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Ignorance is Preferred

“Give therefore your servant an understanding heart to judge thy people.” 1 Kings 3:9 

When we think of Solomon, we think of wisdom.  He asked for understanding, and that’s what he received.  But after this, Solomon had a second visitation which was a warning about the first dream.  “But if you turn from following me … then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; 1 Kings 9:6-7. We cannot mock God’s commandments with impunity.  He built a caveat into his promises.  Essentially, He told Solomon, “If you turn away from following me, there will be consequences.”  Solomon did exactly that.  

But king Solomon loved many strange women …you shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love …and his wives turned away his heart.” 1 Kings 11:1-4.  Why?  Because Solomon’s conversations with God were in the context of dreams and visions.  They happened when Solomon was in a spiritual frame of mind.  Paul said, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” Romans 8:8.  

In terms of the flesh, ignorance is better than knowledge.  Serving God only makes sense to the spiritual mind.  When you grow carnal, it all looks foolish.  When you resort to your own understanding, the Bible seems oppressive, the church looks confining, holiness looks like bondage, worship looks like insanity, doctrine looks like dogmatism, baptism looks like a meaningless ritual, the Holy Ghost looks like fanaticism, truth looks like tyranny, sacrifice looks like silliness, paying your tithes looks like a stick-up in church and prayer looks like an exercise in futility. 

But, when you are in a spiritual frame of mind, the Bible is liberating, the church looks like the body of Christ, holiness looks like freedom, worship looks like loving God, doctrine looks like the dew of heaven, baptism looks like taking on the name of the bridegroom, the Holy Ghost looks like joy unspeakable and full of Glory, truth looks like Jesus, sacrifice looks sacred, paying your tithes looks like heaven’s financial plan and prayer looks like tapping into God’s promises!  “God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth!” 

When you try to worship God in the flesh instead of the Spirit, nothing works.  Understanding is a Biblical concept, but it is also a skill that educators, psychologists, therapists, counselors, along with some politicians seek to possess.  We are told that we need to understand people, to understand why people do what they do.  We need to understand motives and behaviors.  And it all sounds so logical, so necessary to good human relations.  But God places a very strict qualifier on understanding.  It is the understanding of God, of the nature of God, not an understanding of the world! 

So, what about us?  Should we understand?  Should we understand terrorism?  Serial killing?  Perverse acts?  Should we understand why people sin? The problem is that once we begin to understand the why of sin, we get curious about the how of sin.  Then the devil leads us into the fascinating world of human wisdom.  But there is a problem with human wisdom.  “In the day you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall die!” 

There is a limit to understanding.  There are some things we are told not to understand, not to learn.  I want to be ignorant about sin; I want to be wise in the the knowledge of Christ!  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 1 Corinthians 1:21.

The world says understand me!  Get to know my ways!  Get to know why I lie, cheat, steal, fornicate, kill, commit adultery, live in immorality and rebel against God.  Understand my anger, hatred, cursing, bitterness, and sin.  But, should the church seek to understand the world?  Where will that lead?  It will lead to death!  

Here’s what I believe:  I want the world to understand Jesus!  I don’t want to understand sin; I want the world to understand God! I want to lead people into a life of grace, peace, joy and love!  I want to understand the love of God that covers a multitude of sins, the grace of God, the power of the Cross, repentance, what happens in the waters of baptism, what happens when one receives the Holy Ghost.  I want to understand prayer, worship, Bible study, coming to church, giving to God.  If we are given a choice to either know God or know the world, choose to know God! 

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:7-14.

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