Knowing; February 13, 2020


1 Corinthians 13:12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

It’s interesting to have this on the heels of yesterday’s reading. We are designed to want to know things. Seeking for knowledge has brought about some marvelous discoveries, but it has led to some pretty horrible things as well. We have the English proverbs of “Curiosity killed the cat,” and “Ignorance is bliss,” but the first is used as a joke or a tease, and the second is an attempt to comfort when we really want badly to know. The problem is, our knowledge is always imperfect at best, just as Paul says. We are used to glass mirrors that are, historically speaking, marvels of precision. In Paul’s day, mirrors were polished metal, and with the technology of the day, a perfect reflection was an impossibility. Today, in contrast, we have “deep fake” video technology that can seem totally convincing, making people seem to say and do things they never did. It’s only a matter of time before such technology is used for active deception. However, God deals in truth, and those who belong to Him must do so as well. We need the help of the Holy Spirit to discern what is true and what is deception, even in looking at ourselves. The devil actively tries to convince us of things that are false, about ourselves and about those around us. We need God’s help to see through such “deep fakes” and see things as He does. In this world we won’t get it all 100%, but we can have the assurance that there will be no deception whatsoever before the throne of God, and look forward to that.

I have liked the song, We Will Understand it Better By and By for as long as I can remember. It certainly agrees with this verse! I was talking just last night with someone about how we have such a limited perspective, but God can see it all at once. The example I referenced was the current epidemic stemming from China. With its high rate of contagion it is very scary, but it seems possible that God has allowed it in order to break the communist regime in that country. We can only watch prayerfully as it all unfolds. It isn’t my business to speculate on God’s purposes, necessarily, but rather to trust that He is still God whatever happens. I need to remember what God told Jeremiah: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.” (Jeremiah 9:23-24) In my quest for knowledge I am to rejoice particularly that I know God, imperfect though my knowledge is, and share that knowledge gladly with those around me so that they too may share in His grace.

Father, thank You for this reminder. In this information culture it is easy to get distracted by unimportant things. Help me focus fully on You, not ignoring the world but seeing it through Your eyes, so that I may be Your agent indeed, for the sake of the Body of Christ and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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