We live in a world of information. You can find knowledge for anything. With access to the web we can find information and instructions on any given subject within seconds. But where do we get wisdom? How long does it take to get wisdom? Maybe a better question: just what is wisdom? Proverbs is a wisdom packed book to help us navigate living life in a Godly manner. If we allow it, we will find it sharpening our minds. Why does God want us “to know wisdom and instruction?” In order for us to know salvation, we need to be on the same page with His eternal perspectives.
“To know wisdom and instruction,” We use these three words commonly in our everyday language. Let’s look at the first one. What does it mean to know something, especially in regards to what God has to say to us? “I know how to drive.” “I know Jesus.” “I know Spanish.” The word ‘know’ is actually a strong word. It means to grasp in the mind with clarity and certainty; or to understand something as true beyond a shadow of doubt. Conversely, to not do so with the Word of God is to ignore what God says to us. To ignore or to even be unfamiliar with what God says is to be ignorant of His truth about Himself and His perspective of us. In other words, we will be very much in the dark on what is reality and ethically [morally] correct from God’s point of view.
“To know wisdom and instruction,” Wisdom is not just intellectual learning. It is the combined outcome of knowledge regarding what God has spoken to us about living in relationship with Him and my neighbors. Wisdom is learning to apply that knowledge. Wisdom is experiential knowledge. I love how Adam Clark defines wisdom; as “that Divine science by which we are enabled to discover the best end, and pursue it by the most proper means.” In other words, knowing what God says I should know and knowing what I need to refuse to know and follow.
“To know wisdom and instruction,” Left to our own devices, we would all be hell bent. But God has provided instructions. I find it insightful that the word ‘instruction’ in the Hebrew means ‘chastisement.’ God did not leave us to our own devices to speculate on what is right and wrong. God’s clear instructions found here in Proverbs [as well as the rest of the Scriptures] seem to be synonymous, and are used to show that the most supreme mastery and comprehensive knowledge may be attained by paying attention to this book. The Apostle Paul told Timothy that the Word of God “is able to make a man “wise unto salvation”; and is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness.” [2 Timothy 3:15]
To know wisdom and instruction is to become intimately acquainted with them so that my mind, actions and quality of character imitate Jesus. Are you willing?