The Beginning of Knowledge – Part Three
by John S Picarello
“Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.”
Here’s a statement that promises success in any area of life. This is not confined to any particular field of endeavor. Whatever your vocation in life, or area of interest that contributes to the welfare of others as well as yourself, God’s wisdom, knowledge for understanding it are available for the asking. The means by which He brings these to you may vary, but they do come to all who seek them out.
Wisdom and Knowledge are clearly seen and Understood
Modern science as we know it was born in the 17th century and was based upon a respect for God and a wonder of His creation…early scientists believed in an unchanging God of order who designed creation with a purpose. Early science was essentially a discipline of discovery before the current shift to being a society for the explanation of the origin of all things. This discipline of discovery was not confined to science alone, it was at the heart of commonly held values applied to all areas of life. Those who had a reverential awe of God sought His wisdom in whatever vocation they held. Treating others the way they themselves wanted to be treated, made it a necessity to seek God’s insight in conducting business in a manner that pleases Him. Work is essentially an act of worship, to anyone who sincerely endeavors to do all that they do for the glory of God.
Richard Baxter so eloquently writes: “Nothing can be rightly known, if God be not known; nor is any study well managed, nor to any great purpose, if God is not studied. We know little of the creature, till we know it as it stands related to the Creator: single letters, and syllables uncomposed, are no better than nonsense. He who overlooketh him who is the ‘Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending,’ and seeth not him in all who is the All of all, doth see nothing at all.”*
The discoveries of modern science are always fascinating and valuable, but the explanations given for their origins are often mere speculations founded on the unstable foundation of human opinions, and should not be taken as facts. This shift of having to explain the origins of all discoveries apart from God took place gradually since the enlightenment movement. The words of Paul aptly apply here; “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator,” “…they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God…” (Romans 1: 25,28)
This truth extends to the sectors of business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, the family, and religion. Since all genuine wisdom and knowledge originate with God, it’s only reasonable to conclude that God’s sovereignty over all His created order includes these. Anyone can acquire wisdom and knowledge in any realm of life by simply going to Him. Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
His wisdom and knowledge are revealed to the humble inquirer
James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” It’s humbling to have to admit ignorance, and it’s wise to ask for help. How much more should we ask for wisdom? We’ve already established that it comes from God. It’s encouraging to know He freely gives wisdom for the asking! It’s all accessible to the humble inquirer.
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law, (Deuteronomy 29:29) Here is wisdom in itself! God who is infinite in wisdom knowledge and understanding, reveals some of what He knows to any humble open minded inquirer. To believe we know anything apart from God revealing it as we explore His creation is foolish. We are not self existing and all knowing. The fact that knowledge comes to us by study and exploration, and much wisdom and understanding through experience, alone attests to the fact we must seek them out.
There seems to be a trace of arrogance in believing that the origin of the created order can be accurately explained apart from the Creator. In Jeremiah 8:9 the Prophet states “The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the LORD, what kind of wisdom do they have?” Since genuine wisdom and knowledge originate with God, all others are hollow philosophies (see Colossians 2:8). This has been an issue with humanity since the fall in Eden.
To the church at Corinth, Paul writes; “Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20) Anyone who wishes to recapture the flow of God’s wisdom must switch to a new point of reference in their thinking. I hold the position that this reference point is found in Christ alone. The intelligent choice is to ask God; “who holds the full riches of complete wisdom and understanding”, and rest the source of our thinking in Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (see Colossians 2:2-3). I encourage you to find wisdom, gain understanding, call out for these and you will find the knowledge of God in all things. – JSP
* The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter (The Banner of Truth Trust, reprinted 1989)