Everywhere across the world, whenever rich veins of gold are discovered in the earth, men are motivated to leave everything behind, and search diligently in hopes of striking it rich. In the second chapter of Proverbs, Solomon likens true wisdom to just such a rich vein of treasure hidden in a hillside, and admonishes all seekers of true wealth to give themselves up to pursuing this treasure. The pursuit is demanding, the wealth will be despised by the world and counterfeited by the Enemy, and the labor will be a life-long and toilsome affair; but when one has once glimpsed the nature of this gospel-gold, he will rejoice to sell everything he has, and be rich in its currency alone. This is because the wisdom of which Solomon speaks is only the deep and personal knowledge of God, which is to be found in Jesus Christ alone. Let us set out then! The fields are rich, and the Father will crown our efforts with good success. But if you would go, you must know that you will have to leave everything else behind...
AT THE beginning of the second chapter of the book of Proverbs, King Solomon, instructed by the Holy Spirit, admonishes those who would be his spiritual children how they might find wisdom, what value it should hold forth to them, to what advantages they may put it, and the means by which they should seek it, under the figure of hidden treasure, or a vein of silver buried in a hillside. It is at once manifest, by this colorful mode of expression, that Solomon intends to paint wisdom as that which one might spend all his time and strength in pursuing, to good effect. For just as hidden gold, being so much valued by men that they are willing to exchange for it all necessary goods, services, amusements, etc., well rewards all efforts spent in procuring it, so wisdom, when one once has it, is profitable to any spiritual end, providing strength and joy, blessing and prosperity, and the manner and means of ordering one’s life suitably for his eternal good. For this reason, it is not at all amiss for a man to spend his days searching for hidden gold, if he has a reasonable suspicion that he might find it in such a place as he is digging, for he looks ahead to the value which it shall afford him, which should more than make up for his labors expended in procuring it. But if it be so advantageous to seek gross earthly profit assiduously, of how much more industry ought we to avail ourselves in seeking that which offers us the most divine and inextinguishable pleasures of heaven, seeing that we have clearly been directed to the place where we might find it indeed?
Let us then lay to heart the king’s exhortation, and apply ourselves to pursue this wisdom of which he speaks. But we must first assure ourselves that, if we would be successful in our pursuit, we must be singleminded and not inclined to grow weary at the first breath of disappointment. The wisdom of which Solomon speaks is never the property of the sluggard or haphazard seeker. Such as these may easily find that which they think to be wisdom, and they may fool half the world with their glittery baubles, but when they put them to the fire for refinement, they will be at once consumed, and all the profit they had hoped to derive thereby will be utterly vanished away. The true gold is not so easily found as that, and it requires, in exchange for the possession of it, one’s entire life: his ambitions, thoughts, desires, energies, and even his own soul. No man, having put his hand to the miner’s pick, and having then turned aside to the shade-tree for the passing delights of a mid-day feast and careless carousing, will be counted worthy of the treasure. He must cry out for it with all his might, search for it with all his skill, bear the heat of the day when others are enjoying their leisure, and even as Jacob struggled with the Angel, wrestle with God in fervent prayers, not letting him go until the desired blessing is given.