The benefits of pursuing wisdom and integrity, of making the intense effort.
There is a right way to live as given by God. There is a good life worth pursuing. Making intense effort toward this life results in great blessing and divine empowerment. The greatest blessing being a close, intimate relationship with our beautiful and loving Creator.
There’s this paradoxical theme here in chapter two of making every effort/striving toward wisdom–the only true wisdom which begins with the fear of YHWH and results in the knowledge of God–and yet thanking God for it as the gift it is, something we could never attain on our own.
The comparison, though imperfect, I come back to that helps me start to comprehend this truth are my hiking trips out west. Lugging my 200 lb. butt up the side of a mountain for four straight hours while carrying a pack is not easy. It is work. It is great effort. But when I reach the peak, I am filled with nothing but awe and gratitude, as opposed to pride for what I’ve accomplished. The glory, the wonder, the majestic beautifiscence….the payoff. I simply rest in it. For hours. There is absolutely nothing in no way I could ever have done to create even one square inch of grandeur as inspiring as the this landscape and this particularly silencing view of it. I’m in no way conjuring up or making this mountain, I’m merely hiking and exploring what already is.
God already is.
And I should say that it’s not only at the top where it is fantastic. There are many stops along the way offering breath-taking vistas as well. Or unexpected wildlife. Yet you keep going because you know what lies ahead is of unspeakable awesomeness.
You can no doubt see the power of the metaphor here with our spiritual journey.
It is worth every effort to know the one true God, and the One He sent, Jesus Christ [John 17:3].
It’s interesting that YHWH did not just protect Jesus, Mary, and Joseph where they were, but rather instructed them to get up and move. He often wants us to get up and move and not just sit around asking for blessing and protection. In His omnipotence He could have protected them right where they were in countless ways. Yet He chose to tell them, thru the angel, to get up. I believe this is significant.
Also, we do hear God clearly when we are still and listening. But then we must act on what He says, for it is always for our good.