Knowledge, Wisdom, and Service

But we should also note that Solomon’s desire for knowledge and wisdom was entirely selfless. He sought neither fame nor wealth by becoming knowledgeable and wise; rather, he sought the ability to judge the people of Israel well, according to the Law and promises of God. He sought the progress of God’s rule among His people and before the eyes of all the nations. Solomon understood that knowledge is not an end in itself, nor is wisdom. Rather, these good gifts of God, these essential components for biblical worldview living, are to be received from God for the purpose of serving others. If we seek them for any other end—to impress others, or gain some personal advantage—we forfeit the richer blessings God might otherwise bestow. All our studies and all the practical ways we seek to become wise must be to the end of serving others as God Himself would do were He among us as King. In fact, He is King, not among us, but rather, over us, and He accomplishes His holy, righteous, and good rule (Romans 7:12), a rule of righteousness, peace, and joy in His Spirit (Romans 14:17), through faithful servants, like Solomon, who seek from Him knowledge and wisdom to serve others in love.

All of which is to say that biblical worldview requires the kind of knowledge that comes from earnest, devoted study, together with the wisdom that proves that knowledge out in love for God and men. These we must earn in the study and on our knees, pleading with God for the gifts He alone can give. And biblical worldview proves the truth of the knowledge it claims in the wisdom for loving well that knowledge engenders.

So as we take up the further study of biblical worldview, let us never lose sight of these five things: First, such study is difficult and time-consuming. It pleases God that it should be so; nothing easily gained is worth much anyway. Second, such knowledge is only true to the extent that it finds its identity in the eternal purposes and plan of God. Third, all the knowledge we gain in all our study is only ever partly true; our knowledge is always incomplete and can always be improved. Thus, we must commit to lives of perpetual study and review if we would improve the knowledge God grants us. Forth, such knowledge proves its truthfulness in wise and loving worship and service. And, finally, without prayer we shall not be able to acquire the knowledge and wisdom we seek for biblical worldview living.

There will always be more to know and more wisdom to gain for worshiping God and loving others. The challenge to us is to make the time for study and prayer, so that we, like Solomon, might be used in service to others, for the greater glory of God.

For Reflection

How are you presently pursuing growing in knowledge and wisdom? Is your prayer life sufficient to ensure that you will always increase in these commodities?

T. M. Moore is dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of 20 books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet), and Culture Matters (Brazos). He and his wife and editor, Susie, make their home in Concord, Tenn.