Buy the Truth

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, May 10, 2019 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

"Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding." ~Proverbs 23:23

As I’ve read through the Proverbs in my personal studies recently, I’ve noticed how well it treats truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding. There are two primary descriptions Proverbs uses for these four things: a person deserving to be cherished, and the most precious possession one could acquire. These four terms can nearly be used interchangeably, but allow me to distinguish them.

Truth is the simple facts. It is what it is and no matter what anyone says, it always is. It doesn’t change and it doesn’t care about opinions or education or emotions. Wisdom is application and knowing when and how to use the truth or how to address those who despise it. Instruction is the passing of knowledge and wisdom to the next generation. Understanding is knowing more than just the facts but what is all involved with them, what is required for them to be true, and the implications of them.

Proverbs 23:23 tells us to buy the truth. How can something so precious be bought? It is not talking about a mere monetary value, because truth’s value cannot be measured. Instead it is talking about setting everything you have aside and getting this precious jewel. Jesus taught a parable about this idea. A man working in someone else’s field finds an invaluable jewel in the field. He buries it, sells everything he has, and then buys that field, knowing it has the treasure that is more valuable than anything he owned prior combined.

Truth is to be bought, but it is not to be sold. Isn’t that a contradiction? Doesn’t buying something mean the other person is selling it? Again, that only applies if you are talking monetarily, which this verse is not. Peter faced the idea of selling Truth. In Acts 8, God was moving extensively throughout Jerusalem in establishing the church, and a man named Simon Bar-Jesus (not the same Jesus as our Messiah), wanted to buy the Holy Spirit. He didn’t really want the Holy Spirit but the power and reputation that was coming with it. He wanted in on the fun. Peter got into his face and cursed him, “Your money perish with you.” Simon immediately repented, but the point stands. He sought to buy the power, but not the Truth.

When we have the Truth, we don’t charge for giving it. We don’t ask for favors in return. It was offered freely to us and we should give it freely. While I could classify myself as a newbie on the speaking platform (I have several conferences under my belt, but I am not a regular speaker), I decided early on that I would never charge any church or group any honorarium for speaking at their event. I would need the group to only cover transportation costs if necessary, and if they wanted to give me a love offering, that is another issue. But I would never ask for money to speak, nor would I expect a love offering for my financial support in these endeavors. While I am to seek and buy whatever it takes to get truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding, I am never to sell it as though it was something I should ever part with for selfish gain.

What makes Truth so precious? As I mentioned above, it is often described as a person. Proverbs 1-9 describes wisdom as one which protects, preserves, guides, comforts, and stops evil and temptations. There is someone who fits that description: God. When we seek Truth and Wisdom, we are actually seeking God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” [emphasis mine]. He doesn’t merely have Truth. He is Truth. He is the standard.

It is worth noting here that this proverb does not talk about knowledge that should be pursued. It is not talking about “go get an education.” There are many “educated” people today who do not know a thing. We have many high school graduates who can’t even read because they were passed on through the grades and given “participation grades” instead of having to work. I have met some PhDs whom I wonder how they even passed the college entrance exams. Now, don’t read what I am not saying. I am not saying to never go to school. I am saying that school can only offer you knowledge which may be true or may be false. It does not offer truth nor wisdom nor true instruction, nor understanding. It offers what you need to do a job according to worldly standards and frequently it is only enough to do the job, not enough to think on your own, and especially not enough to question the system. Knowledge puffs up and makes one proud. Wisdom and truth, however, should make us humble, knowing that the only real knowledge is a gift from God, not a product of our own work. But like muscles, for us to be able to use wisdom and truth, they have to be used and practiced.

God offers His Truth freely to any and all who seek Him. If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask. But you need to ask the correct source. The only correct source is God. When we pursue Truth, we are pursing God. This is why partial science will lead us away from God into secular humanism and naturalism, but following true science will lead us to the One True God. The more one truly studies ALL of science holistically, without abandoning the basics, the more he will discover the One True God was there all along. The famous proverb of all the world’s scientists and experts climbing the mountain of knowledge is still true. When they reach the top, they will find a group of Biblical theologians who have been camped there for centuries. You will never find Truth without finding God with it; and if you despise God, you will never find Truth, because you will show to hate the Truth and lash out against anyone who speaks it.

The Truth of God is open and available to any who wants it. He does not offer it via a private revelation that only one person can access. He does not share all His “secrets” with every person, but with those He is most intimate with; however, every one of us has the opportunity to be that intimate with God. We are as close to God as we want to be. We have to make the effort to work with God and let Him do His recreative and sanctifying work in us. But everything God offers is available to those willing to put in the effort to go get it (again, it is a gift, not a wage-earning work). Buy the Truth. Pursue God with everything you have and you will get Him, and you will never be disappointed in Him.

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