Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY….. By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” Proverbs 24:3,4 ESV

Life can be filled with a variety of challenges and opportunities. But none is greater than building a “house.” This metaphor reminds us of the importance of the family unit in God’s eyes. God created the family. He did so in creation when He declared, “It is not good for man to be alone.” From man Eve was created and she was called “Eve” because she would be the mother of “all living.” So the Lord envisioned the offspring of husband and wife and centrality of the family in the conception of His divine and sovereign plan.

In history God called Abraham and created a family of families that formed a nation. The promised land was given as a possession to family units. When God sent His Son to the earth, He sent Him into a family. We those who place their faith in Christ described as the “family of God.”

Building a natural family, building a spiritual family is hard work. That is why infant “dedication” is more like family “consecration.” It is a recognition of parents that God’s protection and guidance is needed, not just on a child but on parents.

What is needed is summarized in this Proverb; knowledge, understanding, wisdom. Each of these is needed and is inter-related. Knowledge is the process of learning. It involves the accumulation and awareness of a topic or issue. As I go through interviews as part of the candidate process, I am occasionally “stumped” by being asked about a specific policy or plan on record for the city about which I have no “knowledge.”

What you don’t know you can learn. But knowing doesn’t equate to understanding. I would at times make statements to legal staff at the Capitol, “I know what this bill says, but what does it mean?” In other words, how is someone going to apply these provisions to a specific situation, what is it going to permit or prevent that is not obvious based on the words? Knowing words, doesn’t equate into a full understanding. It is like listening to my grandchildren read and then asking, “do you know what it means?”

Wisdom is traditionally viewed as the judicious application of knowledge or understanding. How do I use what I know and understand to make decisions that impact my life and the future. Today, I was in a meeting where a presentation was made on demographic trends for our area. I can have knowledge about the various inter-related pieces of information and even understand what it means for the future of a community. Wisdom, however, creates a plan of action based on that knowledge and understanding.

This proverb doesn’t lay out these three qualities in a sequential order like I have explained them. It begins with wisdom, because wisdom is related to the big picture, the “dream” or “vision.” Knowledge is seen as “filling the rooms” because we are to be continually learning and growing as Peter said, “in grace and in knowledge of the Lord.” (2 Peter 3:18) We continue to learn what we don’t know and that equates to growth and maturity.

In these changing and challenging days we need wisdom, understanding and knowledge to build strong, families and strong communities of faith.

Prayer for today…. Lord, thank You that You are able to grant to us the wisdom, understanding and knowledge that we need in our life and in our families. Give us eyes for the future and the path to take as we trust in You.