Wisdom ~ Knowledge of God

I feel wisdom is the key to peace of mind. It directs our actions. Wisdom provides clarity when decision making is unclear. Wisdom connects the Word of God to your situation and inclines you to move one way or another in peace. It may fly in the face of logic, but directs you down the pathway of your destiny.

Charles Stanley on the Knowledge of God;

Question: “What does the Bible say about knowledge?”

Answer: The word knowledge in the Bible denotes an understanding, a recognition, or an acknowledgment. To “know” something is to perceive it or to be aware of it. Many times in Scripture, knowledge carries the idea of a deeper appreciation of something or a relationship with someone. The Bible is clear that the knowledge of God is the most valuable knowledge a human being can possess. But it is also clear that simply being aware of God’s existence is not sufficient; the knowledge of God must encompass the deep appreciation for and relationship with Him.

We know from Scripture that knowledge is a gift from God. Proverbs 2:6 tells us that the Lord gives wisdom that comes from His own mouth—the Word of God—and that the wisdom of God results in knowledge and understanding. James adds that those who lack wisdom have only to ask for it and God will give it abundantly and generously. God’s desire is for all to know Him, appreciate Him, and have a relationship with Him; therefore, He grants to all who truly seek Him the wisdom that leads to knowledge. Further, because knowledge is God’s to give, those who reverence Him will receive it. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). The word fear here is not dread or terror but a reverence for God, respect for His law, His will, His rule in our lives, and the fear of offending Him, which will lead us to obey, worship and praise Him.

God gives the gift of knowledge out of His infinite store of knowledge. Psalm 19:2 tells us that God’s creation reveals the Creator’s knowledge: “Night after night [the skies] display knowledge.” The vastness of God’s knowledge and creative power are on display continually and are clearly seen in what He has created, as Paul reminds us in Romans 1:19-20. Not only is God’s knowledge infinite, but it is absolute: “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! / How unsearchable his judgments, / and his paths beyond tracing out!” (Romans 11:33). When God came to earth in the Person of Jesus Christ, He became the embodiment of knowledge: “. . . Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2-3).

Human knowledge, apart from God, is flawed. The Bible also refers to it as worthless because it isn’t tempered by love (1 Corinthians 13:2). The knowledge man possesses tends to make one proud. “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:1). Therefore, the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, without seeking God, is foolishness. “Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom . . . but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind. For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief” (Ecclesiastes 1:17-18). Worldly knowledge is a false knowledge which is opposed to the truth, and Paul urges us to “Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith” (1 Timothy 6:20-21). Human knowledge is opposed to God’s knowledge and therefore is no knowledge at all; rather, it is foolishness.

For the Christian, knowledge implies a relationship. For example, when the Bible says that “Adam knew Eve his wife” (Genesis 4:1, NKJV), it means he had a physical union with her. Spiritual relationships are also described this way. Jesus used the word know to refer to His saving relationship with those who follow Him: “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (John 10:14). He also told His disciples, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). By contrast, Jesus said to the unbelieving Jews, “You do not know [my Father]” (verse 55). Therefore, to know Christ is to have faith in Him, to follow Him, to have a relationship with Him, to love and be loved by Him. (See also John 14:7; 1 Corinthians 8:3; Galatians 4:9; and 2 Timothy 2:19.) Increasing in the knowledge of God is part of Christian maturity and is something all Christians are to experience as we “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

Recommended Resources: 30 Life Principles: A Study for Growing in the Knowledge and Understanding of God by Charles Stanley

John Piper, Desiring God:

What Is Wisdom?

Now what is it? What are the characteristics of the person who has it? The first characteristic you all know: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight” (Proverbs 9:10). The wisdom that leads to life and ultimate joy begins with knowing and fearing God. You may recall from two weeks ago in the message, “A Woman Who Fears the Lord Is to Be Praised,” that fearing the Lord means fearing to run away from him. It means fearing to seek refuge, and joy, and hope anywhere other than in God. It means keeping before our eyes what a fearful prospect it is to stop trusting and depending on God to meet our needs. The fear of the Lord is, therefore, the beginning of wisdom not only in the sense that it is the first step in a wise way to live, but also in the sense that all the later characteristics of wisdom flow from the fear of the Lord like a river flows from a spring.

