God wants us to have a "heart" religion - and not just one that affects our heads on certain days. Here we have Solomon speaking to us about having wisdom enter our hearts and knowledge becoming pleasant to our mind, will, and emotions. This is the kind of work that the Lord wants to do in us. Let's take a closer look at what it means to have this happen - and the reason it is not such an easy task.
First of all - as with all things in a Biblical worldview, sin has made things diffiicult because it has ruined us. We learn from the prophets that we currently have a heart of stone. One of the promises of the new covenant is that God will remove from us this heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh. The sign of this is that God will have written His commandments on our hearts - and we will want to obey Him. Part of this process also comes when we seek the Lord and desire to know Him and the wisdom that comes from having His Word before our eyes. In Proverbs 2 we see the pursuit of God's Word - and the passion that Solomon had for it. This is a work of grace because we read in 1 Peter 1 that we are to long for the Word like a newborn babe longs for its mother's milk. When that work of grace happens - the Word of God will dwell within us richly - and in time - it will enter our hearts. This work of God's grace will encsure that wisdom too will enter our hearts.
To have wisdom from the Word in our hearts is vital. Jesus said that it is out of the abundance of what is in the heart that the mouth speaks. That is why it is so important to have wisdom enter our hearts. The heart is also the wellspring of our being. Whatever reigns in our hearts will reign in our lives. That is why we don't just want a small helping of the Word of God - but we want it to dwell richly within us. We want an abundance of the Word in us - and we want it to powerfully speak to us as we seek the Lord and desire to hear from Him through His Word.
The second precious work we read of here is having knowledge from God become pleasant to our soul. The word here for knowing is the Hebrew word "daath" and it means a knowing by experience, encounter, and relationship. This is not just having a mental knowing in our heads - it is truly knowing God in an intimate relationship with Him. We have encountered God Himself - we've experienced Him - and as a result of our former and continued encounters with Him - we know wisdom.
What is even more precious to me about this verse is that we learn that this intimate knowing of God Himself will become pleasant to our souls. The word used here is "naem" and it means something sweet, beautiful, pleasing, comfortable, and delightful. Remember that when we read of a work in our souls - we are talking about a work in our mind, will, and emotions.
When wisdom enters our hearts - knowing God will be pleasant to our minds. Before this work of grace we were opposed to God - and the thought of someone having ultimate authority in our lives yielded rebellion and resentment. Our minds were disturbed by the thought of someone who knows our every thought and deed. It was anything but comforting to know that we would stand in the judgment and give an account for every word, thought, motive, and deed. Our response to such things was anything but pleasant.
When wisdom enters our hearts - knowing God will be pleasant to our will. Here is an interesting study in the Scriptures. Before a work of God's grace happens in our hearts, obedience to God is anything but pleasant and delightful to us. We are born rebels and our status as such is confirmed again and again by our response to God's Law. God's Law reveals to us that we are sinners - that we do not find submission to God pleasant. We rebel against it and do not do the things that His Word says to do. If any one passage of Scripture bears this out it is Romans chapter 7. There Paul reminds us that the things we want to do, we don't do - but the very prohibitions of the Law are what we choose to do. Paul's cry at the end of that chapter is that he is a wretched man who desperately needs deliverance from sin. But when God does that work through Jesus Christ our Lord, we find that a transformation has taken place - and that transformation continues as we walk with God, indeed finding an intimate walk with God pleasant to our will.
When wisdom enters our hearts - knowing God will be pleasant to our emotions. Our emotions can be a source of amazing blessing as well as a source of untold problems. Some wind up with their emotions far more in control of their lives than they are in control of their emotions. We find ourselves on an emotional high during which we would do anything for the Lord. But then we find ourselves in the same week with an emotional state, that if we let it control us, will render us almost incapable of doing anything. Here is where wisdom is so important to our souls. When that work of God's grace begins to change us, we learn to tell our emotions that they will not control us. We enjoy our emotions, but learn not to have them dominate our moods - and our attitude. That is reserved for God's Word which consistently directs us as the Holy Spirit uses our mind to understand it - our will to choose it - and His power to carry it out. When that work of God's grace happens, we find knowing God in our emotions a delightful thing. Before you think that emotions are a bad thing - I want to remind you that David spoke of how his emotions were moved by God Himself - and how he knew the heights of joy as well as the depths of despair - all as he knew the living God in relationship to Him.
Walking with God is more than just knowing a bunch of principles and ideas. That kind of thing smells of religion. God wants a vital relationship with us. It takes the entrance of wisdom into our hearts for us to move into that precious relationship. As we seek the Lord, may He give us grace to know such a marvelous intimacy with Him.