Knowledge, Understanding, & Wisdom
Posted by Pastor Szekely on November 7, 2006
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between knowledge, understanding, and wisdom? The difference will be found when we define our terms by illustration.
First comes knowledge. A concerned and caring mother instructs her young child that touching a hot stove will burn the hand. This is knowledge. The child was taught a simple, yet vital, truth.
What will this child do with this new-found knowledge? Next, there must come understanding. The young child must comprehend / apprehend the truth instilled by the mother. It is one thing to discover the truth; it is another thing to discern the truth. When knowledge is presented, it must be acknowledged to have understanding. The young child says, “Mother told me a hot stove will burn my hand…and I believe her“.
Understanding knowledge is necessary for wisdom, but having understanding of knowledge is not wisdom. Even though the young child was told by mother not to touch a hot stove, and even though that young child has an understanding that a hot stove will burn the hand, the child reaches for the stove anyway. The child lacked wisdom, which is the right use or exercise of the understood knowledge. The child did not make the right choice at the opportune time…he did not apply understood knowledge, and therefore, he did not have wisdom in the matter.
God wants us to gain knowledge, understanding, and wisdom — of Him and from Him. Proverbs 4:7 says, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” We cannot have wisdom of God without understanding the knowledge of God found in the Bible.
Bible truth is not easily received. Many can’t see the Truth when it’s staring them in the face — often because the Truth is unpalatable and people don’t want to see it. Without having an understood knowledge of Bible Truth there can be no wisdom of God…there will only be man’s wisdom. And just so you know, the Bible calls a person who lacks and detests the wisdom of God a fool. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” Proverbs 1:7 (emphases mine).
Wisdom of God requires an understood knowledge of God; knowledge of God requires the fear, or reverence, of God…
There can be no wisdom of God without an understood knowledge of God…and there can be no knowledge of God without the reverence of God!!!