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.”  Proverbs 2:1-6 (NLT)

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?  

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is the President of DrToddShupe.com and is a well recognized expert on wood-based housing and wood science.  Shupe worked as a  professor and lab director at LSU for over 20 years. He is active in several ministries including his Christian blog ToddShupe.com. Todd is the Secretary of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men, Database Coordinator for Gulf South Men, and volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, Iron Sharpens Iron, Open Air Ministries, HOPE Ministries food pantry. Todd is currently preparing to be a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men.