Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Word Study Wednesday: Knowledge

Hosea 4:6a: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge."

As I grew up, I watched my mom sit down at the kitchen table with her Bible (sometimes with more than one version), concordance, dictionary, commentary, and a notebook and pour through scripture. Later, these skills I learned from my Mom were reinforced by my church. I'm grateful because my mom and my church provided me with tools to gain Godly knowledge.

Why is it important for us to know the Word of the Lord? To begin with, it leads to truth. There are so many misconceptions in the world regarding what the Bible has to say. For example, many believe the saying "God helps those who help themselves" is in the Bible. It's not - this quote is attributed to Benjamin Franklin. How can we truly follow the Lord if we do not know what His word says? If I lived my life trying to help myself, then it would be a flawed endeavor because I am human.

Next, it's important to have Godly knowledge so that we are not misled by the good or bad intentions of others. Hosea 4:6 originally applied to the Israelite priests (God was admonishing them for leading His people astray), but I feel it applies to all of us now. How many people have been led astray because they lacked knowledge and followed those who claimed to have knowledge? In Luke 11:52, Jesus admonishes the lawyers (according to my footnote in my ESV Bible, it is another phrase for the "scribes of the pharisees") who have taken the "key of knowledge" away from others. According to the Matthew Henry Commentary, these lawyers perverted the scriptures by adding their own interpretations.

Finally, knowledge is a supplement to our faith. Second Peter 2:5-7 says: "For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love." Peter continues in verse 8 explaining that these virtues keep us from being "unfruitful in the knowledge" of Jesus. I know I want to live a fruitful life (see my previous post about The Pruning Season) and knowing and living the way God wants me to will help me accomplish this.

He gives us knowledge and wisdom when we seek Him (Proverbs 2), but we have to be active participants. It makes us wise to those who may try to lead us astray and it adds to our faith. It keeps us fruitful and it brings us closer to the Lord. I pray we gain knowledge so that we are not destroyed.

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