HOW TO GET KNOWLEDGE.
"WISDOM crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets; she crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates; in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof; behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you." Prov. 1:20-23. p. 1, Para. 1.
This is the language of the Lord Jesus Christ, " in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Col. 2:3. This means that there is nothing of any kind whatever that is worthy to be called wisdom, which is not to be found in Christ. Read 1 Cor. 1:22-24: "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." That is, the wisdom which the Greeks sought after is contained only in Christ. Because they sought it in themselves, and not in Christ, the wisdom which they had became foolishness. Out of Christ it is impossible to find true wisdom. p. 1, Para. 2.
True wisdom consists in knowing God. "Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth; for in these things I delight, saith the Lord." Jer. 9:23,24. To know God is the sum of all scientific knowledge; for Christ, who is the only manifestation of God, is the Source of all creation. "O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways are past finding out!" "For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things." Rom. 11:33,36. Christ is the beginning, the head, or source, of the creation of God. Rev. 3:14. He is "the firstborn of every creature." Col. 1:15. "For in Him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through Him, and unto Him; and He is before all things, and in Him all things consist." Col. 1:16, 17. Therefore the study of natural science must begin and end with the study of God in Christ. p. 1, Para. 3.
But Christ is the righteousness of God. Righteousness is the character of God. Therefore no one can know God without knowing His righteousness; and so the study of true science reveals the righteousness of God. And this is wisdom, for "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." Prov. 1:7. The knowledge of the righteousness of God is connected with the knowledge of the works of God that we see with our eyes, for the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and the power of God is seen in the things that are made. Rom. 1:16, 20. Therefore when the Bible speaks of wisdom and knowledge, it means not only the wisdom and knowledge that would be counted as such by men, but also all wisdom and spiritual understanding. p. 1, Para. 4.
All this is summed up in the words of Moses to the children of Israel: "Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." Deut. 4:5,6. They who keep the commandments of God, not in form merely, but in fact, will have wisdom which will excite the wonder of the people who do not recognize the source of knowledge. p. 1, Para. 5.
And now that we have seen what wisdom is, let us note the words with which this article begins, to see how it may be obtained. The Lord says, "Turn you at My reproofs; behold, I pour out My Spirit unto you, I will make known My words unto you." That is, those who listen to and heed the reproofs of the Lord will know His words, which are wisdom. "For the Lord giveth wisdom; out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding." Prov. 2:6. p. 2, Para. 1.
The reproofs of the Lord are by the Spirit of the Lord, and are given, not for the purpose of taunting us with our failures, nor for the purpose of causing us to cringe in terror before Him, but that we may turn from our sins to righteousness. Before He went away, Christ promised to send the Holy Spirit as a Comforter, and the first thing that He was to do was to convince the world of sin. This He does by revealing the righteousness of God. These reproofs come in various ways, according to the sin and the peculiarity of the person. They are not simply of a general nature, but they come home to the individual, pointing out specific acts of wrong, and saying, "Thou art the man." p. 2, Para. 2.
It is naturally a severe trial to anyone to receive a sharp reproof, because it cuts directly across self. But no matter how cutting it may be, and even though the Lord has allowed the knowledge of our failing to come to us through an unfriendly source, it is the part of wisdom to heed it. To heed it means to forsake the evil, and that can be done only through Christ; for it is the blood of Christ alone that cleanses from all sin. "If we walk in light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7. The promise is that those who turn at the reproof of wisdom shall have the words of wisdom made known unto them. p. 2, Para. 3.
Not only will such an one have the words of the Lord, -- the words of wisdom, -- told to him, but he will have them made known to him. In this is found the secret of the failure of so many to understand the Bible. They are cherishing some sin, or they are unwilling to keep all the commandments of God, and consequently they cannot know the meaning of the words of wisdom. Self stands in the way. Christ said if any man had a mind to do the Father's will, he should know the doctrine. John 7:17. "The meek will He guide in judgement; and the meek will He teach His way." Ps. 25:9. p. 2, Para. 4.
Surely the result is worth all that it costs, even though the lesson be a trying one. The pain comes only in the letting go of self. When one has once yielded fully to the Lord, the reproofs of the Lord are pleasant. When self is dead, it cannot be hurt by them. Then instead of mourning over the reproof, because of wounded pride, or even in despondency, he will delight himself in the increased knowledge of God. Try it, all you who wish that you might understand the Bible. Let your doubts go to the winds. Let your own foolish wisdom, which would lead you to hesitate to receive the word of God, if it is contrary to your preconceived opinion, give place to the meekness of wisdom. In short, let your own opinions go entirely, and do not try to draw conclusions according to your own wisdom, but let God teach you at every step of the way. When you cannot see how a certain statement harmonizes with another, do not get impatient, and begin to doubt, but wait in faith, and God will explain it to you. Do not be afraid of waiting awhile. It may be the Lord has some other lesson for you to learn before you can understand this one. But while you are waiting, wait only on the Lord, and His words will explain themselves. "Consider what I say; and the Lord shall give thee understanding in all things." 2 Tim. 2:7. E. J. Waggoner. p. 2, Para. 5.