It is the key that unlocks the door . . . the puzzle piece that completes the picture . . . the switch that turns on the light. Without it, smart people can really be kind of dumb . . . simple things become complex . . . and complex things are rationalized away in simple-minded ways. It is available to all . . . but pursued by too few. It is the knowledge of the Holy One.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. (Proverbs 9:10 ESV)
For 9 chapters wisdom has been making her plea . . . calling out in the streets . . . crying out at the gates . . . claiming to offer returns better than jewels, gold, and silver (8:11, 19) . . . promising to be found by those who diligently seek her (8:17). And just as she started her plea (1:7) she concludes it . . . the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. But here she adds a bit of “color” to her claim. It is not some random reverence for an unknown God but, the key to wisdom . . . the “secret sauce” of insight and understanding . . . the great connector between that which is earthly and that which is of another realm . . . that key is knowledge of the Holy One.
The word, actually, is plural . . . literally it is “a knowledge of the Holy Ones.”
Insight . . . discernment . . . meaning . . . all are sourced in knowing the Triune God. Without knowing the Creator, creation is left to our puny minds to explain. Without knowing the Giver of life, the meaning of life is left up to our whims. Without believing that He has numbered our days and ordered our steps, we are left to aimlessly wander unaware of where we are going. But, by the grace of God, start to gain knowledge of the Holy Ones and things fall into place.
Know that a Triune God has made man “in our image” (Gen. 1:26) and desires communion with His creation and you understand the problem of sin, the need for atonement, and that which drives God’s pursuit of the sinner. Start to know something of the heart of a Heavenly Father and grasp the lengths to which He might go to make a way for a prodigal child to return. Comprehend something of the Son’s desire to do the Father’s will and make sense of why God became flesh . . . and of why the Son of God humbled Himself, becoming the Lamb of God, to offer Himself as a once-for-all sacrifice for sin and the way to reconciliation to the Father. Start to get the active agency of the Spirit of God living inside of born again believers and you have available resurrection power to transform lives as you become more adept at hearing His voice and being led in His ways.
And it’s not like we’re left on our own to “feel it out” . . . or form an intimacy with the divine through our own understanding. But I have this book in front of me. The God-breathed Scriptures . . . illuminated through the God given Spirit . . . designed that I might know something of the Holy Ones.
It’s not about knowledge for knowledge sake. It’s not about facts and data and mindless regurgitation as if it were about playing some trivia game. But it is understanding that bears the fruit of insight and discernment. It is perception which open up reality. It is awareness that produces fruitfulness. A knowledge which, in the end, pleases God.
Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 9:22-23 ESV)
Knowledge of the Holy One . . . for insight into the ways of this life and the one to come.
Might I hear afresh Wisdom’s call . . . and respond anew to Her invitation . . . and pursue at length the riches She offers. By God’s grace . . . for God’s glory.