Think, Because The Lord Will Give You Understanding
Here’s John Piper is his new book, Expository Exultation: Christian Preaching as Worship (which, by the way, is a great title):
Some preachers swerve off the road to one side of this verse or the other. Some stress the first part: “Think over what I say.” They emphasise the indispensable role of reason and thinking, and then minimise the supernatural work of God in making the mind able to see and embrace the glory of truth. Others stress the second half of the verse: “The Lord will give you understanding in everything.” They emphasise the futility of reason. Then their preaching veers into emotional manipulation or mysticism.
But Paul will not be divided between studious meditation and supernatural illumination. For Paul it was not either-or, but both-and. “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.” Notice there the word “for.” It means that God’s design for the preacher—as he prepares and as he preaches—is that the divine gift of understanding be the basis of our effort to gain it by thinking.
Amen. Or, in Warfield’s marvellous words:
Sometimes we hear it said that ten minutes on your knees will give you a truer, deeper, more operative knowledge of God than ten hours over your books. “What!” is the appropriate response, “than ten hours over your books, on your knees?”