One of the truly useful (thinking and application-wise) aspects to Proverbs is the way that Solomon refers to the more general aspects of the character and nature of his readers. For instance, in this verse he uses the word “heart” to refer to the subject area of man that he wishes to be a part of the discussion. He doesn’t go through every individual area that are considered a part of the “heart” (the mind, the will, the emotions, the priorities, etc.). It is, however, in this instance fairly clear what he is referring to. Since the passage is speaking about the matter of “righteous studies”, we can easily see that it is the thought and understand capacities of man’s nature that are in view.
What Solomon is putting forth is really about a three-fold truth regarding the righteous. The second part of the verse speaks to a similar, but basically contrasting premise. As to the first premise, it is evident that an “answer” is the goal being held up. Solomon is seeking to give directions toward this goal and they are:
1. First, there are answers available, but the spiritual character, righteousness, of the one seeking them is a key to its’ ultimate achievement.
2. Such answers are not attainable with the simple reading of a principle or two. It takes diligent study with a mind to the apprehension of such answers.
3. Also, study is not a goal unto itself, it is the gaining of the answers themselves that must be our aim.
4. It takes effort, diligently applied and rightly directly that is useful.
5. We might also note that the effort spoken of must be applied in proper fashion. Again we note that thee must study and that study must be of the proper subjects.
6. We should also say that the “answer” in view here will not just be apparent or obvious, it will only come into view if we are willing to study and seek it out.
7. One last item, Solomon is not talking about looking inward and deep thinking to take the “answers” from within ourselves. He is speaking of ordering and structuring his opinion via what he gets from his study.
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