Words without knowledge

Below are the thoughts that have burdened me lately. Sharing them with you in hopes that you'll share them with me...

Knowledge is closely linked to wisdom and a far cry from intellect.

Knowledge is to see a thing as it truly is. To comprehend what it is. In a sense to breathe it in and then breathe it out. It is possible to speak intellectually accurate words, yet lack knowledge.

“Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge?" Job 38:2 NKJV

Wisdom is much the same as knowledge, yet with attributes personal in nature. A living, breathing entity. One who exists, who was there and who lives on.

"The Lord possessed me [wisdom] at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.
I have been established from everlasting,
From the beginning, before there was ever an earth." Proverbs 8:22-23 NKJV

And then even more personal:

"Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman;
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
Rejoicing in His inhabited world,
And my delight was with the sons of men." Proverbs 8:30-31 NKJV

Have we delighted in the pursuit of wisdom as wisdom delighted with us? Or as God delighted daily in her?

Have we pursued her? Sought her out? Or have we simply darkened His counsel by words spoken without knowledge. Even worse, perhaps our chief delight has been not in wisdom nor her Maker, but in the sound of our own voice. These words spoken without knowledge.

This, my friends, would be a grave misplacement.

From where do knowledge and wisdom come? In books, lectures, life experiences, or the trusted counsel of one who holds a prestigious title? Perhaps in the words of those who have been there and done that, the pragmatists of our day? Maybe it is found in the collective voice of the crowd, crying out loud, declaring a thing to be good or true or right? And finally, could it be found within ourselves, the common decency of humanity?

No, sorry friends, it can come only from one source, God, and it begins to take root in ourselves only through one posture, fear.

Knowledge and wisdom begin here - in the fear of the Lord. The fear that would cause us to stop speaking, rather than to darken His counsel with empty words. The fear that would keep us from interpreting His actions on His behalf.

Those with fear dare not to call God a liar, but realize it is every man who is the liar, and God alone who is true and will always show Himself to be true.

We don't like fear though. We don't know what to do with it and more often than not we excuse it away with a cursory label of awe or wonder. No longer does it make us shudder, nor stop us in our tracks. This imitation of fear has no power to shut up the mouths of lions or cause the rain over the land to cease. It is a form without power. A shadow. Not unlike the type of shadow which darkens His counsel by words without knowledge.

We worship that which we take delight in. Whether it be intellect, shadows, experiences, morality, pragmatism, humanism or any other imitation. What have we taken delight in? Who have we pursued above all else?

As we take an account today, will we find ourselves lacking? Will we see that maybe we have chased shadows and misplaced our delight? Will we turn again to Him, in fear and trembling, and speak thus as Job did, "Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”

Or will we find this to be far too indecent a response for people of our stature?

My desire is to be a man who prays.

Will you join me in prayer?
Lord, we pray that in this time of chaos and crisis, our fear would continue to be placed rightly in You and not in any momentary circumstances.

What things are you praying for? I'd like to join with you in praying for them.


This letter inspired in part by the Art Katz sermon, "The God who Devastates."