“Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding.” (Proverbs 23:23, NKJV)
For the past few days, we have examined some key words of wisdom from the Book of Proverbs. According to I Kings 4:32, Solomon wrote 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs. Although we have only touched on a few of his wise sayings, we have discovered some truths that when applied will help us successfully navigate life. We’ve also seen how these proverbs align with other Bible passages.
God’s Word is an instructional manual for life. That’s why it is so vital that we not just read the Word each day but take time to meditate and dig deeper into its truths. Each of us probably has our own unique style of studying, but I will mention a few things that help me as I delve into the Word. These are just simple ways to study, but they work for me. How you study may be just as effective.
I combine reading with prayer. As I read, I talk to the Lord about what I’m reading. An especially meaningful verse may turn into a personal prayer. I’m also not afraid to say, “Lord, I really don’t understand what this means. Help me here.”
I use a good study Bible. The notes help me understand the culture and background of the passage I’m reading. I might also check the maps in back to find the location of a city or region mentioned. My Bible also has an overview before each book. This helps me know the author of the book, the approximate time it was written, how it relates to other books of the Bible, and the key points of that book.
I use online resources as well as study tools I own. So much is available online. I can check various Bible translations, word meanings, commentaries, etc. in just a few minutes.
I don’t rush. I’m not in a speed-reading contest. I want to understand what God is saying to me. I once read the same chapter every day for several days in a row—and found new insights each time. I do keep a Bible reading chart to be sure I work my way through the entire Bible.
I jot down notes and questions for further study. Yes, using pen and paper is old-fashioned, but it works for me. I also use the Notes feature on my phone, especially for notes in church.
My advice—study in the way most meaningful and helpful to you. The most vital thing is to dig into the Word every day. Even if you only have ten or fifteen minutes at a time to study, then use the time you have. Consistency counts. Ask God to give you wisdom and understanding and then help you to apply His Word in your daily life.
Another translation of the opening verse says, “Invest in truth and never sell it—in wisdom and instruction and understanding” (Berean Standard Bible). Investing your time in studying truth will be the best investment you ever make. When we plant the truth of God’s Word deep in our hearts, we gain true riches.
Lord, speak to me through Your Word for there I will find truth, wisdom, instruction and understanding. Your Word will give me a strong foundation upon which I can build my life.