Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 12, 1968
NUMBER 32, PAGE 4,7b

The Blessings Of Knowledge


"My son, if thou wilt receive my words, And lay up my commandments with thee;

So as to incline thine ear unto wisdom, And apply thy heart to understanding;

Yea, if thou cry after discernment, And lift up thy voice for understanding;

If thou seek her as silver, And search for her as for hid treasures:

Then shalt thou understand the fear of Jehovah, And find the knowledge of God.

For Jehovah giveth wisdom;

Out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding:

He layeth up sound wisdom for the upright He is a shield to them that walk in integrity;

That he may guard the paths of justice, And preserve the way of his saints.

Then shalt thou understand righteousness and justice, And equity, yea, every good path.

For wisdom shall enter into thy heart, And knowledge shall be pleasant unto thy soul;

Discretion shall watch over thee;

Understanding shall keep thee:

To deliver thee from the way of evil, From the men that speak perverse things..."

(Proverbs 2:1-12)

With these words the wisest man that ever lived speaks of the pursuits of wisdom and the security and virtue it brings. The pursuit of wisdom, or knowledge, should not be a strange subject to us, for the world today has gone mad for knowledge. It has been said that the past 50 years have produced more facts to be learned than all the previous history of mankind. I would not care to dispute the statement, for I suspect it is pretty close to the truth. And so the learning pace is increased, the pressures are stepped up, and an ever-increasing burden is placed upon forthcoming generations. We have seen the increase in our own generation. My children are studying things in the second and third grades that their parents did not study until the fifth grade.

Witness the considerable efforts put forth to keep children in school until their graduation, and the fantastic growth of colleges and universities, as man continues in his quest for knowledge. But it seems that the more man learns about this world, the less he knows about the one who made the world. While secular knowledge is increasing by leaps and bounds, spiritual knowledge is decreasing at an alarming rate, and the Word of God is a forgotten textbook, relegated to the dim and distant past with other such memorabilia as the one-room schoolhouse and the McGuffey Reader. These things have a fond place in our recollections as we with some nostalgia think of a Lincolnesque lad studying by the firelight, or of a family gathered around the hearth at eventide as the partiarch of the house leads in reading and studying the Holy Scriptures. Yes, a place in our memory, but no place in our busy and crowded lives. The innkeeper who forfeited such a blessing as the birth of the Son of God in his house because there was "no room for them in the inn" is not a whit poorer than the multitudes today who have no room for the Son of God simply because there is no place in their crowded lives for his Word.

It is time for us to consider again the blessings of spiritual knowledge. Solomon declares that it is of incomparable value: "Receive my instruction, and not silver; And knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; And all the things that may be desired are not to be compared unto it. — (Prov. 8:10-11) "There is gold, and abundance of rubies; But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel." (Prov. 20:15)

Spiritual knowledge is such a precious commodity that it must be the foundation of our good works. So many who are busily engaged in what they consider to be "good works" are woefully ignorant of God's instruction concerning those works. The prophet Hosea lamented that "my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hosea 4:6) He continued to rebuke the apostasy of the nation and declared for God: "For I desire goodness, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings." (Hosea 6:6) It is not enough merely to have zeal, for zeal apart from knowledge can be disastrous. Such was the case when the Jews crucified Christ: "For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge." (Romans 10:2)

With spiritual knowledge also comes freedom. Christ told his disciples "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32) This freedom encompasses the grace and peace which are "in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord," and it is "through the knowledge of him that called us by his own glory and virtue" that "his divine power hath granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness." (II Pet. 1:2-3)

It is time that we ennobled ourselves before God as did the Bereans: "Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, examining the scriptures daily, whether these things were so." (Acts 17:1 I) God gave us the Word (II Pet. 1:21), sacrificed his Son to dedicate it (Heb. 10:15-18), commanded us to understand it (Eph. 5:17), determined that it should be the source of our faith (Rom. 10:17), rebuked those who would not obey it (Matt. 7:26-27), warned that we would be judged by it (John 12:48), and promised salvation to those who receive it (James 1:21).

The benefits of secular knowledge, while helpful for a time, will soon pass away, but spiritual wisdom "is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared unto it." Take time for the Word of God. Your eternity depends upon it.

Jefferson David Tant