Proverbs 2:1-5

This is constantly connected with religion. A religious fear of God is the first step in true wisdom. He who would know God aright must love Wisdom and humbly and vigorously seek after her. Wisdom is spoken of as a virtue, as much as truthfulness or charity or sobriety. It is identified with goodness. There is a real, true sense in which wisdom may be put for religion: the God-fearing man is the wise man; without the fear of God it is impossible to call any man truly wise. Taking the lowest view of things, only a selfish view, looking only at what is to be gained, the religious man is a wise man. If the good man proves to have been wrong, he loses nothing in the end, for he has had his own happiness here--peace of mind, a quiet conscience, and good prospects for the future. To take a higher view of the subject. The religious man is concerned with far grander and more exalted things than any other man. The principal attribute of a wise, discerning man is to be able to see things as they really are, to pierce through outside appearances and get at the heart of things, and not be cheated by sham outsides. To do this is a sign of wisdom. The religion of Jesus Christ treats of such mighty concerns that it is impossible to give the name of wise to him who thinks lightly of it. Wisdom is something which must be laboured for; it is not to be sought merely for amusement, but the search is to be the very business of man’s life.

(H. Goodwin, M,A.)