People With Knowledge, Understanding, And Wisdom
Season-01 Session-01 – JOYFUL INSIGHTS
On the surface, it reads like the authors of the Bible use the terms of “wisdom,” “knowledge,” and a 3rd term, “understanding” almost interchangeably, A more in-depth exam suggests a distinction within the way the 3 terms are used. This distinction is very crucial for our comprehension of this third term to differentiate the other terms of “wisdom and knowledge.”
People with knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, also known as gifts within the Bible are defined as:
Knowledge – the facts (Proverbs 9:10, Proverbs 18:15, Colossians 2:8, 1 Timothy 2:4).
- Understanding – the skill or gift to translate the facts (Psalm 119:130, Proverbs 3:5-7, 18:2, Philippians 1:9-10).
- Wisdom – knowing what to do next, by an understanding of the facts and circumstances (Ecclesiastes 8:1, James 3:17).
People with knowledge are capable of gathering facts and remembering information. However, it is possible to have the knowledge and be absent of understanding and wisdom. A person may have the facts but lacks what it means or what to do next.
Those with understanding are able to extract the meaning(s) out of the facts. They “see-through” the facts dynamically of what, how, and why. Understanding is like a lens that brings the information or facts into focus and produces principles.
Those with wisdom recognize which principle to use in a given context. Understanding without wisdom can appear contradictory (Proverbs 26:4-5). As in, the statement, “He who hesitates is lost,” is correct, however so is the concept that “haste makes waste.” Which principle to apply depends on the context. People with wisdom understand what applies to take the next step. They do the right thing within the given scenario. In comparison, there are many who have knowledge and understanding, however, continually do the wrong thing or apply the wrong principle.
As Charles Spurgeon puts it.
Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.
We know that the Bible teaches, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9:10). Fear looks like a bizarre home to wise residents with a relationship with God. How can the fear of God be critical to a life of faith, which is meant to attract us to God in love?
The answer to this paradox is that the “fear of the Lord” is used in two distinct approaches inside the Biblical story. In truth, Exodus 20:20 makes use of them each within the same sentence:
Moses statement to God’s people, ‘Don’t be afraid. God has come to test you, in order that the fear of God can be with you to sustain you, from sinning.’
Moses’s contrast between being afraid and properly fearing God. The first usage, fear isn’t coupled with love and trust. It would lead to terror and despair. That’s the manner in which we would normally use the word fear.
The right “fear of the Lord” is coupled with love and trust. It’s a simple combination of holy respect and glowing love. Systematic theology professor Robert Strimple reveals that the “fear of the Lord” is the “convergence of awe, reverence, adoration, honor, worship, confidence, thankfulness, love, and including, fear” within the presence of the everlasting God—the author and creator of the universe, the Holy Lawgiver, the Righteous Judge, and the Merciful Savior.
So for individuals who are in Christ, the “fear of the Lord” doesn’t involve abject terror or dread of divine justice, but it’s the beginning of a path lead by Jesus that results in wisdom. This life-long path starts with Jesus leading directly to wisdom, which only comes from God.
The knowledge of God in General and Specific Revelation
The “knowledge of God” comes to us in various general and specific revelations. The general revelation, we learn the Word of God and about God and His truths from the world around us. Despite the fact that the general revelation of God’s wisdom and truth doesn’t absolve men with an excuse. As the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1:20, it is not enough to relay the knowledge of the gospel. It’s also not enough to offer the knowledge of God’s will for our lives which is vital for our salvation. It’s only through a special relationship with Christ that we will start to see and comprehend the bigger picture of purpose and the world in which we reside.
it’s the specific revelation of Scripture, that offers a much clearer picture to an introduction of the world in which we live. The revelation of Scripture serves as the filter or prescribed glasses through which the entire world should be seen and interpreted.