Let us pursue the knowledge of God

“Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD” (Hosea 6:3).

To pursue is to resolutely strive for something even if it is difficult to obtain.

God placed people on earth “so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).

Through God’s creation we know that He exists.

The creation is solid evidence for the existence of God.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4).

“The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the peoples see His glory” (Psalm 97:6).

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:18-20).

There is no excuse for anyone not to believe in God. Yet knowing God is much more than just knowing that He exists.

Through the Scriptures we know what God is like.

Knowing a person is different from knowing a fact. You know someone only if you are familiar with his characteristics, if you know what he is like. Effort is required to get to know anyone, so it is not strange that effort is required to know God.

God’s nature is revealed in the Scriptures. God reveals Himself to us as our Maker, our Sustainer, our Ruler, our Lawgiver, our Judge and our Savior. He is the source of life on earth and the source of eternal life. God reveals Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Yet knowing God is more than just knowing what He is like. Some things can be known about God through His creation. More can be known through His word. Most can be known through His Son.

Through His Son we can know God.

To know someone well, one must have a personal relationship with that person. Likewise, we must have a personal relationship with God to know Him well. By sending His Son, the Father has made this possible! Before discussing this, let us examine some fundamentals.

We cannot know God through human wisdom alone.

“For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).

God has made Himself known through testimony.

Paul did not use human wisdom when he declared “the testimony of God” (1 Corinthians 2:1). “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son” (1 John 5:9, 10).

We must be God-fearing truth-seekers to know God.

We must seek knowledge and be open to God’s testimony to find the knowledge of God.
“Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the LORD,
And find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding”
(Proverbs 2:3-6).

Only those who love truth and seek knowledge accept God’s testimony and find the knowledge of God.

Paul speaks of certain people who are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). This is because they have insufficient respect for God: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). “For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight” (Ecclesiastes 2:26).

Someone who hates knowledge cannot know God.

God does not listen to the prayers of people who hate knowledge: “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, they would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies” (Proverbs 1:28-31).

God said about Israel: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).

“How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge” (Proverbs 1:22).

We may not reject the knowledge of God.

Deceitful people refuse to know God: “‘Your dwelling place is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know Me,’ says the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:6).

Just claiming to know God is not enough. Of certain people Paul wrote: “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work” (Titus 1:16).

Much evil emanates from a rejection of the knowledge of God: “because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man - and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever” (Romans 1:21-25).

They who do not know God will be punished when Jesus is “revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8).

To be God’s people we must know God.

Under the New Covenant one cannot be a part of God’s people unless one knows God: “No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:34).

Under the Old Covenant, God’s people were a regular nation that included people who knew God and people who did not know God. The faithful encouraged the others to know God.

Under the New Covenant, God’s people are a spiritual nation consisting only of those who know God. “Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart” (Jeremiah 24:7).

In Christ we know God.

Jesus Christ has made God known: “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:18).

If we are in the Son, we have a personal relationship with the Father: “We know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3).

Being “in Christ” involves being an active member of His body, the church (Ephesians 1:22, 23). We are “baptized into Christ” (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27). “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13).

Paul explains that Christians have a personal relationship with the Father because the Spirit of His Son is in their hearts: “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (Galatians 4:6, 7).

Our knowledge of God must increase.

Paul prayed that the Colossians might “walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10).

Peter admonishes us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

Knowledge of God must be put into practice.

We can know God only if we love one another and keep His commandments: “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3, 4). “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7, 8).

Pursue the knowledge of God.

Through God’s creation we know that He exists. Through the Scriptures we know what God is like. Through the Son we can have a personal relationship with God.

Although we must seek wisdom and knowledge in general to find the knowledge of God, we cannot know God through human wisdom alone. We must be God-fearing truth-seekers who accept God’s testimony. Someone who hates knowledge cannot know God. We may not reject the knowledge of God. They who do not know God will be punished. We must know God to be His people. God’s Son, Jesus Christ, has made Him known. In the Son we have a personal relationship with the Father through His Spirit within us. Our knowledge of God must increase and must be put into practice.

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:2). Amen.

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive