“You have done many good things for me, LORD, just as you promised. I believe in your commands; now teach me good judgment and knowledge.” Psalm 119:65-66
In meditating on this scripture today, I began to wonder about the sequence of the psalmist’s request … teach me good judgment and knowledge. My mind thinks in strange circles for my immediate thought was, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Does the chicken that lays the egg come before the egg from which the chicken came?
In the same way, I asked myself, can I have good judgment without first gaining knowledge with which to make good judgments? One doesn’t necessarily follow the other. We’ve probably all known someone who was forever “hitting the books,” filling their minds with knowledge, then coming off as “know-it-alls,” displaying such knowledge in a prideful manner. Having only knowledge, but not understanding what it means or how to use it, is a waste. It makes us vulnerable to believing lies. It can even get us so off track that we embrace doctrines Jesus never taught.
As an example, an acquaintance of mine has become fixated on one word he claims never meant what “the church” says Jesus taught. His fastidious study to disprove a concept has developed a doctrine that embraces other false issues. In the process he has lost sight of Jesus.
“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:7 (KJV)
Jesus wants us to learn of him. He is the true teacher, the one who will take knowledge from our heads to our hearts and reveal the truth.
“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
The King James Version uses the word “meek’ for humble. When we are meek, we have a teachable heart, one that is willing to receive the truth God would impart. We want to study scripture, not to know about Jesus, but to know him. That one word, “about,” keeps us at arms’ length from him. It keeps us outside the arc of intimately knowing him.
As we study God’s word, may it be with teachable hearts, willing to listen to his perspective, not trying to make it fit our own understanding. Knowledge under the leading of the Holy Spirit leads to wisdom which leads to good judgment. The end result is God gets the glory, not me … not you.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:7 (KJV)
By Marilyn Allison