Job 28:28 — And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”
There is a huge difference between knowledge and wisdom. There are lots of people in the world who have vast knowledge of mathematics, history, art, sports, construction skills, and many other things. But that knowledge doesn’t equal wisdom. Wisdom is a quality of knowing cause and effect in a situation. It is the ability to exercise good judgment from experience or knowledge of how the world works best. It’s knowing the right thing to do. It’s foreseeing how situations are going to unfold and having the right words to say or knowing what actions should be taken.
Wisdom and knowledge are two different things.
In our passage today, we see where wisdom derives. The fear of the Lord is wisdom. What does that mean? It means that reverence and awe of God is how one becomes wise. There is no wisdom if we live in opposition to God and His Word. To fear Him is to live for His glory, obey His commands, and trust His ways. This develops us into people who live with wisdom.
Turning away from evil is understanding. Why? Because God abhors evil. When we turn away from evil we are honoring and obeying the Lord.
How do we grow in wisdom and understanding? We spend time in God’s Word so we can know Him more and learn His ways. We discover what it means to obey Him. The more we come to know the Lord through what He has revealed, the more we grow in wisdom. This is because we begin to see the world from the vantage point of the One who made it. We begin to discover the ways of God and avoid the pitfalls of our foolishness. We gain understanding.
Reflection & Journal:
What are some examples of how knowledge and wisdom differ?
What does the fear of the Lord look like in our daily lives?
How can we grow in wisdom? What actions help us to grow in wisdom?