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Proverbs 9:10

Proverbs 9:10
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Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of YHWH is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”

The knowledge (intimate, personal knowledge—same word used for the way a husband and wife “know” one another in marital union) the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. By saying that knowledge of the Holy One is insight, the author emphasizes that you never move past YHWH as the center and heart of all true understanding.

This is an absolutely beautiful and paradigmatic concept. Insight, understanding, right perception of reality….this comes from and is personal knowledge of the Holy One. We know and navigate reality most fundamentally NOT by the mechanistic, empirical eye that quantifies and categorizes, but by intimate, relational knowledge of a person…of the one who is Other than us, of the transcendent and ever present God. To know Him is insight; to know Him is to understand the world, is to understand meaning and significance, is to understand what matters and what to pursue and how to conduct ourselves and relate to others…..To know HIM is insight into all things.

And how do we know this Holy One? Agur repeats this phrase almost verbatim in Proverbs 30:3 where he laments that “I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.” Agur continues, asking How one is to attain this knowledge, how one is to know the Holy One unless someone ascends to heaven and comes down (Prov.30:4)? These statements emphasize the “otherness” of the Holy One. He is transcendent and in “heaven,” if we are to know Him, someone from heaven must come down. Agur is longing for a revelation of the Holy One, apart from which there can be no understanding or wisdom.

And—gloriously—we have seen that revelation. In John 3:13, Jesus repeats Agur’s question, but places Himself in the role of the one who has “ascended to heaven and come down.” By citing Proverbs 30:4 in John 3:13, Jesus implies that He alone is the one who makes the Holy One truly known…indeed, He Himself is the Holy One declared in flesh and blood (John 1:14, 18). And how has Jesus made this Holy One known to us? 3:14-15 make that clear: by being lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness…..

Knowledge—personal, intimate, saving—Knowledge of the Holy One comes when the incarnate Word of God is lifted up on the cross as the image and representation of the curse……When the Son who is the revelation of the Father is suspended between heaven and earth in the agony of His self-giving love, bearing the curse FOR and AS His people, then we will have knowledge on the earth of the Holy One in the heavens….then we will come to know in our own nature who the infinitely transcendent Other truly is……

And to know the Holy One here, at the cross, IS insight….IS understanding. That is a concept glorious beyond reckoning. Would we understand the universe? Would we have insight into all things? Would we apprehend truth? Would we grasp the way of creation? Would we perceive the internally consistent rationality of reality? Would we know the meaning of all that is? Then know the Holy One on Calvary….then know God on the cross…..know Him not as a topic, not as an integer, not as a theory, but as the living person, personally known, experientially known, whose personality informs, shapes, and consummated all that is. May God give us the grace to know Him here by His Spirit.