There are things I have presumed to know. The definitions of “presume,” according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary: to undertake without leave or clear justification; to expect or assume, especially with confidence; to suppose to be true without proof; to take for granted. As I look at these definitions, I am struck by the arrogance of presumption. Presumption is not knowledge.
The New American Standard version of the Bible uses the phrase “true knowledge” in Colossians and in 2 Peter. So truth and knowledge must go hand in hand. Colossians 2:2-3 says, “…that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Merriam-Webster defines “know”: to perceive directly; have direct cognition of; to have understanding of; to recognize the nature of; to be acquainted or familiar with; to have experience of; to be convinced or certain of. And these definitions bring to mind what Scripture says about faith. “Faith is the assurance of…, the conviction of…”, and “by faith we understand….” (Hebrews 11:1-3 NASB)
True knowledge is revealed by God and received by faith. I believe David, the psalmist, understood this. In Psalm 19 he speaks of those things that emanate from Holy Divinity: majestic creation, perfect law, wise testimony, right and joyous statutes, pure commandments, clean fear, and righteous judgements. “The judgements of the Lord…by them I am warned, and in keeping them there is great reward.”
Then he goes on: “Who can understand his errors?” Of course, I don’t understand my errors…but I think I do. I presume to know. I put God in a box, and I take a position that ignores His lordship and makes frivolous what He is terribly serious about. And, I have thought that I had to understand myself in order to repent. In fact, I’ve thought that if I understand my error, I have repented….Lord help me.
David’s prayer in Psalm 19 becomes my own. “Cleanse me from secret faults. And keep me from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me…..Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.”
What is it that leads to repentance? His kindness. (Romans 2:4) So, turning to Him is more important than figuring out why I need to. I turn to Him believing, and I listen to Him reveal what He sees in my heart. Then I have true knowledge, and truth and spirit have met to produce worship (John 4:23-24). He is God, and I am not, and I am glad.
As you are seeking true knowledge, let this song encourage you.
Until next week, “let Him be known for who He really is: a God of love”.