The ministry of John & Bron Fergusson
© JF Ministries, Auckland, New Zealand. Registered charity in England and NZ.

Bad knowledge

"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman.  "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."  When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it (Genesis 3:4-6). The devil was offering knowledge – knowledge of good and evil. Conscience, but more than that – an awareness that evil exists. More even than that, because the Biblical use of the word ‘knowledge’ implies ‘experience’. Adam ‘knew’ his wife, and she gave birth to Cain (see Gen 4:1 KJV). But Eve mistook his offer for wisdom. I believe she was already confused because she was listening to (and even in conversation with) the prince of confusion. Selah. Now knowledge is information, learned by our senses or through our spirit, and retained (hopefully) in our leaky heads. Wisdom involves instruction – what to do with the information. For Eve, wisdom would have been to reject the devil’s offer! ‘Get behind me, satan,’ Jesus said.

A surfeit of knowledge

Like Eve, today’s culture confuses the two. We are intrigued by quiz shows, competitions, mastermind programmes. We honour (idolise?) those with superior knowledge, scientists, ‘experts’, PhDs; who can recite Pi to a hundred places, or process complex sums in their heads – who are wise by human standards (1 Corinthians 1:26) with the wisdom of this age (I Corinthians 2:6). None of this, though, is wisdom.

True knowledge

We all know Psalm 110:10, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (NIV), but we also read in Colossians 2:3b:  ...Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Therefore ALL wisdom and ALL knowledge are hidden in Christ. Without Christ, whatever knowledge we possess will always be limited, one-dimensional, one-eyed. Science without the Lord is seeing through a glass darkly. How can anyone be wise who studies creation, but denies its Creator? Putting knowledge – ANYTHING – above the Lord, is idolatry. Strong words? Paul says (Colossians 3:5) that even greed is idolatry. We can be full of knowledge; and pride. For ‘Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.  The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know (1 Corinthians 8:1b-2). Wisdom cannot be arrogant, because it requires acceptance of, and obedience to, the Lord’s instruction. Let us not muddle the two. May you have a wise, and prudent year. Worth a read: Proverbs 4:1-13; 8:1-36.

Knowledge or wisdom?

The Bible MUST be true: I’ve read it for 40 years, and see new things

every time. Man’s wisdom couldn’t do that!

 JF Ministries
John & Bron Fergusson

Bad knowledge

"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman.  "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."  When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it (Genesis 3:4-6). The devil was offering knowledge – knowledge of good and evil. Conscience, but more than that – an awareness that evil exists. More even than that, because the Biblical use of the word ‘knowledge’ implies ‘experience’. Adam ‘knew’ his wife, and she gave birth to Cain (see Gen 4:1 KJV). But Eve mistook his offer for wisdom. I believe she was already confused because she was listening to (and even in conversation with) the prince of confusion. Selah. Now knowledge is information, learned by our senses or through our spirit, and retained (hopefully) in our leaky heads. Wisdom involves instruction – what to do with the information. For Eve, wisdom would have been to reject the devil’s offer! ‘Get behind me, satan,’ Jesus said.

A surfeit of knowledge

Like Eve, today’s culture confuses the two. We are intrigued by quiz shows, competitions, mastermind programmes. We honour (idolise?) those with superior knowledge, scientists, ‘experts’, PhDs; who can recite Pi to a hundred places, or process complex sums in their heads – who are wise by human standards (1 Corinthians 1:26) with the wisdom of this age (I Corinthians 2:6). None of this, though, is wisdom.

True knowledge

We all know Psalm 110:10, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (NIV), but we also read in Colossians 2:3b:  ...Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Therefore ALL wisdom and ALL knowledge are hidden in Christ. Without Christ, whatever knowledge we possess will always be limited, one- dimensional, one-eyed. Science without the Lord is seeing through a glass darkly. How can anyone be wise who studies creation, but denies its Creator? Putting knowledge – ANYTHING – above the Lord, is idolatry. Strong words? Paul says (Colossians 3:5) that even greed is idolatry. We can be full of knowledge; and pride. For ‘Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.  The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know (1 Corinthians 8:1b-2). Wisdom cannot be arrogant, because it requires acceptance of, and obedience to, the Lord’s instruction. Let us not muddle the two. May you have a wise, and prudent year. Worth a read: Proverbs 4:1-13; 8:1-36.

Knowledge or wisdom?

The Bible MUST be true: I’ve read it for 40

years, and see new things every time. Man’s

wisdom couldn’t do that!