Wisdom vs. Knowledge


The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
(Proverbs 1:7 NASB)



As Solomon's proverbs unfold we are given some opening instructions. These proverbs are only useful if they are utilized within a particular framework. This includes knowing that there is a difference between pure knowledge and wisdom. To gain knowledge, one must begin by fearing the Lord.



There is a balance which must exist between wisdom and knowledge. Pure knowledge in and of itself is useless if it is not offset by wisdom, and all of this must begin by having a healthy fear of the Lord. If we don't fear the Lord, then we begin to believe that we we can become wise by simply gaining knowledge. However, knowledge in and of itself becomes useless and leads to arrogance.
On the other hand, we are encouraged to seek as much instruction as possible. When we humble ourselves before those who can teach us, then we can be shaped and molded into what God desires for us. God has all knowledge and we are invited into a very personal relationship with him. If we open ourselves up to instruction, then we can learn from him -- and we can explore mysteries together with him. If we think through history and those who have made a great impact by their vast wisdom and knowledge, they have also had an incredible awe of God. For it seems that the more that we learn, the more that we discover about God's complex creative ability and we are left with a healthy fear of him.

As God's followers we ought not to be afraid to continue to learn and to seek greater knowledge. Sometimes only the first portion of this proverb is utilized and we are encouraged to have wisdom which comes from fearing the Lord. There seem to be those who believe that if we simply fear God then the rest of the knowledge that we need will fall into place. However, Solomon encourages us to seek instruction. The world is in desperate need of Christians who are willing to study, learning all that they can and then combine this with wisdom which comes from God. If Christians refuse to engage in education, then the world will simply be left with pure knowledge. We should not fear the academy, but engage the academy and ask God to help us find a healthy balance between wisdom and knowledge.



Lord, please help me to be open to instruction in my life. Amen.


  1. You are setting an excellent example for all of us!


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