He tells us everything over and over – one line at a time – Isaiah 28:10
9 To whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message?
10 For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.
How do we discover new things?
“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries” (Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers).
How do we acquire information and learn?
There are three primary ways by which people have learned, acquired, and come to understand new information. One is been by human reason or thought – rationalism. Through intellectual effort and trial and error, people figure things out. A second has been through human experience, we learn by doing, trial, and error – empiricism.
Throughout the millennia, the children of the King had been very privileged. We have learned through revelation. The Father has simply told us things we could not learn by rationalism or empiricism. Things we could never know about Him, the nature of human sin, the need for salvation, and the great revelation of the life and death and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
To avail ourselves of the revelation that has come from the Father, we must be in the Word of God, studying, meditating, and listening.
Sadly, many people of the 20th and 21st centuries have denied the very existence of God and ruled out the Bible as a source of knowledge and valuable information. It has been deemed no more than a hodgepodge of stories, histories, myths, poetry, and wisdom literature.
Into this nontheistic age, we have been born. And until we are born again, we are the doomed, gloomy byproducts of our times. When the rulers of our age turned away from the Father and the Word of God, they lost the wisdom which comes only from the Father. They are left only with earthbound, natural, impious resources.
James 3:15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.
The term translated earthly in Greek is epigeios from epi + ge, literallyon earth. It has the sense of being earthbound, constrained by earthly limitations. Such wisdom has its source in things that are confined to the earth. We are familiar with the concept of thinking outside the box. Earthly thinking is inside the box. It is extremely limited. Often, standards, aims, and measures of success are entirely earthly and worldly.
The Greek term which is translated natural is psychike. It means belonging to the psyche. It can be appropriately translated soulish, psychic, and often natural. James is saying that this kind of wisdom is no more than animal instinct. It is the kind of wisdom that makes an animal snap and snarl with no other thought than that of prey or personal survival (Barclay).
The term translated demonic in Greek is daimoniodes from daimonion – demon. It is devilish. The source of this knowledge is not God but the devil.
Having rejected the Father and His truth, the world has become a dark, dismal, godless place.
9 So there is no justice among us, and we know nothing about right living. We look for light but find only darkness. We look for bright skies but walk in gloom.
10 We grope like the blind along a wall, feeling our way like people without eyes. Even at brightest noontime, we stumble as though it were dark. Among the living, we are like the dead.
11 We growl like hungry bears; we moan like mournful doves. We look for justice, but it never comes. We look for rescue, but it is far away from us.
But the Father made a wonderful promise of bright hope for the future.
Isaiah 9:2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.
REFLECT & PRAY
Life can be like a tremendous and delightful treasure hunt. We have the opportunity to always be seeking and learning new truth.
Father thank You that You desire to lead me in truth and teach me one-on-one, face-to-face.
Our perception and understanding of reality are skewed by our own limitations without the Father’s input. What we think and have come to “know” as real, dictates what we believe can be real.
Plato, the Greek philosopher, wrote the Allegory of the Cave to explain the nature of reality. It tells of a cave, in which prisoners are kept. These prisoners have been in the cave since their childhood. The prisoners could only see flickering images on the wall. They presumed the images to be real, rather than just shadowy representations of what is real.
The cave represents the state of most human beings, confusing shadows with reality, confusing partial truth, incomplete truth for real truth.
One of the prisoners is freed and able to take a good look around. He looked at the shadows and observed they were not real at all, but only shadows of the real things.
The prisoner then was able to leave the cave and see the real world outside. The prisoner now sees how pitiful he and his former colleagues in the cave really are. If he returned to the cave, the prisoners would see him as deranged, not really knowing what reality is, and would say of him that he left the cave and returned with corrupted eyes.
1 Corinthians 13:12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Where do you live? Is your reality limited to darkness, shadows, and partial truths? Or, do you live in the reality of the light of life? To borrow a line from X-files, “The truth is out there.”
John 8:32 you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
To find freedom, we must first recognize and become discontent with our limitations.
5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.
6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.
8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.