Knowledge and Wisdom :: by Grant Phillips

We now live in a world where knowledge is increasing so fast the textbooks can’t keep up. By the time they’re printed for the new school year, they are already out of date. The Lord told Daniel that in the last days, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Daniel 12:4)

I, as you, see much knowledge in every area we undertake. For us older folks, it isn’t always easy to keep up. Have you ever felt like your head was spinning from all the knowledge your brain has to take in and remember? If so, you must be as old and crabby as I am. (Now I’m just kidding about the “crabby” part.)

Our youth of today are by far more knowledgeable than we were at their age. I didn’t say they are any smarter by the way, but they do have more information to contend with than we did. George Bernard Shaw said, “Youth is wasted on the young”. I’ve always heard it as “youth is wasted on youth”, but no matter, they mean the same.

Age isn’t always the issue when we set “knowledge” and “wisdom” side by side and expose them. However, it is true that “wisdom comes with age” or “with age comes wisdom”. I look back on my younger years, and I can’t believe how immature I was most of the time. (Please tell me that I’m not the only one.) I told my Dad years later after I was married and had children that I thought his job, when I was young, was “to make my life miserable, but now that I have my own family I see things a little differently.” He enjoyed that.

So what is knowledge and what is wisdom? Aren’t they the same? Oh no, not by a long shot! Knowledge is an accumulation of information learned. Wisdom is knowing how to use the knowledge we have, or you might say, the appropriate use of knowledge.

As I said earlier, knowledge is all around us today, as it has never been before. It seems that knowledge is increasing like a runaway train on a downhill slope, but I can’t say the same about wisdom. With regards to wisdom, it seems the runaway train is on an uphill slope, and losing steam fast. When we call evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20), wisdom has long since flown out the window. We are in free fall with wisdom, and the ground is coming up fast.

Most in today’s world do not know God. Even many of those who say they do are fooling themselves, for God does not condone what they preach and how they live.

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (James 3:13) “But come on, all of you, try again! I will not find a wise man among you.” (Job 17:10)

To know God is to have wisdom. Oh of course, even those who do not know God can show wisdom, usually in their later years, about worldly affairs, but which is more important, worldly affairs or spiritual affairs? If we are wise in spiritual affairs, it will encompass worldly affairs as well, but not so otherwise.

God is providing the knowledge of His soon return to this earth; first to remove His bride from the judgment to follow, and then for His return for all to see. Millions of people are being shown this knowledge but don’t see it, and have not the wisdom to read its contents. The knowledge of God buzzes around their face like a pesky fly, but they just swat it away, failing to hear His voice in the knowledge He is providing for our day.

Many can tell you whatever you want to know about sports, movies, movie stars, television programs, politics, Internet activities, computers, etc. Specialists can provide information (right or wrong) medically and scientifically, etc.

Even the Bible, which is what God says to us and has had written down for us, is a mystery to many. Some don’t know it because they don’t accept its Author. Some don’t know it because they don’t read it. Some read it and don’t accept it because Satan has blinded their eyes.

God is speaking, no shouting, to this world through His written Word, the Bible, and through the signs the Bible says will occur, when the end of the world as we know it, is about to end. God has stopped the play in mid-scene, stood on the stage and announced to the audience, “I’m on my way. Be ready.” But few are listening.

There is no question that this world today is full of people who pride themselves in their knowledge, but what about the knowledge from God? It’s being rejected! Wisdom is nonexistent when the knowledge of God is rejected.

Some think they can solve the Mideast problems. Sorry, no cigar. Some think they can solve the financial problems we are in. It isn’t going to happen. Some think they can solve the crime problems and run-a-way drug problems, and again, it’s just going to get worse. Others think they can solve poverty, but God said, “The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me.” (Mark 14:7)

So what is wrong? Without God, man thinks his knowledge is all he needs. Especially today, the age of knowledge, we think we are the masters of our own destiny (how many times have I heard that). But without wisdom, our knowledge is useless. It’s like a stagecoach with no horses, or a car without a motor. We are just going to sit in one place, dwelling on our knowledge, getting smarter and smarter, but without the wisdom to get some horses (or a motor) we are just going to sit in the same place “until the cows come home”.

The discerning person with wisdom knows that it isn’t about us, or our knowledge or all our pretty little play things. It is about God. Where do we stand with God?! It is not what you know. It is Who you know. That is true knowledge, and that is wisdom. “ … The fear of the Lord–that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28)


Grant Phillips