It is possible to obtain a great accumulation of knowledge without ever growing in wisdom. Today, R.C. Sproul identifies the key distinction that the Bible makes between being knowledgeable and being wise before God.
For the Jew, wisdom is sharply differentiated from knowledge. The distinction is very clear between them. A man may have knowledge without having wisdom. Knowledge is a very important ingredient to wisdom but is never to be confused with it. Because primarily for the Jew, wisdom involves the proper and right application of knowledge to daily living. That’s why the conclusion of Ecclesiastes is this statement: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments” (Eccl. 12:13, KJV). That’s a summary of Hebrew wisdom.
But wisdom, as it says in the Proverbs again and again and again and again, what is the beginning of the wisdom? The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The fear of the Lord here is that idea of standing in adoration and praise, giving proper exaltation to God. Now, what the Hebrew is saying is that that’s where wisdom begins. There is no wisdom without that posture of the fear of God. One can have all the knowledge in the universe, one can even be convinced of the cogency of some kind of ultimate first cause and come to the conclusion that there is a unifying factor in the universe. But unless he stands in a posture of adoration towards God, he still hasn’t arrived at wisdom. He may have knowledge but not wisdom. The Hebrew will not acknowledge the brilliance of the secular mind as wisdom if that mind is standing in contradistinction to the fear of God.
In other words, the fear of God is the necessary ingredient to make wisdom out of knowledge, all knowledge. A man may be technically skilled in all kinds of enterprises, he may be a skilled physician, but with all of his knowledge, all of his training, and all of his skill, unless he has the fear of the Lord, the indictment that comes to him from Hebrew wisdom is that he is a fool.