Sage or Fool

Saturday, May 23

Knowledge and wisdom are main themes of both Psalms and Proverbs. They are not synonymous; they are significantly different. Knowledge is the accumulation of facts. It has to do with truth. Wisdom deals with morality, what is good and what is evil. Wisdom without knowledge is nonsense. Knowledge (truth) is the raw material of wisdom. Wisdom has to do with how we use knowledge. Example: I know that electricity can create sparks that can ignite inflammable material. I know that wood is inflammable. So is gasoline. I know that a fire can destroy my house and possibly my life. Wisdom tells me that I need to do something to prevent fires. But I can choose to do nothing. That’s not wise. So why do Psalms and Proverbs focus on knowledge and wisdom? We need to know the facts about our standing with God. We can learn a lot about God by observing the world about us. But that is not enough. We don’t get the full picture without revelation. Revealed knowledge exposes the problem; we are sinners and will be judged. Revealed knowledge also provides a solution; only God can free us from sin. The solution is only partially revealed in the O.T. and is fully revealed in the N.T. with the appearance of the Messiah. Until the crucifixion, the Law “covered” sin. Christ’s death was the real solution; sin was not just covered, it was abolished. The sinless Messiah paid the price and redemption was “finished.” All of that is knowledge. But we are not redeemed by knowing the problem or even knowing the solution. Here’s where wisdom comes in. We are redeemed when we receive or accept the solution. The wise man will not only understand the moral options, but will embrace the right one. Conversely, the fool knows the options and chooses the wrong one. I would be a fool to ignore God’s revelation—and a fool to reject the free gift of salvation.

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