Monday, January 21, 2013

Knowledge is Power

Online Study of the book of {Proverbs}
By Karyn Wells, RockPoint Church


Knowledge is power.

I remember very well how a little bit of knowledge gave me a superior edge over my siblings and cousins when I was young. It was Christmas Eve...Santa was coming! Only I didn’t believe in Santa any more. I was the oldest in my clan—the oldest sibling and oldest cousin. You’d think position alone would have been enough to satisfy me. But it wasn’t. See, I had a little knowledge on a certain subject, and that knowledge put me in a greater position than birth put me in a position of power. I had the ability to change the night—that Christmas—for all my younger siblings and cousins...for-e-ver. So armed with might, I waited until the perfect moment. Our parents had tucked us all in bed with the admonition to be quiet and go to sleep or Santa couldn’t come. Of course, a bedroomful of excited children on Christmas Eve made obeying that command almost impossible. We whispered back and forth and giggled under the covers for awhile. And then I did it: "You know," I said in a hushed tone of utmost authority and superiority, "there’s no such thing as Santa." With one voice, every child in that room came back at me with an indignant, "Yes, there is!!" I replied in a calm, educated tone: "No, there isn’t. All your presents come from your parents." I shot down a few more challenges and protests, and then the job was done., wails...rose from that bedroom, causing our parents to come running. And then you can imagine what happened next! Someone with more knowledge than I turned their power on me! As you can see, I’ve never forgotten that lesson...but I’ve also never forgotten the exquisite sensation of knowledge and power.  And hopefully, I've gained the wisdom to know how to handle the knowledge and harness the power!.

And that’s the theme for the book of Proverbs...Wisdom.


Pinned Image


Turn in your Bible to Proverbs 1 and read it straight through.

Now go back to verse 2 and 3 and underline these words in your Bible:

It’s like a well-built sandwich! Look at the structure and balance of those words.
Look at the verbs in those two verses:
  • know
  • perceive
  • receive
The word "know" in Hebrew (the original language the book of Proverbs was written in) has a huge definition! It starts off with "to see." It’s an "a-ha!" word. Like a revelation, a light coming on...suddenly, you get it! To "know" is to be aware of, to make a discovery, to experience, to become acquainted.
The word "perceive" means to distinguish or hear. In order to perceive, there must be two or more elements to compare to, and then as you "hear" each one, you are able to make a distinction.

The third word is "receive," which means "to take with the hand or lay hold of." It is much more active than how we would normally define the word. When we use it in English, it’s passive, giving the idea that we just sit and receive what is being dropped in our lap. But the original meaning of the word is much more aggressive. The picture is that someone extends something to us, holding it out in a manner that would hopefully tantalize us and draw us closer. When we see what is being offered to us, we then desire it enough to reach out and take it, receiving what was made available to us.
Now pair the verbs and nouns:
to know wisdom and instruction = we see, discover, are aware of wisdom and instruction
to perceive words of understanding = we can make a distinction between the different words of understanding...there is a word of counsel for every life circumstance

to receive instruction and wisdom = God offers us wisdom, but we must reach out and take hold of it for ourselves

Verse 7 is a well-known verse: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction."

What do you think it means to fear the Lord? Write down your thoughts. If you’re studying with a friend or in a group, discuss this.


Do you think "fear" means to be afraid of?

It can mean that...

When the Bible talks about "the fear of the Lord" coming upon enemy nations, it most certainly means fear or terror. The root word is actually, "to tremble."

But for the righteous, the fear of the Lord means reverence and holy fear. Yes, it is respect and honor, but it is more. There is a fear aspect...a little bit like a teacher or police officer. You may have liked a teacher when you were young, but you were also just a little bit afraid of him or her. And a policeman is a "good guy." He’s there to protect you. But if you’re speeding, he’s also there to give you a ticket! So we have a little bit of fear mixed in with our respect!

Think about our society today and how we’ve lost much of our fear and respect for authority figures. In what ways does the world disrespect authority?

And what about you? What is your attitude towards people in authority? Police? Pastor? The President? Do you disrepect them in words, actions or attitude?

The Bible says fools despise wisdom and instruction. The word despise doesn’t mean hate, as you might think it would. It actually means "to show contempt." The attitude would be, "That doesn’t apply to me." "Oh, I don’t have to do that." "I only do that when..." "That’s a silly law." "That’s outdated." "That’s legalism." And on and on we could go!

When we make excuses for ourselves, for doing things our way and not God’s way, the Bible clearly says we are being foolish.

When we listen and obey, we are being wise...and that wisdom actually adorns us! Wisdom is like a graceful ornament on our heads or a beautiful necklace around our neck (v. 9).

Someone who is wise is admired and spoken well of. Think about someone wise that you know. Think about how you admire that person. Think about how being wise makes that person attractive, even beautiful. There is a grace upon that person’s life that is evident to others.

Jump down to verses 20-21 and read them again. How does Wisdom call out today?


How does the world answer to Wisdom’s call?


What is the promise to those who listen when Wisdom calls?



Pray that over your life today. Pray that you will see, hear, and take the wisdom God offers. Pray that you will listen to the voice of Wisdom every time it calls. Pray that you would fear the Lord with the reverence, respect, obedience and awe that is due His authority. Thank Him for the safety, security and peace that He brings to your life.

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