Speaking with Lips of Knowledge


John Piper, in a message, “The Lips of Knowledge Are a Precious Jewel” (Proverbs 20:15)

Now finally, “the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel” because while having knowledge opens the door to eternal life and the joy of holiness, speaking knowledge gives you the doubled joy of taking someone with you through that door. It is a nourishing joy to do God’s will, but that joy is compounded when we can speak a word of knowledge to help another to God’s will. “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

I think the “lips of knowledge” are a vast and largely untapped resource in the local church. If it is valuable to listen to the “lips of knowledge,” and it is valuable to have knowledge, and if it is indeed more blessed to give than to receive, then how tremendously valuable, how powerfully desirable it is to speak with the “lips of knowledge.” Paul wrote to the Roman church, “I am satisfied about you my brethren, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another” (15:14). And he wrote to the Colossians, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom.”

Every one of us has the “lips of knowledge” on some occasions. God teaches us something for our good and for the good of our neighbor, colleague, friend, roommate, employee. There is a beautiful word in Isaiah 50:4 that every one of us can follow. And it is a good summary of much of what I have said. Isaiah says,

The Lord God has given me the tongue (or lips) of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. Morning by morning he wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.

First, he has to listen to the “lips of knowledge,” then he has knowledge, then he speaks with the “lips of knowledge” in order to sustain with a word him that is weary.

Let’s be like Isaiah all the time. Let’s go after the knowledge of God with more gusto than we go after all material things, and then let’s unzip the “lips of knowledge” and speak to each other of these things and sustain each other on the phone, in the car, over meals, in the office, in the church halls. Because, “There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.”