Beginning of Knowledge

KEY VERSE: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” —Proverbs 1:7

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Proverbs 1:1-9, 20-23

WE READ, “If thou … liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures, then shalt thou understand the fear [reverence] of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” This, of course, means study—not just reading the Bible. This means searching the Scriptures, for only in this way shall we find the “knowledge of God.”

An attitude of deep love for God is our starting point, as we enter into the path of light and truth. But one of the first principles of understanding, in the sense that we, as Bible Students, use the word, is to realize that our knowledge of God of his plans and purposes, for ourselves and for the whole race, is dependent upon something more than a brilliant mind. This world contains many brilliant minds—minds that easily comprehend today’s science, but which cannot grasp even the rudiments of the divine plan of the ages. Why is that? Brilliant minds—they can put a missile into orbit, a missile that will circumnavigate the earth in the high expanse of space and even reach the moon—but those same brilliant minds are not able to comprehend the philosophy of the ransom. Why is this so?

Are we more brilliant than they? No! The reason they do not comprehend is simple to us—it is human knowledge versus spiritual knowledge. Spiritual enlightenment came to Jesus at and subsequent to Jordan. Spiritual enlightenment comes to us after we receive the Holy Spirit. Matthew 3:16 reads, “Jesus, when he was baptized went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.” The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Notice Luke’s account. Luke 3:21: “Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him.” The Holy Spirit comes only as an answer to prayer.

As with the Lord, so with us, the witness of the Spirit is important. We read in Hebrews, “The Holy Spirit also is a witness to us.” And again in Romans 8:16, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Our knowledge, our enlightenment, depends upon the Spirit of God. Through it we grow in grace, in comprehension, and in the understanding of spiritual truths. Let us quote a familiar text from the New English Translation of I Corinthians 2:11-14: “The Spirit explores everything, even the depths of God’s own nature. Among men, who knows what a man is but the man’s own spirit? In the same way, only the Spirit of God reveals what God is. This is the Spirit that we have received from God, so that we may know all that God of his own grace gives us, and because we are interpreting spiritual truths to those who have the Spirit. We speak of these gifts not by human wisdom, but by the Spirit. A man who is unspiritual refuses what belongs to the Spirit of God; it is folly to him—he cannot grasp it, because it needs to be judged in the light of the Spirit.”

These texts tell us why some brilliant minds are not In the truth, and why many who are of humble disposition are able to comprehend the plan of God. Jeremiah 9:23,24 expresses it beautifully: “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches. But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” How few have this knowledge of God—of his plan of lovingkindness, and judgment, and righteousness. All will know this some day, but we know it now. Why? Because the Holy Spirit is enlightening our minds and hearts. This is the true knowledge of God.

The ‘key of knowledge’ is a common expression—a Biblical expression. (Luke 11:52) But the key does not open up knowledge; rather, knowledge is the key that can open understanding. (John 17:3) “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

Dawn Bible Students Association
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