The search for knowledge is an interesting thing to look at in the Scriptures - as well as in the world. The world wants knowledge - but it is a different kind of knowledge from a different source. The knowledge that he world desires is what is called worldly knowledge. It is a knowledge that ignores God's Word - and is in opposition to it. It is knowledge that denies God's existance as creator - denies the moral realities of the world - and encourages man to continue to live independently from God.
The knowledge that is encouraged here in Proverbs is that which is gained by not only knowing God and His Word, but also being able to take what you know and use it to guide you in making decisions and in pleasing God in every situation that you face in life. We see here that the mind of the prudent acquires knowledge. Mind here refers to our thinking and reasoning - but it affects the heart and the core values that guide our decision making. The wise man mentioned here is the one whose mind and heart is prudent. What is meant by this is that he is constantly seeking the ability to look at two things and see the difference between them. He is a discerning man who does not take everything at face value. He looks into things so that he may acquire knowledge before he makes decisions - or even decides how to view something in life. If there is any way that this man can get knowledge in this way - he is trying to acquire it. This word, acquire speaks of purchasing something in order to possess it. This man wants knowledge - and he will pay whatever cost there is to get it. When you read ths do not think of money - but think of time, study, and diligence in seeking and knowing the Word of God. It is often costly in time and effort to get the kind of knowledge that yields discernment as well. You just cannot open and book and get it. It comes by knowing the Word in a way that helps us to see things as God sees them.
The wise man also tunes his ears to seek knowledge. Note here that we move from our minds to our ears. What is different about this word is that it is saying something far more than just listening with our physical hearing. The New Testament often uses the phrase, "hear what the Spirit is saying." That means being able to hear with far more than just our physical ears. It speaks of the ability to hear God. The word seek emphasizes it even more. This is the Hebrew Word that speaks of seeking God's presence. Daniel 9:3 speaks of this kind of seeking when we read of Daniel doing the following. "So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes." When we "seek" for knowledge we are giving our attention to it. We are praying and crying out to God to give us His knowledge and His heart for things. At times this involves even fasting and special concern for gaining the knowledge that God has for us.
Knowledge is important for the man wanting to be wise. It will involve reading and study like all other forms of knowledge, but it will require more. It will require that we have a heart for God - and desire a spiritual knowledge that God gives us from His Word. But the reward for such a search is that we wil be able to walk through life being able to discern what to do and how to do it in a number of situations. We will have a discernment that will allow us to see beyond surface issues and get to the very heart of a decision or a response to others. the place you se this the best is in the life of Jesus. His knowledge of the Word and of His Father's heart gave Him the ability to cut through any kind of lie or misinformation. He truly could answer not just the question of a man - but the heart and motive behind it. That is the wonderful discernment that comes with the knowledge God gives us as we seek it and Him diligently.