Hidden and Freely Available (Proverbs 25)
On the one hand, we are blessed with about 800 proverbs written by Solomon and ultimately flowing from the wise heart of God. Surely, we can infer that God is gracious and generous with wisdom. On the other hand, we read that, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter” (Proverbs 25:2). Would we be right to perceive God as concealing wisdom? Is it possible that the God who so generously offers wisdom might, to some degree, hide it from us?
I am reminded of how, after Jesus spoke to the crowds one day, the disciples asked Him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” (Matthew 13:10). Jesus’ answer is startling: “I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand” (13:13). In this conversation, He establishes a principle that folks who “have” understanding will increase in it, but those who lack understanding will utterly lose it (13:12). Yet, to the believing disciples, He says, “blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear” (13:16). As Jesus explains, we begin to see the intention of God’s heart, namely, to capture truth in a packaging that is not outwardly obvious. When it comes in a parable, the truth will be missed and dismissed by the careless and calloused heart. But the hungry, sincere listener will not be satisfied; they will inquire. They will seek, and Jesus promises that they will find.
Is this not how we always find God working? After all, our thoughts are not His. Any zealous Christian may wish that God would inscribe the words of John 3:16 across the sunset. What an evangelistic miracle that would be! But day after day, we see only beauty and colors, arranged as God chooses. Yet, even without divine handwriting, the truth remains that, “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1). Wisdom may be concealed, but it is freely available to anyone with ears to hear and eyes to see.
In the case of Solomon’s Proverbs, they are accessible, available to anyone, at least in this part of the world. Yet, they are still concealed in many ways. We do not find them plastered on street signs or mysteriously tattooed on the palms of our hands for life’s difficult moments. They are written down inside a book, which is only found within a larger book. This book is not outwardly attractive or trendy but is old and full of truth. One usually only searches the contents of this book due to faith or spiritual hunger. Yet, even when you and I do search the Bible with an eager heart, we come across things we cannot grasp. The careless or calloused heart may move on, saying, “That must not be important.” But the hungry believer prays, saying, “Holy Spirit, this is beyond my understanding. Will you reveal the meaning?” He will unlock our understanding as only He can. He will surprise us. And then He will confirm it with the insights of other saints.
In this process, we begin to “search out” the things God has concealed. This was once the responsibility of kings and prophets: to seek God for the people. Now it is a privilege every believer has, being part of a royal priesthood and a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9). Our royal calling involves one glorious pursuit, a singular passion to search out the deep things of God. As the Apostle Paul put it, “to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth” of Christ’s love, even though it “surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:18-19). Don’t be content to let some other priest take up your royal calling! Begin digging to find those treasures of the kingdom.
The Rock Church