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1.14.2011

"O Wisdom, Where Art Thou?": Seeking Knowledge in a Culture Without It


For some time now I have known that I was different. I have always been the kind of person who enjoys learning period, and since God regenerated me through Christ's atoning death granting me the graces of repentance and saving faith in Him, I have been endeavoring to know more about Him and His Word (not that I have been so faithful in it, but do have the desire to be so). So, I started out reading the Scriptures and wanting to know all I could from them. I wasn't involved in a youth program at a church, nor did I have someone in particular descipling me (not that that would've been wrong, I just didn't have that). So, I did what I could. I often asked my parents about things I had read, and even more so as I went to college, I simply went back to the Bible to see if what I had seen, heard, or read elsewhere was true.

Maybe it's our culture. After all, if you've ever been the kid in class that finished your work first and brought home all A's, then you know it wasn't exactly revered. We're encouraged to go to school, only that we may learn the least amount necessary to get out of school eventually and make lots of money. For most people our learning ends when we receive our diploma. And sadly we are a culture that advocates that and says now go to work so you can come home and enjoy the money you've made, because learning couldn't be enjoyable.

My family was very different in this area especially. I had one grandmother who finished high school, but only because her father was well off. Her husband (my maternal grandfather) never really went to school, only going a few days when he was 5 or 6. My paternal grandmother went to the 5th grade and my paternal grandfather went through the third grade. However, both my parents have college degrees, and my grandparents were very encouraging of both them and us learning as much as we could about everything. Why? I think partly because they had so little education. Both my grandfathers in particular spent their lives learning as many skills as they could to better provide for their families.

The biggest concern I have isn't with our culture of ignorance, that is ignorance in simply worldly matters, but with the body of Christ, His church. Why is it that it is so acceptable to profess to be a Christian and yet have no knowledge of the Bible (even basic) and worse no desire for that knowledge? I remember being in a young adult Bible study once where a young man said, "I don't need to read my Bible. Me and God are good." And yet all sat silent, including myself and the teachers! No disagreement was made with him.

We are told to not to love the things of the world (1 John 2:15), so why are we loving this idleness in the pursuit of knowledge, most especially in the pursuit of knowledge of God in the Bible?

God certainly hasn't been idle in promoting wisdom in Holy Scripture. Over and over we are told here is where real wisdom is. The whole book of Proverbs is dedicated to it and Ecclesiastes was written by the wise Solomon going through all the human wisdom available only to come to this conclusion, "The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgement, with every secret thing, whether good or evil."-Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

This is the truly sad part. In not seeking the wisdom of God by reading and studying His Word, are we not only keeping ourselves from this blessed knowledge of the gospel, but also our children and those around us who are lost?

Knowledge of the Word of God is not simply for clergy, pastors, elders, and Sunday school teachers. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." That means EVERY verse, not just the ones we like to pull out of context and "claim" for ourselves.  And the danger is just what God said, we won't be "competent" for "good work".

Your boss or teachers aren't satisfied with work below "competent", and most of us who like being able to have a home and food know enough to be competent in our work, so that we can continue to work there. God is saying that without knowledge of the Scriptures, all of them, we aren't even competent. We are useless without this knowledge.

So, in this new year, let's pick up our Bibles, turn off the T.V. and *gulp* computers, and simply read God's Word, not to earn His favor or to check off the "to-do"list, but because we want to know this Savior.

After all, Christ is what makes heaven and redemption not only possible, but glorious. The pleasures of going to heaven are not to avoid hell, see Grandma, or even to live forever. The pleasures of eternity in heaven are in being the very presence of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, who gave His own blood and sacrificed Himself for our behalf. The enjoyment of Him is our supreme hope and goal as Christians, but we cannot know Him apart from reading His Word, which is the most definitive description of His character and nature available to us.
I like to ask people that if they wanted to really know who I am, would it be better to read an account written by total strangers or worse by people who don't like me, or would it be better to spend time with me, ask me and read an account I have written? It's the same with God. Let us stop searching for Him and knowledge of Him everywhere else, but instead seek to really get to know Him as He is and as He has so perfectly revealed Himself to be in Scripture, because the Bible is sufficient.

And yes, you may get bored with me here, but this could easily lead to more posting on this topic ;)

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