December 16 I Sunday

Amos 4-6

Revelation 7

“I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.”   —Matthew 11:25

 

Knowledge of God is never attained; it is received. If our resistance to God is not primarily intellectual but volitional, it is also true that our knowledge of God is volitional rather than intellectual. The frustration of the “wise and learned” is in their assumption that they might know God through their wisdom and learning.

In our modern age, it seems common that the great influences of our knowledge of God and godliness rarely emanate from universities or theological schools. It was Paul who wrote, “Knowledge puffs up while love builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:1). His own testimony was that the “surpassingly great revelations” given him by God held the potential to lead him astray, so God allowed him to weaken in order to keep him dependent (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). If this was a potential trap in revelation from God, how much more is it the potential of academic investigation of God!

This is not to downplay the validity of academic investigation into spiritual things. There is great study and defence of Scripture being done in some areas of higher education, but we must keep that discipline in perspective. We do not in the first place know God through investigation. We know Him in the first place by revelation. Revelation does not depend on intellectual capacity but on the disposition of our heart. It pleases God to reveal things “to little children” and to those like them. This revelation is at the Son’s discretion, for “...no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him” (Matthew 11:27).

Does this suggest that God arbitrarily chooses who He reveals Himself to? Not at all. The ones to whom the Son reveals the Father is found in the next verse: “Come to Me, all you who are weak and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me” (Matthew 11:28-29). He reveals Himself to those weary of carrying their own burdens, who are overwhelmed by their lack of resources, who come in humility and place their burden on His shoulder and learn to rest. To them, Jesus says, “Learn of Me!”

Whenever God tested people in Scripture, they were never tests of their intellectual grasp of truth. He never handed out number two pencils and theological exams. God’s tests were of people’s disposition towards Him and the measure to which they looked to Him for their sufficiency. Before our minds will ever be thrilled with the Lord Jesus, the disposition of our hearts must be one of insufficiency in ourselves, which leads consequently to full submission to Him.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You have chosen to reveal Yourself to children, to the weary and to those who come to You for rest. Bring me also to this place, Lord.

 


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