Wisdom + knowledge = understanding

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7 NIV). Throughout the Bible we find verses that value wisdom and knowledge. We are encouraged to acquire knowledge and to seek wisdom. In Proverbs 8 we see a picture of wisdom personified and crying out in the streets for us to hear. (Please take a moment to read this chapter) Wisdom cries out on the road; on the hillside; by the gates calling out to be heard – warning of the disasters that come without her. “You simple people, use good judgment. You foolish people, show some understanding. Listen to me! For I have important things to tell you” (Proverbs 8:5-6 NLT).  As you study Proverbs 8 you will begin to hear the heart of the Father as well. He longs for us to hear Him and seek His counsel. Similarly, as earthly fathers, we desperately want to save our children from the pitfalls of life, from the consequences that foolish living brings, and from the destruction that occurs when good judgement is nowhere to be found.

As a father of four I can say there have been times when my warnings have fallen on deaf ears, but “afterwards” there was a lesson learned and understanding. Wisdom and knowledge without understanding can be useless. I often say to young people who’ve just had their first child, “Now you understand.”It’s only at that moment, as you hold that precious little human being and you are filled with love and compassion, that you can understand why your parents acted as they did and why they warned you so often. Why they wanted so badly for you to hear what they were saying and take their counsel. Proverbs 2:6 NLT brings home the final piece of the puzzle that we all need to be aware of, “For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Grant us wisdom, Lord.