[Apr 08]--Blissful Ignorance?

1 Sam. 6:13-16, 19-21

It’s been a old and time-worn cliché that “Ignorance in bliss” and in some situations people might say “What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.” What they mean is that in certain circumstances there are some things that people are better off not knowing. Someone might be ignorant of the fact that their spouse had an affair, and some people would question the wisdom of telling them about this on your deathbed. There are things we don’t tell children about, and sometimes with good reason.

But when it comes to dealing with God, just ask the people of Beth Shemesh about this saying. They didn’t consult God’s word about how the Ark was supposed to be handled, and because of this oversight people DIED. Talk about the need to study your Bible. If they'd read the Torah, they would have known quite well that the Ark was not to be touched, much less looked into, and their ignorance cost them.

So this raises an interesting question: What about people who are ignorant about God’s word? Does God hold them responsible for things they don’t know? Or does he simply say, “Ahh, we’ll let that one slide”? Well, he’s perfectly just, so obviously he’s not going to judge them on things they couldn't know. But if they have access to a Bible, then apparently they didn’t take advantage of what he offered them.

But what about those poor pygmies in Africa (which skeptics love to bring up) who've never had access to a Bible? We’ll delve into this subject more later, but for now the short answer is this: the Lord has been reaching out to them. The first two chapters of Romans describe two witnesses he has given to everyone on earth: creation and conscience. Everyone knows that there's a Creator, and they know that there's a difference between right and wrong, and they can figure out that they have done wrong. The problem is NOT that God hasn’t given them enough light, the problem is that whatever light he has given them, they run away from it.

But when each of us stands before the Throne one day, the topic of discussion will not be the Pygmies in Africa. The subject will be what we did with the truth that he gave to us. Dr. Sproul says that the scariest verse to him in all the Bible is Luke 12:48-“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Consider a Christian over in China, who only has access to portions of the word, and he has little or no access to deep teaching or Bible study helps. Do you think the Lord is going to hold him to the same standards as me, who has access to commentaries, the Bible in several translations, and good teaching and preaching? I think you already know the answer to that question. Yikes.

Lord Jesus, please use your truth to change me. I know that your grace covers my sin, but I need your word to not only give me truth but to make me true. Please.

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