Sunday, 14 August 2011

A wise man will

A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, To understand a proverb and an enigma, The words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.  - Proverbs 1v5

We really do live in an amazing age. We have the answer to any question we want with just a few swipes and clicks on our phone. Anything we want to know is only a mouse click away. I love that. I love being able to google the answer to any question, any time. If I have my phone, am away from the country, and not near a wireless connection I get antsy because I can’t get my answer immediately.

There is a lot of debate about whether this is a good or a bad thing. Does it make us smarter or lazier? Do we know as much as we used to, or do we just have a quicker way to the answer?

I don’t know for sure. I do know that I love it!

I don’t think there is anything wrong with having easy access to knowledge. I think it can be a great tool. We get ourselves in trouble though when we forget about the basis for that knowledge. If our desire for knowledge is only so that we can know more and pride ourselves in that we are headed down the wrong road. If we just want to show off how smart we are, then are our goal is to glorify us – and that is wrong.
I think the key here is our motivation and our basis. Here in Proverbs we read that a wise man will increase his learning. He will seek counsel. He will try to understand the little mysteries of life. He will want to understand the words of the wise and all of their ‘riddles.’

But verse seven has a disclaimer. There is a foundation and a basis for knowledge that must be observed. ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.. Our desire for knowledge must be rooted in a fear and respect for God. Our desire must be to glorify Him in our quest for knowledge. If our motivation is anything else our quest for knowledge will lead us down the road described in Romans 1 – ‘For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonour their bodies among themselves,’

Get all the knowledge you can get. But make sure your quest is based on the fear of the Lord. 

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