Experience and Knowledge

Which is first – experience or knowledge?

I have to say that my experience usually does not match my knowledge. Let’s take God’s promiss to heal at any time, or to provide for us.

Even though my experience tells me otherwise (my son is in hospital with a severe pneumonia at the time of writing, our bank accounts are more than dry), I know that I know that God is no liar and that His promisses are true.

But maybe we have to take a step back. Let’s look at these words a little more closely.

Experience is a sensual, soulish, or mind driven interaction with the fallen world or God’s working in it that is processed by a fallen mind and soul and remembered with many flaws as we know from science. Not very trustworthy.

Knowledge is part of a trinity in Proverbs and the Torah: wisdom, knowledge, and understanding (Exo 31:3, Prov 9:10).

Wisdom in the Hebrew and middle east understanding of the word is “to do things the right way and to do the right things”. No understanding necessary, sometimes even better not to understand to much.

Knowledge is a relational word (and Abraham knew Sarah, and out of it came Isaak). So Prov 9:10 says that only through a relationship with God (the Holy) we can gain understanding.

So knowledge comes out of wisdom and the fear of God (Prov 1:7). No experience involved whatsoever. Understanding comes out of a living relationship with the Lord.

Experience is only a helpfull or hindering thing on the way. We can take good experience to keep us on track, as David puts it: Be still, o my soul, and remember what God has done for you.

At any time, let your knowledge come from a living relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, through prayer, reading and studying His Word, and see experience as secondary, and if contradictory to His Word, as a lying disception.