Let’s look at some examples. Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but with the humble is wisdom.” The wise person is characterized by humility. The person who is proud does not fear the Lord, who hates a haughty spirit, and therefore can’t get to first base in wisdom. But the person who fears the Lord is humble, because he depends on God for everything and fears to take credit himself for what God does. Humility, in turn, is foundational for the other aspects of godly wisdom because humility is teachable and open to change and growth. The proud person does not like to admit his errors and his need for growth. But the humble person is open to counsel and reason, and ready to be corrected and follow truth.

Humility, unlike pride, does not recoil when commanded to do something. And this is essential for the advancement of wisdom, because Moses taught us that wisdom consists in knowing and doing the commandments of God. Deuteronomy 4:5–6, “Behold I have taught you statutes and ordinances, as the Lord my God commanded me that you should do them . . . Keep them and do them; for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples.” And Jesus said the same thing about his own words, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon a rock” (Matthew 7:24). A good definition of godly wisdom, therefore, would be: hearing and doing God’s Word. God’s Word is a divine prescription for how to be finally cured of all unhappiness. Wisdom is the practical knowledge of how to attain that happiness. Therefore, wisdom is hearing and doing the Word of God. But the only people who will do this are the people who are humbly relying on God for help and who fear to seek happiness anywhere but in him. Therefore, the fear of the Lord is the beginning and spring of all true wisdom.

But something more has to be said about the nature of this wisdom. It is not enough to say it is a humble hearing and doing of God’s Word, because God’s Word does not address itself specifically to every human dilemma. A famous example from Solomon’s life will illustrate (1 Kings 3:16–28). One day two prostitutes came to King Solomon. One of them said, “My lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and we each gave birth to a son last week. And one night while she was asleep, she rolled over on her son and smothered it. So she got up at midnight and took my living son from me while I slept and left me with her dead son. When I woke in the morning and looked closely, I could tell it was not my son.” But the other woman said, “No, the living child is mine, and the dead child is yours.” And so they argued before the king.

Then the king said, “You both say the living child is yours. I will settle the matter; bring me a sword.” So a sword was brought and the king said, “Divide the living child in two and give half to the one woman and half to the other.” But the woman whose son was alive yearned for her son and said, “No, my lord, give her the child and by no means slay it.” And the other said: “It shall be neither mine nor yours, divide it.” Then the king said, “Give the living child to the first woman. She is its mother.” The story concludes with this observation: “And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him, to render justice” (1 Kings 3:28).

There was no biblical command to tell Solomon what to do when two harlots claim the same baby. Therefore, wisdom must go beyond knowing and doing the Word of God. Wisdom must include a sensitive, mature judgment or discernment of how the fear of the Lord should work itself out in all the circumstances not specifically dealt with in the Bible. There has to be what Paul calls in Romans 12:2 a “renewing of the mind” which is then able to examine and approve the will of God. He calls this a “spiritual wisdom” in Colossians 1:9, “We have not ceased to pray for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” Of course the wisdom which follows God’s Word and the wisdom which discerns the way to act when there is no clear word from God are not separate. It is precisely by saturating our minds and hearts with God’s Word that we gain the spiritual wisdom to guide us in all situations.

So in summary, when the Bible says, “Get wisdom,” it is referring to that practical knowledge of how to attain true and lasting happiness. It begins with the fear of the Lord and consists in humbly hearing and doing God’s will perceived both in Scripture and in the unique circumstances of the moment. Such wisdom is essential because the person who has it finds life and joy, but the person who doesn’t finds death and misery. Therefore, “Get wisdom! Get wisdom!”

Image – YouVersion. Bible.com

Resources – Charles Stanley; John Piper, Desiring God.com

Published by

Lisa Blair

My name is Lisa Blair. I'm a parent, wife and grandmother, a Christian educator, blogger, and public speaker. I am the owner of Youngchristianwarriors.com and Lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com, dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com. My sites are designed to inspire people to live by the Word of God.

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