August 23, 2014
Knowledge is power. When you know something that others do not, you have an advantage over them. That is why gossip is so enticing. For that moment when you know something nobody else does, it makes you the smart one, the one on the inside, the one who has control of where that knowledge goes. You get to choose who you will allow to join you in this exclusive club for those who have this knowledge.
At the workplace, knowledge is a leverage point. When people refuse to share knowledge at work, it makes the company less efficient and less productive, but it can be viewed as job security for the person who has the knowledge. If you are the one with all the knowledge of how things work, it makes it more difficult for the company to let you go. It makes you more valuable than somebody who does not have this knowledge. That value gives you leverage.
Scientific knowledge is often the deciding factor in war time. The country with the best weapons, the best training, and the best strategy, is usually the one who defeats the other. Knowledge of how to make a nuclear bomb was the deciding factor in ending the war with Japan in WWII. The country who got the bomb first was the victor.
Knowledge is also power in the religious world. When the Jews returned from the Babylonian captivity, most of them did not know how to speak Hebrew anymore. They spoke Aramaic which was the official language of the Babylonians. This meant that the priests and the scribes would have to translate the Scriptures during the worship services for the people. If the priests could declare what was right and wrong, regardless of what the Scriptures really said, then they had power over the people. Nor could the people challenge their interpretation of the Law for they could not read the Scriptures themselves. The religious leaders used this power to control and to mislead the people.
As Christians we have been given knowledge the world does not understand. We have been given the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is tremendously powerful knowledge, for it is the secret of how to have eternal life with Jesus Christ in heaven. The Holy Spirit lives within our hearts and He shares the knowledge of God with us. He opens the Word of God and He explains it meanings, it promises, and most all what God has done for our salvation. God wants us to use that knowledge to lead others to Christ. He has tasked us with the awesome responsibility of being His ambassadors on earth. We have the knowledge that can help bring others into this group of believers that God calls His own.
Our lesson today is about how those with that knowledge failed to share it with the world. When God gave the Mosaic Law to the Jews, He gave them the knowledge of right and wrong. He gave them something more valuable than gold or silver. He gave them the light of God.