of your being filled with wisdom.
Now James says that if any man lack wisdom you must ask of God, but God answers your request according to his Word.
He does not go outside the bounds that he has established.
This principle you may take to the bank. You can count on it.
This you may totally rely upon. God is not capricious, whimsical or fickle.
But he does not expect you to guess at how to get wisdom either.
Nor does he expect you to engage in trial and error.
God is good and he provides the way to get wisdom to those who are interested.
He does not force wisdom, he does not cheapen wisdom in order to increase his market share and therefore increase demand.
He does not reduce the price of the product to get more sales.
Wisdom is not found haphazardly or by chance.
God is careful to provide for all things for his children.
And this proverb is one of his provisions. It provides us with a prescription for getting wisdom.
There is an avenue which all must travel to get to wisdom.
It is an avenue called desire. Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.
God gives wisdom to those who desire wisdom, those who want wisdom.
The word desire in the Hebrew indicates a longing of a delight.
It approaches the word lust in the English, not in the evil sense but in the sense of extending, to reach, to expand, to stretch forward, an eagerness to possess or enjoy. A longing!
God does not give wisdom to the casual or the apathetic or the careless or the detached or the unconcerned or the superficial person.
Wisdom is too valuable to waste on the unconcerned.
It does not fit the careless, or apathetic.
It would be as a jewel of gold in a swine's snout. It is unbecoming to a fool.
So the first principle for getting wisdom is you have to want it.
You have to long for it as you would long for the the most pleasing delight of your life.
As Proverbs 7:4, tells us, Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:
Wisdom is to be desired as a loved one, wisdom is to be welcomed into the family.
Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.
Secondly there is required a dedication.
There is required a sacrifice of other things for the benefit of knowing wisdom.
There is required a separation of oneself in order to be dedicated to the pursuit of wisdom.
There is a "seek ye first" priority in the matter.
The man or woman's "want to" must be strong enough to permit a separation from all outside hindrances.
Strong enough to separate from companions that distract from this effort.
Strong enough to separate from entertainments and amusements or even studies of interesting subjects that do not promote the search for wisdom.
John the baptist separated himself in the desert, Paul into Arabia for three years, and the Lord Jesus on many occasions separated from the crowds to seek after the Father.
Paul said to Timothy in 1 Tim 4:15, Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
And again Paul said in 2 Timothy 2:4, No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
When in Vietnam, being in the Navy and not being involved in combat, I was allowed to purchase anything I desired in the military exchange in Danang.
But this freedom was not given to the Marines.
They were only allowed to buy small personal items that they could carry in their backpacks.
They were not allowed to purchase electronics like stereos or televisions that would hinder their ability to travel fast and light and to engage the enemy.
They were to be separated from those niceties, those things that entangled them from performing their duty.
They were to be separated from things that may occupy their time and take attention from their important mission.
Those things that hindered their dedication they were to be separated from.
Likewise in the pursuit of wisdom we are to be separated.
So we are to desire wisdom with a longing, with a holy lust, with an eagerness to possess or enjoy.
Secondly we are to separate ourselves to the task, forsaking those things that hinder, that foil, that frustrate, that hamper and obstruct us from realizing wisdom.
And thirdly we are to seek and intermeddle. We are to be seekers and we are to be meddlers with all wisdom.
The word seek as used in this proverb means to search out, to strive after.
It is an active seeking. It is the seeking that Jesus told us to do in:
Matthew 7:7-8, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Haven't you looked for something without finding it?
But the seeking in this proverb is not that kind of seeking. This kind of seeking is seeking that brings results.
The kind of seeking that this proverb talks about is the same kind of seeking that Jesus Christ talked about in Matthew.
It is seeking that results in finding. It is successful seeking because it includes intermeddling.
Intermeddling with all wisdom. This word is from the root word which comes from the word obstinate.
It means being stubborn;
it means pertinaciously (extremely or stubbornly persistent) adhering to an opinion or purpose;
it means being fixed firmly in resolution;
it means not yielding or not easily subdued or removed.
It means like being a bulldog whose mouth is attached to someone's rear end and it won't let go!
It is like Jacob who when wrestling with the Angel of the Lord said: I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
It is like getting constantly in the way of wisdom so that wisdom is forever bumping into you and you won't get out of the way.
You refuse to get out of the way. You are stubborn, you are obstinate about it. You wrestle until wisdom says "Uncle".
Wisdom has got to rub off on you because you are obstinately in the way.
So how do you get wisdom? You first long for it, you desire it. You ask for it.
Then you separate yourself to it,
you forsake those things that hinder you from it,
then you must seek it in such a way that finding it is guaranteed, and finally you get in the way of wisdom,
you don't let it out of your life,
you stubbornly stick to it with a firm and fixed resolution.
"PROVERB PRACTICALS" Article in "The Projector" for Proverbs 18:1, desire and wisdom