Proverbs 2:1-6 (NLT)
“My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the LORD grants wisdom! From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
I think society tends to confuse knowledge with education. However, a person can have extensive education and college degrees and not necessarily be very knowledgeable. Perhaps they were a poor student and just did the minimum to get by or maybe they have not kept current in their field over the years. If I memorize chemical reactions, mathematical equations, and even scripture, then I have developed some knowledge on the subject, albeit somewhat superficial.
Education is fine and knowledge is great. However, a person that has understanding of a subject has mastered the topic and is on the path to wisdom. To understand something goes far beyond education and knowledge. A person with understanding can use their education and knowledge to figure out (understand) any new situation or problem
Proverbs 2:1-6 gives us insight into knowledge. “My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the LORD grants wisdom! From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
It is important at this point to acknowledge that everything we have is from God, and this includes our education, wisdom, and understanding. God wants us to “tune your ears to wisdom” which means listen to those who know more than you do. “Concentrate on understanding” is an invitation to use your God-given brain to move beyond memorization or superficial knowledge and strive to understand. God is giving us advice on how to better understand Him. Once we better understand God we can use this knowledge to live a Godly life and bring others to Him. Knowledge of God is essential for discipleship. How can you follow God if you have no understanding of Him?
The scripture above tells us that God’s mouth provides knowledge and understanding. God’s Word is available to us at all times in the Bible. The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
You may be familiar with the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18. It encourages us to “take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Knowledge of God’s word is essential for us to be “perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:17)
Knowledge of the Bible will provide you the wisdom to make proper decisions. We tend to make poor decisions when we are hungry or tired. We are told in Matthew 4:2 that Jesus had fasted 40 days after His baptism and was hungry. It was in this condition that the Spirit delivered Him to Satan. The first words that Jesus spoke to the enemy was “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus is showing great wisdom in the face of great temptation because He has a complete understanding of scripture.
Knowledge is a great thing. We should always be learning new things. Always remember and never forget that all knowledge comes from God and if you have knowledge and understanding of the Bible you will be prepared for all of life’s challenges and ready for good works. I encourage you to use your knowledge to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for the gift of knowledge. May we always acknowledge you as the source of truth and wisdom comes to those that seek you. Keep us hungry for your Word and help us to tune our ears toward wisdom. Amen.
Todd Shupe is a native of Carrollton, IL, a small rural town in west central Illinois. He earned his BS and MS in Wood Science from the University of Illinois and a PhD in Wood Science from Louisiana State University. He has a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma and is a Green Associate in LEED. He worked as a Professor and ISO 17025 Lab Director for 20 years and now works as a wood science consultant at www.drtoddshupe.com to continue to help companies bring new building products and wood preservatives to market, conduct in house training, improve product quality and production, and serve as an expert witness. Todd is currently in training to be a Men’s Ministry Specialist under the direction of the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is concurrently in training to become a Lay Minister under the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, fishing, and writing inspirational Christian blogs at toddshupe.com and todd-shupe.com.