Where Knowledge Begins

Psalms 119:66
66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.

The New Testament gives us two overarching commands found in Matthew, chapter 22.

Matthew 22:37-39
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Knowing these commands and applying the principles which Jesus taught provides the framework for keeping all of life in perspective. Knowledge is not our enemy; it is a benefit to us. Learning is a discipline we should never abandon.

There is always something new to learn.

But Solomon offered us a useful baseline for the pursuit of knowledge and this corresponds to the command Jesus would later give.

Proverbs 1:7
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

So Solomon does not reject the benefits of knowledge, he simply provides the starting point for our quest for knowledge, which is, know God first.

If we are firm in our knowledge of God and His principles, we can face all of life’s unexpectedness without being distressed and overwhelmed. He offers us an anchor which tethers us. That anchor is truth. Without truth knowledge cannot be properly aligned and will likely lead us into erroneous conclusions about life; the chief being that with enough knowledge we can solve all the world’s problems.

Truth tells us that man is sinful and selfish and, therefore, will manipulate knowledge for sinful and selfish purposes. Ignoring truth leads to the conviction that all our motives are pure and that our application of knowledge will always bring about good.

Paul cautioned Timothy about such an error pointing out that the motives of man are suspect and the pursuit of knowledge doesn’t necessarily lead us to the truth.

2 Timothy 3:7
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

This is where the instruction of both David and Solomon provides perspective.

David ask that God teach him.

Solomon reminded us that we will never learn truth without reverence for God.

Our challenge is to keep learning while maintaining our reverence for God and allowing His Holy Spirit to help us recognize that which is wise and foolish.

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