The path to driving one of London’s iconic black taxis requires passing what one reporter called “possibly the most difficult test in the world.” Would-be cabbies must learn 320 routes and 25,000 streets plus restaurants and landmarks to pass the punishing test called “The Knowledge.” Its fuller name is “The Knowledge of London,” and this testing requirement dates back to 1865.
Candidates obsess over maps and log thousands of miles, usually on a motorbike, to learn the intricate city of London. Dedicated schools such as Knowledge Point help students learn roads like Baker, Bunyan, and Burgon in preparation for their exams. The streets of London are the candidate’s constant thought. As one man put it: “Everything becomes about The Knowledge.”
Perhaps the thematic verse for the Book of Proverbs is “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov. 1:7). John A. Kitchen, in his commentary, says: “This verse expresses the substance of the entire book” (41). For Solomon, knowledge is synonymous with wisdom. His message is that a right relationship with the Lord is the path to successful living.
Men and women studying for “The Knowledge” are called Knowledge boys and Knowledge girls. They even use a guidebook to study key routes and learn the city of London. Their lives are all about “The Knowledge.” For Solomon, the believer’s life is also singularly-focused on knowledge. Instead of understanding the intricacies of how a city fits together, however, we’re seeking to understand how all of life fits together. Our guidebook is the Word of God. We even have the Book of Proverbs, an entire book that teaches us wisdom. But we do not gain our wisdom by studying maps and driving routes on motorbikes. This wisdom comes from God, by His grace as we fear Him in reverent submission (see Prov. 2:6–8).
The Christian’s life is a pursuit of “The Knowledge”—a knowledge of God that results in living for Christ. It sounds a little cheesy, but every believer ought to be a singularly-focused knowledge boy or knowledge girl, learning from Scripture how to live wisely by fearing the Lord.