My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge (Hos 4:6). Ancient Israel’s lack of knowledge was a lack of knowledge of their God. However, this ignorance of God was also an ignorance of God’s working through His word in their lives; each commandment God had given them was to equip them with a practical knowledge of Him and His ways. This knowledge would have saved them from the destruction due their willful ignorance of God, His ways, and His law (Hos 4:6b). Knowing God’s ways comes with knowing God. Knowing Him and His ways comes with knowing His word (Isa 55:6-8, 9-11).
So, in our spiritual battle (Eph 6:10-18), we ought to remember the importance of understanding God and His ways, according to His word. This will not only help us get through the trials of life we and others may face, but it will help us keep a redemptive perspective about the work of God in those trials, for His own glory. Ignorance of God and His ways may set us up for destruction, but knowing God and His ways according to His word will set us up for real knowledge that brings us to discern what is best, to the glory and praise of God (Php 1:9,11 NASB, NIV).
Paul’s prayer for Philippi (Php 1:9-11) that their love abound more and more in real knowledge and all discernment (NASB), discerning what is best (NIV), would set them up for the truth of next verse about Paul’s being imprisoned in chains for preaching the gospel:
Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances, what has happened to me (NIV) have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, . . . (Php 1:12 NASB)”
One application for us, here, is that whatever trials any of us faces as a Christian, God is at work in them – for us to know Him and His ways even better and for the greater advancement of the gospel. We can trust bad things will happen to us, in this life, but also, we can know God and His ways. Knowing this, we can expect God to use whatever has happened to me in some way for the greater progress of the gospel. We, too, then, can pray we know God and His powerful ways of working His purpose in our trials, and we can live through our trials knowing that our God will bring glory and praise to Himself, in whatever has happened to me!
Peace to you in your trials,