Consider this in terms of education and knowledge. What have you learned (or re-learned) about war and Eastern Europe during the past three weeks? Winter is (still!) not over in parts of the continental U.S. Everyone’s NCAA brackets are twisted and busted to varying degrees.
Is it OK for us to pursue education, to seek knowledge, to grow in wisdom? Absolutely! It’s one of the great joys of living on this earth. All the knowledge available to be learned and that is yet being discovered is a tremendous blessing from God. We live in a time of great knowledge, of information accessibility – if not overload! Solomon may have been the wisest man who ever lived, but you and I probably know more than he did. Consider:
- A typical weekday edition of The New York Times contains more information than a person would encounter in a lifetime in the 17th century.
- More information has been produced in the last 20 years than in the previous 5000 years
- Medical knowledge doubles every 7 years
- Scientific information doubles every 5 years
- Technical knowledge doubles every 3 years
- Online information doubles every six months
- The sum total of all human knowledge now doubles every two years and is soon expected to double every year (These stats are from several years ago; they may be a bit dated, but still stunning)
But are we better off with all this knowledge? Are we happier and more fulfilled than our ancestors? Has poverty disappeared? Have wars ceased? Can guilty consciences be cleansed at the altar of science and technology? Let’s not worship education. Let’s not bow down before knowledge and wisdom as though they are divine. Enjoy them, use them, reap benefits from them, but keep them in proper perspective. There are more important things than education/wisdom that we need to pursue.
Specifically…spiritual wisdom and knowledge. There is wisdom that takes away sorrow. There is knowledge that doesn’t lead to grief, but to lasting joy. Jesus said, “The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here.” (Matthew 12:42) Namely, Jesus himself. Paul wrote that in Christ “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3) and that it is essential to discover “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:18,19)
The bottom line is this: there is no salvation through education. Get as much information, education, knowledge, and wisdom as you can get, but in the end, as Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 2:14-16 – “The same fate overtakes them both…What then do I gain by being wise?… For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered; in days to come both will be forgotten. Like the fool, the wise man too must die!”
In Christ, however, there is true wisdom. In Christ, there is life beyond this life. Wherever you find yourself on this day, halfway through Lent, be sure to stay on track, spiritually speaking. Continue to follow Jesus on his journey to the cross. Remain with him in knowledge and faith as he makes his way to and through the tomb.
Nothing matters more than knowing – and believing – these truths.
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand