At first glance, verse 23 of this chapter seems odd and I actually have given it little thought in the past:
Buy truth, and do not sell it;
buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding
The meaning of this may be obvious to some, but it was not so to me. Acquiring wisdom, instruction, understanding, and especially truth – even at great cost – is certainly advisable, desirable, and to be cherished. We search diligently for the truth because that is the way of the Lord. But what is meant by “do not sell it?” I think it means that we should not let go of truth. We should not turn away from it, compromise it, and we certainly should not not allow it to be taken from us or perverted – not at any price.
The price of truth may seem high at times. It sometimes costs people in terms of relationships – not everyone likes the truth, so they will not acknowledge it. The truth is light, and those who dwell in darkness hate the light (John 3:20). It will certainly at times cost us in terms of earthly pleasures. It has cost people their jobs, their freedom – even in our time. It cost Stephen and many other Christians their lives (Acts 7:51-60, Romans 8:36). The truth is not always popular with others, but we as His priests (1 Peter 2:9), are commanded to always speak it to others. The key is to do as as Ephesians 4:15 says: “speaking the truth in love.”
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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