Ignorance Versus Wisdom
Updated: Jun 13
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Matthew 7:24
You may like to pair this reading with Felix Mendelssohn piano, Songs Without Words, Op. 30 - Recorded by Concert Pianist and Follower of Jesus, Andrew Remillard.
Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105). I praise You for the wisdom found in Your Word! For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and all that you desire cannot compare with her (Proverbs 8:11). Your Word is wisdom that leads to salvation. Your Word is how I grow spiritually in my walk with You, Jesus. This life is a battle for the Truth, and Your Word is the sword of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:17). The only way I'm able to fight Satan's lies is with the Truth, found in Your precious Word. Your Word is what brings me joy, peace, comfort, strength, and wisdom leading to eternal life, by grace through faith in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Ignorance Versus Wisdom
Ignorance is lacking the correct knowledge or proper understanding of something. People who are ignorant are unaware or uniformed. At times, we may be ignorant simply because we didn't know there was something we needed to know. Other times, we may be ignorant because we have made the choice not to learn or understand something we need to know. This is called willful ignorance. What does the Bible say about ignorance? the Lord says, "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you" (Hosea 4:6). To willfully reject the knowledge God has graciously supplied us through His Word is a sinful ignorance. That's because it is an ignorance rooted in choice, stemming from pride. Ignorance without choice about earthly matters is quite understandable. However, willful ignorance about spiritual matters, about our eternal souls, found only in the Word of God, can lead people to eternal destruction (Romans 1:18-23).
In Hebrews 5:2, it says, Jesus is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. We are so blessed that God is long-suffering, meaning He is patient with us on this side of eternity. The most universal gift of God's common grace is time. He is so gracious to the whole world by giving us time to repent, time to believe and come to the full knowledge of God in Christ, time to be saved. The Lord is patient, even in our willful ignorance, whether that's to the truth of His existence or to the knowledge of His Word. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Even when we choose not to believe in God, to not learn about who God is, or to not seek to understand His Word, He gives us an abundance of opportunities to learn. Paul says that God showed him mercy when he "acted ignorantly in unbelief" (1 Timothy 1:13). We are commanded to repent of our ignorance and seek Him with our whole heart. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, (Acts 17:30). You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13).
The direct opposite of spiritual ignorance is wisdom, and God makes His wisdom available to all those who desire it and choose to seek it. God gives wisdom in abundance to all those who ask. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him (James 1:5). Proverbs Chapter One personifies wisdom as a lady who is calling out in the streets, commanding us to gain prudence, knowledge, and wisdom. When Scripture commands us to listen, God is giving us another precious opportunity to trade our willful ignorance for His divine wisdom.
"Ignorance of Scripture is the most dangerous self-inflicted wound." - Dale Partridge.
"Satan’s greatest weapon is man’s ignorance of God’s Word." – A.W. Tozer.
The Moral Law - Written in Every Heart
We can't say that the Bible is only clear to believers. In reality, the unbeliever is just as culpable for the rejection of the Word of God because of its authority, clarity, and sufficiency. Because that which is known about God is made evident within us, God has also made evident to us. This means that Scripture directly correlates with what God has placed in the heart of every person. The Moral Law (The 10 Commandments) is written in the heart and sewn into the conscience of every person and is universal to everyone who has ever lived. Romans 2:15 says, They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even excusing them. Furthermore, Romans 1:20 says, For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
Through the sovereignty of God, every single person in this world has been given enough light (truth of God's existence and truth of His Word) to be held responsible. God has placed His knowledge in everyone through general revelation seen in creation and the Moral Law cemented into every conscience. General revelation and the inherent knowing of God's Moral Law does not automatically entitle anyone to salvation. The Law either points us to a Savior and leads us to the full knowledge of the light in Jesus Christ, or it leads to the condemnation for those who choose to reject that light they are given. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world (John 1:9).
The Conscience - Our True Ally
God has given us clear revelation in creation of His obvious existence, and He has graciously given us the Word of God describing who He is, what He has done for us, and how we ought to live; the manual with clear instructions to life itself, as well as the way to eternal life by grace through faith in Christ. God also gave us the gift of our consciences, which is our souls' built-in warning system. Our own consciences are there to help guide us on the good and safe path He has for us, and they are there to warn us of what is harmful and dangerous to our souls. One thing is for sure, we will do well to listen to our consciences. Unfortunately, for many people who continue to go against their consciences over a long period of time, it gets easier to do so, and they become faulty, seared, and simply don't work very well anymore - sometimes to the point of no return. "It is so deadly to misinform the conscience that it can become so convoluted to the point where people glory in their shame" - John MacArthur in reference to Philippians 3:19: Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. Isaiah 5:20 goes on to say, Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
A seared conscience is an absolute tragedy because the conscience is our ally and true friend. To kill our ally wouldn't bode well for us. It's there to be our friend and help us in our everyday life and decisions. Our consciences either accuse us or excuse us from our sins. It can be the best friend of a pure and holy heart, or it can be the worst enemy of a sinful soul. And so, we will be without excuse when we stand before God one day and have to give an account for every last thing we thought, said, and did, when we knew better. None of us can say we didn't know because God gave us our consciences, and He also gave us His Word to fully inform our consciences with the Truth in Jesus. God's divine power gave us everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), and it's simply a choice we all make in this preparatory life to either reject the Word of God, diminish it, ignore it, "read it later," or trust it and obey Him with joy.
