~ Wisdom Versus Knowledge ~
Part 2 of 4
Click here for Part 1
An old story tells about how an aristocrat hired a humble fisherman to transport him across a large lake. The pompous aristocrat asked the paddling boatman if he ever studied philosophy. "No" was the quiet reply. "Do you know geometry?" "No." "Have you ever read Plato?" "No." "You cannot be very wise and missed much of life." After a little time, the bottom of the small, old boat was rapidly filling with water. The boatman asked the aristocrat, "Have you learned how to swim?" "No, that would be a waste of my time," he replied with disdain. "Well, sir," the boatman remarked as he stood up and surveyed the boat. "You are not wise at all and may miss out on all of life. This boat is sinking."
Let me suggest wisdom and knowledge are not even related. The Book of Proverbs personifies wisdom, for good reason as we shall see: "From the beginning, I [Wisdom] was with the Lord God. I was there before He began to create the earth. At the very first, the Lord gave life to me. When I was born, there were no oceans or springs of water…I was right beside the Lord, helping Him plan and build. I made Him happy each day, and I was happy at His side. I was pleased with His world and pleased with its people…Pay attention, my children! Follow my advice, and you will be happy. Listen carefully to my instructions, and you will be wise. Come to my home each day and listen to me. You will find happiness. By finding me, you find life, and the Lord will be pleased with you. But if you don't find me, you hurt only yourself, and if you hate me, you are in love with death." (Proverbs 8:22-36.)
This is not a dictionary definition of wisdom! Throughout Proverbs, Wisdom is a person and is usually a capitalized word. 1 Corinthians 1:24 declares, "Christ is the Power of God and the Wisdom of God." This certainly fits with how Wisdom speaks in Proverbs. Colossians 2:2-3 states, "…that they may become more intimately acquainted with and may know more thoroughly that mystic secret of God, which is the Christ, the Anointed One. In Him all the treasures of wisdom, knowledge and enlightenment are stored and hidden." (Greek Amplified Version.) Wisdom, in the Biblical sense, is Christ Himself. A person of wisdom is a person of Christ.
With that perspective, celebrate with me the invitation in Proverbs 8 and 9:
With great understanding, Wisdom is calling out
as she stands at the crossroads and on every hill.
She stands by the city gate, where everyone enters the city, and shouts:
"I am calling out to each one of you! Good sense and sound judgment can be yours.
Listen, because what I say is worthwhile and right.
I always speak the truth and refuse to tell a lie.
Every word I speak is honest, not one is misleading or deceptive.
If you have understanding, you will see that my words are just what you need.
Let instruction and knowledge mean more to you than silver or the finest gold.
Wisdom is worth much more than precious jewels or anything else you desire."
Wisdom has built her house with its seven columns.
She has prepared the meat and set out the wine. Her feast is ready.
She has sent her servant women to announce her invitation from the highest hills;
"Everyone who is ignorant or foolish is invited!
All of you are welcome to my meat and wine.
If you want to live, give up your foolishness
and let understanding guide your steps."
Respect and obey the Lord! This is the beginning of wisdom.
To have understanding, you must know the Holy God.
I am Wisdom.
If you follow me, you will live a long time.
Please join me at Wisdom's feast! I'll meet you at the feet of the Christ!
Click here for Part 3
John S. Hilkevich, Ph.D.
Spiritual Resource Services
Weekly Reflections © April 6, 2000
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