We’ve all heard it said, ‘Knowledge is power’. To amass that knowledge and its supposed power, much time and energy are spent in pursuit of knowledge…in academic pursuits, at work, in our personal lives and in politics. If the logic of humanity stands correct, the student with the most knowledge does the best, the employee/employer with the greatest amount of knowledge gets the promotion or stays ahead of the market, and the one who knows the most is the one to go to for the best advice and well, let’s not begin to comment on the issue of knowledge in politics.
What about you? What kind of power do you strive for? Are you one of the crowd desperately seeking knowledge? Are you among those who enjoy the attention and the spotlight which knowledge brings you? Are you the ‘crossroads of knowledge’? Doesn’t it get tiresome, though? At some point, do you not get tired of running after it all? I mean, there will not come a time when the knowledge is no longer relevant. Will it all be worth it then? Perhaps, it depends on the knowledge you pursue. Let’s take a look at some of the readings for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost.
In Psalm 119:97-104, the psalmist celebrates:
Oh! how I love your law! * All the day long it is in my mind. Your commandment has made me wiser than my enemies, * and it is always with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, * for your decrees are my study. I am wiser than the elders, * because I observe your commandments. [...] Through your commandments I gain understanding; * therefore I hate every lying way.
Turning to the Lesson of the day, Jeremiah 31:27-34, we read:
But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; […].Jeremiah 31:33-34
In the Epistle – 2 Timothy 3:14-14:5, it is written
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work2 Timothy 3:14-17
It would seem, then, that the saying is true: ‘Knowledge is power’! My position, though, is that it depends on the knowledge being pursued. There is knowledge that is worldly – linked to things temporal, things passing, things that do not last – and there is knowledge that is linked to things eternal, things that do not fade away. Armed with the knowledge of things eternal:
- I am wiser than my enemies;
- I have more understanding than all my teachers;
- I am wiser than the elders and
- I gain understanding.
This knowledge facilitates teaching and correction, training in righteousness and equips me for every good work. Most significantly, through this knowledge, I know God.
Friends, over the past weeks, I have repeated that purpose is walking in step with the will of God. Who can walk in step with the will of God, though, without knowledge of God? Returning to the scenarios listed at the beginning of this week’s message, I ask who can pass an exam honestly without having studied for it? Who can dominate the market without gathering and studying the market data? Who can be the go-to person for advice without being aware of what’s happening around us?
My mission this week, then, is to encourage you to become knowledgeable in the ways of God for such knowledge leads to a timeless and eternal reward, a reward that ensures purpose. My mission is to encourage you to spend time in contemplation of Holy Scripture and related readings, to view material that brings you closer to the Master, to pray, to commit to private and public worship and, for having done that, to consider how it all impacts you in your daily life.
So, as you journey through this life, choose well the knowledge you pursue. There is knowledge that satisfies for a moment…until it is no longer relevant, and then, there is true knowledge, knowledge of God, that satisfies forever!
Until next time, in full knowledge of the power that is God, I bid you