"You see the conscience functions like a skylight, not like a lamp. It doesn't have a light of its own. It can only let light through. It's not the source of light. It does not produce its own light. It can only let light into the soul, and therefore it needs to have the right information. Its usefulness is determined by the amount of pure light passing through it. So a fully functioning conscience then is fully informed by the truth of God's Word." - John MacArthur
To be fully effective and to function as God designed, the conscience must be fed the right information since it can’t produce information by itself. If the conscience is to work the way in which God designed it to work, then it must submit to the truest, highest, and purest moral law that exists. And where can we find that? We can find that in the truest, highest, and purest tangible source that exists in this physical realm. And that is the clear, authoritative, sufficient, and infallible Word of God, authored by God and written by men who were internally led by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21).
The Word of God is Wisdom That Leads to Salvation
The Old Testament Scriptures all point to Christ and make clear the need to believe in God's promises. In the Old Testament, the Law is there to show us how much we need God's grace. The Law was never meant to be trusted as the means to salvation. The purpose of the Law was to display God's demand for holiness, to reveal our depravity and the inability to save ourselves, and our desperate need of a Savior. The Law was never given to save anybody, but to lead us to the only One who could - Jesus. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17). The Scriptures from the Old Testament through the New Testament all point to salvation in Christ alone. The Scriptures are able to lead us to recognize our own fallenness and our great need of a perfect Savior in Christ. Salvation is carried by the Holy Spirit through God's Word. So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ (Romans 10:17). Ultimately, the Word of God is the wisdom that leads us to salvation through faith in Christ by God's grace.
You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 NASB
The Word of God is Better than All the Riches in the World
We all know that knowledge is power, especially when applied. Knowledge of who God is and who we are in Him, is how we learn and grow spiritually; it's how we build our faith and relationship with Jesus Christ: it's how we bear spiritual fruit: it's how we fight the good fight of faith. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses (1 Timothy 6:12). Without the knowledge of God's Word, we simply cannot learn who God is and grow spiritually in our walk with Him. How can we trust someone we don't know or take time to get to know? Before I was converted, I was an example of someone who professed to know God but didn't even read the manual on who God was. How could I possibly come to know the God of the Bible when I didn't bother to open His Word; when I chose to make a god of my own imagination; when I was blind and willfully ignorant of the real God of the universe? That's an empty profession of faith in God.
This is why Bibles are incredibly precious to those in foreign countries who don't have access to them; places where the Bible is banned; places where people get killed for having God's Word in their possession (The Bible is banned in 52 countries). The Word of God is more valuable than all the riches in the world throughout all of human history, and unfortunately, many people in the United States take for granted the precious, infinite value of the Word of God. How blessed are we to have access to God's Word! What could be better than holding the invaluable Word of God right in the palms of our hands? What could be better to have stored in our minds and written on our hearts than the infinite value of the Word of God? When His Word is in us, that's when it has the greatest impact on us. And when we share His Word that we have stored in our hearts is when it can have a powerful impact on others. The best way we can allow God to speak through us is when we speak His Word. For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and all that you desire cannot compare with her (Proverbs 8:11). How much better to acquire wisdom than gold! To gain understanding is more desirable than silver (Proverbs 16:16).
Jesus is Wisdom
Everything pertaining to life and godliness has been freely given to us in Scripture (2 Peter 1:3). It's all right there for us. Nothing is missing. Not one iota. The Word of God gives us every answer and everything we possibly need to know to live a meaningful, purposeful, peace-filled life headed for eternal life. The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29). God has revealed to us everything we need to know pertaining to life and godliness so that we may trust Him by walking in His statutes. And we ought never to trust in our own minds or place our feelings above the authority of the Word of God. Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered (Proverbs 28:26). In Proverbs 1:20-33, wisdom is personified and described as someone we can "get to know." Scripture says that Jesus Christ has become to us wisdom from God (1 Corinthians 1:30). Therefore, wisdom and discernment is something that comes from knowing Jesus Christ, who is the highest, purest, truest wisdom that exists. When we come to truly know Jesus, is when we fear Him, and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10).
Jesus is The Living Word
We cannot truly come to know Jesus Christ if we do not care to know His Word too. That's because Jesus Christ is the Word. The two are inseparable. Jesus is the living Word. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1). And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14). Jesus is the Word incarnate. Jesus is the Word made flesh. The Word is Truth. The Truth itself took on human flesh as Jesus Christ. Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). God Himself took on human flesh as the God-man, Jesus Christ who came to take away the sins of the world; of all who would ever come to believe in Him. Therefore, when we keep our eyes on the Word, we are keeping our eyes on Jesus. That's why reading Scripture daily is vital to our spiritual growth and Christian walk. How we renew our minds is only with the truth of God's Word. Reading His Word is never to be secondary to us or "on the list of things to do", but a primary focus in our daily lives. Reading His Word is an absolute privilege.
So how can we trust someone we don't know or want to get to know? And how do we love someone we don't know or trust? Without coming to know Christ through the Word, we will only end up loving a Jesus of our own imagination, an idol and not the God of Scripture, the only One who can save any of us from our sins.
Scripture is infinitely more precious than all the riches in the world. It's the highest, purest, truest form of wisdom that exists. It's the Truth, and the Truth is in Jesus (Ephesians 4:21). It's our path to eternal path by grace through faith. Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105).
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). Lord, I pray that You give me the desires of my heart as I delight in You, in Your Word - that I may love and crave Your Word at a deeper level so that I may grow deeper in my relationship with You, grow to be more humble, loving, patient, and gentle, share Your Truth more with others, and bring You glory. Lord, I pray that you illuminate Scripture for me and help me grow in heart knowledge of You. And Lord, please help me see my own sin and depravity at a deeper level so that I may look at You and praise You on a far greater level that You deserve - for your loving mercy and saving grace that I never deserved. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. Matthew 7:24-27
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. James 3:17
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 1 Corinthians 3:18
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6
Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;
he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. Proverbs 13:3
When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:5-6
13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:13-17