#650: What We Know



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Reflections by the Pond
April 7, 2014

Wisdom shouts in the street,
"How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?"

Proverbs 1:20a,22

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Perhaps the reason one might enroll at the American University in Washington, D.C., would be to study politics. And if one were indeed enrolled in such a class at such a school it might safely be assumed that one would have reasonable knowledge—or at least curious, and on the path to said knowledge—of the politics being played out every day in that capital city of our nation.

And that assumption would be incorrect.

During recent man-on-the-street interviews with a number of students from this school—at least one of which was currently studying political science—not one could answer the simple question, "Can you name one person currently serving in the U.S. Senate?" They were similarly ignorant of something any grade-schooler should be able to answer: "How many senators does each state have?"

These same individuals, however, were able to immediately give the correct answer to the question, "What is the name of the hit song from the movie, Frozen?"

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The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:7

We will not here bemoan further the discouraging priorities of this contemporary, temporal society, for that is self-evident. So long as public teachers insist that "self-esteem" trumps hard facts, what more can we expect?

Yet believers cannot throw stones. How many in our midst know the detailed box scores of their favorite baseball team, but can't find the Sermon on the Mount in their Bible? How many know the names of every player on their favorite NFL team, but can't find Israel on a map? How many of our youth know the lyrics of every song by the profligate pop star, Justin Bieber, but don't know the words to "How Great Thou Art"?

We cannot say we love our Lord if we do not obey Him, and we cannot obey Him if we do not know what He has said to us in His word. The apostle Paul put it well in his letter to the Colossians:

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the [true, full] knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the [true, full] knowledge of God.

Colossians 1:9-10 (definition added)

One cannot truly love and obey what one does not know. Indeed, it is by knowing Jesus that we love Him. When we learn not just that He "died for our sins," but the true depth and meaning of that sacrifice; His absolute devotion to each of His followers as advocate, friend and brother; His true personality—not defined by Hollywood and the ignorant, but by His word; His relationship to the Father and the Spirit—then and only then are we able to love Him and dedicate our lives to Him.

God is not looking for followers who love Him only on a sappy, puppy-love level; He wants to have a relationship with people who love and worship Him for who He truly is.

Does this mean we cannot love Him at all until we know everything there is to know about Him? No, for that day will never come on this earth. What it means is that we must be attending classes every day; we must be always in the school of learning about Him. As we attend this holy enterprise, our love for Him grows and deepens.

I loved my wife on the day we were married, but nothing like the love I have for her after forty-three years of learning all I can about her.

Just so with our God and Lord.

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And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment.

Philippians 1:9