In Hosea the Lord said His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (4:6). In Romans, Paul said faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the words of Christ (10:17). In 2 Peter, Peter said the saints are to grow in knowledge, that is, knowledge of God’s word. In 2 Corinthians, Paul wrote one does not walk by sight, but by faith (by God’s word). In each of these passages we learn those who love the Lord are people/saints who know the Lord’s will. They don’t find reasons to not read, but instead make opportunities to read and learn. No doubt, it is beyond disappointing for the Lord to see those who say they belong to Him fail in desiring to gain understanding of His will. Why would anyone operate in this way? 1) they don’t like to read, 2) so many activity involvements, 3) not really redeemed, but Christian in name only. It’s not their lack of knowledge, but their lack of effort and even desire to gain knowledge. When these people are put in stressful situations, they fail the Lord and themselves because they took no time to hear the Lord by reading His word, thus learning what can be and needs to be done. Will the Lord hear them when they call out? “Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord” (Proverbs 1:28-29, KJV). There is a correlation between this failure to learn and the exhortations from the Lord when He said many are called, but few are chosen AND why call me Lord when you do not hear me (Luke 6:46). RT
Every generation that comes into the world needs to learn its own history. This is not only fruitful to the mind in the way of intellectual knowledge, this is also beneficial to the mind in that it sets the compass directional finder in place.
Learning history stimulates the mind in areas that generates interest. For instance, one might have learned that Abraham Lincoln was murdered by southern sympathizer John W. Booth, but is there much knowledge about Booth’s escape and then capture? Not nearly as much, but one can learn and note there was no peace for him in his running, and there was certainly no peace for him in the way that he died.
Learning history is important when it comes to biblical matters also. In Judges 2:10, the Scriptures teach there arose a new generation of Israelites that did not know the Lord the way the previous generation did and neither did they know the deed or works that were done by the Lord. A tragedy of no small amount!
The tragedy was the result of two things (I suggest). First, it was the result of parental guidance, or the failure thereof. Education must always start in the home. If there is no foundational education put in place by the parents, then the education put in place—for it will be put in place—will come from an outside source that may not at all correspond to the parent’s way of thinking. Second, because of the failings in parents, it was the result of the student (child) who took her/his education from another source, having no interest in his or her heritage. Perhaps a third reason for this kind of tragedy is in the teacher and/or the teaching of those who are in position of leadership within the community.
The community that I want to address in this brief article is the church.
Each generation must be taught, actively taught, the ways of the Lord. Without learning from the parents, without learning from elders and the preacher, it is very possible that when teaching does occur, as it is stated in Judges 2:17, “Yet they did not listen to their Judges [religious teachers], for they whored after other gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the LORD, and they did not do so.” (ESV)
Those who refused to listen to the Lord end up forsaking the Lord’s way entirely. The word “forsake” means to abandon what is viewed as precious by the Lord. Thus, the compass directional finder that was once in place has now begun to corrode and it is but a little time following the compass no longer works. When the compass no longer works, then the one who was living by it will do what? In Acts 27:15, there is a phrase that represents a literal occurrence in the life of the apostle Paul while on a ship to Rome, but the wording corresponds to a spiritual journey for those who lose their way. “And when the ship was caught and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along.”
Some of the things that need to be taught young people (and older folk also) would be the historicity of Jesus, salvation from sin, the nature and importance of the Lord’s church, the day of judgment that is before us all. these are but a few very important points of teaching.
Each generation needs to be taught the Lord’s way; the vacation Bible school activities are very important for a local congregation, but it is even greater for the parents and the local church to be sure that teaching of the Lord’s way is a regular occurrence and not just during a small time in the summer months. RT
The Scriptures teach in John 6:44-45 that for one to come to Jesus that one must be taught by the Father. Jesus explained what He meant when He said that through the writings of Scripture one is taught by the Father. Interestingly enough, but just a few words later, the Lord said this with regard to Judas, “‘But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the beginning who were the ones who did not believe, and who was the one who would betray Him. And He said, ‘Because of this I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father’” (John 6:64-65, EMTV).
Why did Judas betray the Lord? Because he did not allow himself to be taught by the Lord. Though the Lord gave him ample opportunity to learn and apply the words of life that He expected in others, Judas, simply put, was not interested; that is, he did not allow the Lord’s teaching to find a home in his heart, stopping him from his betrayal.
What does this tell us? It tells us many things. First, proximity is not a teacher. Can one get closer to God than Judas did for the amount of time that he was with Jesus, and not learn? What did Judas learn? No doubt, he learned much, but the goal of teaching is more than giving information, it is giving information whereby a person’s life is changed. Second, there should be little doubt that Judas gained much information from Jesus concerning things in life that were (and are) important. This academic knowledge not transferred into one’s heart application is knowledge for knowledge’s sake, and, in the end, of not much value. Third, to be taught by God is not a matter of hearing an audible voice from heaven, and neither is it some silent voice that one believes comes from within. To be taught of God means to read, learn, and apply what the Lord said (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
The truth of God applied sets one free from the bondage of sin (John 8:31-22), and this is exactly what Judas would not allow himself to apply. Whereas God granted unto him “repentance unto life,” Judas heard and considered what God said and did not apply it (cf. Acts 13:27).