KEY TEXT 1 Kings 5:9-14 Solomon said: "Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?" It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, "Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days."
KEY THOT: The difference between knowledge and wisdom is this: wisdom is knowledge applied in morally upright ways. Solomon asked for "an understanding mind to govern your people" (wisdom) so that he could "discern between good an evil." Just having knowledge is not wisdom if we apply the knowledge in immoral and evil ways. So, God wants us to have wisdom, not just knowledge. Knowledge can be acquired from books, from the internet. There is no shortage of knowledge. When Eve was offered the choice to partake of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it was not just an inducement to gain information about good and evil, but to experience good and evil. When knowledge is applied for evil purpose, it is not wisdom but foolishness.
Secular education makes us more knowledgeable but not necessarily wiser. As seen in recent high-profile cases of scholars that went morally corrupt, we see that secular education in itself does not guarantee wisdom as defined in the Bible. While scientific knowledge can tell us what the Universe is made of and how it is made, nevertheless, it cannot tell us who made it and why he made it. Only Scripture can tell us who made it and why for Scripture contains the self-revelation of the Author who made the heavens and the earth.
Scientific knowledge is a blessing to mankind when it is applied to making life more comfortable and convenient in the form of technology. But when people use scientific knowledge to make moral judgments, they are likely to make foolish choices. Science, wonderful as it is, cannot give us the knowledge to make right moral choices that will "discern between good and evil" (v.9). Only Scripture can give us such knowledge: "I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days."
Abba-Father, help us to meditate on Your Scripture so that we may have the knowledge to make wise choices. Amen.