Who Knew?

At the turn of the eighteenth century who knew the use of arsenic to lighten one’s complexion could kill?  At the turn of the twentieth century who knew the formula for the new drink, Coca Cola, which contained cocaine, would be banned for its highly addictive properties?  And who knew in 1925 that the green mold–penicillin- on bread would one day save millions of lives?  Who knew?

Today we take these discoveries for granted as common knowledge. But that knowledge wasn’t so common to our grandfathers and great grandfathers.   Society lauded the dawn of industrial age, but had no idea the problems inherent in mass transportation, air, water pollution and urban sprawl.  Who knew?  As exciting as the knowledge of the technological age was, it too produced a slew of unimaginable problems for humankind.  Who knew?

Today, the age of instant communication with any spot on the globe opens incredible possibilities in scientific research, human interaction, and the spreading of the good news of salvation. Personally I appreciate having my cell phone fired up whenever I travel alone.  And yet, wiki-leaks, cyber crime, and child pornography, to name only a few problems created from this development is rampant and growing hourly.  My personal rights are violated daily by satellite imaging, GPS locating , you name it.  It would be difficult to impossible to disappear off the grid in today’s world. Who knew?

Knowledge, common or otherwise, comes and goes with time.  Hosea 4:6 says, “Man is destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Keeping in touch with the world’s advances is important if one wishes to live in today’s world.

1 Corinthians 13: 8b NIV says, “…Where there is knowledge it shall pass away…For we know in part…”  If any text was ever true this one is. Politically, we only know in part; theologically we merely know in part.”  Who knew?  We don’t have the rest of the story as radio commentator Paul Harvey used to say.  I’ve come to accept that what I thought I knew at 17, I now see as inaccurate.  What I believed to be true at 35 is different from my view of life at 60+, that knowledge includes many of my preconceived notions about God and religion.  And out there, in the land of advanced theological study, the quest goes on.  Who knew?

Yet, for all the information and ideas that boggle my mind, I am comforted to discover the difference of knowledge and wisdom.  Knowledge changes with the wind.  But wisdom from God was laid at the foundations of the earth.  Proverbs 3:19-20 NIV says, “By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding He set the heavens in place; by His knowledge (not mine) the deeps were divided…”  To me, the message of God’s love, forgiveness and grace is eternal; and His promise to never leave me, no matter how much human knowledge either evolves of devolves, is wisdom I can claim. Who knew?

Proverbs 8:11 says “Wisdom is more precious than rubies.”  and, through His Word, it was mine all along.  Who knew?


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