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Vol.  9  No. 11 November 2007  Page 17
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Robert JohnsonA Lack of Knowledge

By Robert Johnson

    These were difficult days. By swearing and lying, killing and stealing and committing adultery, they broke all restraint. Bloodshed was followed with more bloodshed. The land itself mourned, and everyone living there languished. What horrible conditions in which to live! The source of these troubles, however, was easy enough to diagnose. There was no knowledge of God in the land, of His will, of truth, mercy and justice. While there was much external religious activity, it was based on human emotions, not the revealed will of God. Everyone’s image of God was based on their own desires, not on God’s revelation of Himself in Scripture, His revealed truth. The result was Hosea’s cry that, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).

    The above description, while written almost 2,700 years ago, would well fit our day and age. While there is a lot of talk about God, Jesus and spirituality, there is little time spent in the only source available that reveals them clearly and authoritatively, the Bible. Emotions and feelings take priority and God must conform to these. Actually, it must be the other way around. Our knowledge and understanding of God must grab our attention, focus our emotions and motivate our actions. Paul spoke of the Jews of his day …“I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness” (Romans 10:2-3). The same is true of many today.

    Of course, knowledge without love puffs up, resulting in arrogance (1 Corinthians 8:1). It shouldn’t be one or the other, but one with the other. The current swing of the pendulum in modern society, away from a real knowledge of God based in Scripture, has produced the same results that Hosea lamented in his day. Problems in government, problems in society, even problems in the church, share a common source. When everyone does what is right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25), the consequences can be devastating. Unless we get back to living as God intends, how much farther will society go? Unless we get back to Scripture as a pattern for the church, will we become just another denomination?

    We must redefine the parameters of our love within the framework of a knowledge of God. We must take Scripture to heart, and apply it to life. We must cease trying to form God to our image, and instead allow ourselves to be molded in His image. “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:9-11).

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