Posts Tagged fool

Knowledge, Wisdom & Understanding

Proverb 1: 7, 22

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. How long, O naïve ones, will you love simplicity? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing. And fools hate knowledge.

Proverb 9: 10 reads, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Interesting. So, knowledge and wisdom come from a relationship with the Lord. Further, knowing the “Holy One” brings understanding. We, therefore, have access to wisdom, knowledge and understanding through our relationship with the Holy Trinity. Would you think it fair to say that the closer we are in our relationship with the Father, Son and Spirit, the more easier it will be for us to tap into their knowledge and wisdom? Will it be easier for us to gain understanding? I think that is a reasonable conclusion.

Jesus’ brother, James wrote an encouraging passage in his letter. It reads, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1: 5). James points out that God is the source of wisdom. That is not difficult to believe. He also reveals us, though, that God gives us His wisdom and that He does so freely.

Today’s verse also points out that fools hate knowledge. Well, it is no surprise that anyone who hates knowledge is deemed a fool by God but what is perplexing is why anyone would hate knowledge. Why would anyone revel in scoffing rather than gaining knowledge, wisdom and understanding? The answer seems to be in the word “scoff”. Synonyms for scoffing are: jeering, sneering, ridiculing, and deriding. It seems that some folks would rather sneer at others rather than invest the time and energy in seeking God and His wisdom. Let’s be frank. It takes time and energy to get to know God. It takes effort to open your heart and mind to His guidance. It takes faith to believe what you hear. All of this is so worth the small amount of effort but fools scoff at the idea instead of trusting that God will really meet them in the solitude of quiet time.

The really good news is that God honestly does give out knowledge. He really does dole out wisdom and He really does bestow understanding. The bad news is that these priceless gifts rarely come from the prayer, “God give me wisdom.” As soon as you pray that prayer He will try to lead you into time with Him where He can reveal His fullness to you. The reverence of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. The respect, admiration and veneration of the beloved is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom, knowledge and understanding are the by-products of a life lived with God. As we open our hearts to Him and pour our lives into Him, we find all good things. Holding God in high esteem is the path. Time spent with Him yields all.

Ouch!

Proverb 1: 7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

I am listening to a CD series by Dr. Jim Richards. The first CD is entitled Wisdom: The Principle thing. In this teaching Dr. Richards leads us to Proverb 1: 7. Now, I already have that one highlighted in my Bible so as I turn there I feel pretty good. That is until he started teaching it. I will say I have never heard this verse so loud before. However, I did immediately think of how often I have encountered this problem in society as well as in my own heart. Therefore, when I teach on this problem of rejecting wisdom, know that I am preaching to myself.

The Living Bible says, “Only fools refuse to be taught.” Not one of us wishes to be a fool. We have not made it our life’s ambition. None the less, so many of us get our backs up when someone tries to teach us. Somewhere in the great scheme of things we have decided that we already have all knowledge. Of course this is foolishness itself. The resolution of our inherent knowledge isn’t cognitive though. If I were to ask a person if he had nothing left to learn, he would of course answer in the negative. So what is really going on here?

I believe the truth lies in a weak self-esteem. We know that there is much we do not know but our hearts do not allow us to admit it to others. Our sense of inferiority makes us puff up like an old rooster and strut around in a way to deflect the shame we feel. To submit to the teaching of another is an admission of lowliness. The truth of the matter is that those who are strongest are most likely to submit to the teaching of others. They know that each person has specific knowledge from which they can benefit.

The reality of this problem is nowhere more obvious than in the church. To many, submission to the teaching and leadership of another is almost synonymous with hedonism. This should not be. Again I have noted that the most spiritually mature people do not suffer from this foolish delusion. They are the first to ask to be taught. They pull on you to get you to reveal your insights even though you know in your heart they know much more and have experienced much more than you. They are students and they always will be. They are students of life and they look for God’s epiphanies everywhere. Ego is replaced with zeal. And, it seems they are always a delight to be around because of their hunger for enlightenment.  

I really believe it is important for us to accept that God has placed people in, not only the body of Christ, but in our lives also, for the purpose of bringing us light. They are light bearers, if you will. Our pastors may not know everything we know, but they may know something we don’t. Isn’t that enough? And I have to admit that if I cannot sit under the anointing and teaching of another, then I am not as spiritually mature as I may wish to pretend. Worst of all is that my refusal to be taught is a loud clanging cymbal announcing my foolishness. My need to be right is as loud a report as a cannon blast.

Oh God, save us from our own foolishness. Touch our hearts and heal our brokenness that you may speak life and light into our lives. Give us, dear Lord, the strength of submission and lead us into all truth and knowledge through the power of your blessed son and Holy Spirit. Let the fire of your Spirit burn hotly within us; the fire, Father, of unquenchable yearning for more of you and lead us to those who can teach us. Amen.