Summary: True wisdom is more than knowledge, it is the right application of knowledge, especially a reverential awe and fear of our awesome God.


Proposition: True wisdom is more than knowledge, it is the right application of knowledge, especially a reverential awe and fear of our awesome God.

Objective: My purpose is to challenge people to know and experience the true wisdom of a reverential awe of God.


Illus: One of the commencement traditions at Harvard University is Senior Class Chapel. On the morning of their graduation, seniors gather in Memorial Church to hear the minister offer words of solace and encouragement as they leave "the Yard" to take their places in the world. The 1998 senior class heard the unvarnished truth from the Rev. Peter Gomes, minister at Harvard and the author of several books on the Bible…In his gentle ringing tones, that call to mind a cross between a Shakespearean actor and the TV sitcom character Frasier, the inimitable Doctor Gomes took no prisoners as he began: "You are going to be sent out of here for good, and most of you aren’t ready to go. The president is about to bid you into the fellowship of educated men and women and," - and here he paused and spoke each word slowly for emphasis - "you know just - how - dumb - you - really - are." The senior class cheered in agreement. "And worse than that," Doctor Gomes continued, "the world - and your parents in particular - are going to expect that you will be among the brightest and best. But you know that you can no longer fool all the people even some of the time. By noontime today, you will be out of here. By tomorrow you will be history. By Saturday, you will be toast. That’s a fact - no exceptions, no extensions." "Nevertheless, there is reason to hope," Doctor Gomes promised. "The future is God’s gift to you. God will not let you stumble or fall. God has not brought you this far to this place to abandon you or leave you here alone and afraid. The God of Israel never stumbles, never sleeps, never goes on sabbatical. Thus, my beloved and bewildered young friends, do not be afraid." What Doctor Gomes did for the senior class at Harvard, the Lord reveals to Job while he is in the midst of seeking to understand why he is suffering. He knew that wisdom is not the same as understanding even though knowledge is important.

IT IS WITH GOOD CAUSE that the term "information overload" was coined in recent years. Knowledge has increased within our generation almost beyond imagination! Here are just a few mind-boggling facts on this:

80% of all the scientists who have ever lived are alive right now.

Every minute they add 2,000 pages to man’s scientific knowledge. The material they produce every 24 hours would take one person five years to read.

Every day, the equivalent of over 300 million pages of text is sent over the Internet. According to Dr. Malcolm Todd, one-time president of the American Medical Association, about half of all medical knowledge is outdated every ten years. It is estimated that over 15,000 scientific journals are being published annually, and that throughout the world well over 1,000 new books are published every day.

In 1970, when the Apollo 13 spacecraft was lost in space, it took NASA computers 90 minutes to work out a way to bring it back. A scientist working with a pencil and paper would have taken over a million years to figure out how to accomplish the same feat.

Studies have concluded that human knowledge is currently doubling approximately every eight years. According to author H.L. Willmington, "By the time a child born today graduates from college, the knowledge in the world will be four times as great. By the time that child is fifty years old, it will be thirty-two times as great, and 97 percent of everything known in the world will have been learned since the time he was born."

What good is a head full of knowledge if our hearts are empty and we lack peace of mind and purpose in life?

His friends have fallen silent. Job is fully in control even in the midst of his extreme suffering as he steps back from the conflict to give what some call as “a beautiful hymn to wisdom.” Job truly was a man in dire need of divine wisdom. Job had listened to his three friends and was weary of their clichés and platitudes that they were giving him in the name of “wisdom.” His friends were sure that their words were pure gold, but Job concluded that they were tinsel and trash. His friends had knowledge but they lacked wisdom. If he was to face his sufferings successfully, he needed true wisdom . Here Job answers the question in v. 12, “But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?” This is a declaration of what is so desperately needed--heavenly wisdom from God, not worldly wisdom from man. Job extols the virtue and the true source of wisdom. He desires that his three friends might have spoken to him with such divine wisdom.

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