My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (Hosea 4:6 ESV)
On the way to work my shift at the print shop last night, I was thinking about my morning meeting at the university that didn't go as planned and about the transportation for the youth summer trips and about the grades for the Bible Instruction Course that still need calculated and about preparing a meal for 70 at the soup kitchen downtown.
I was glad to be on my bike, pedaling against the wind that I wished would blow through the clutter in my mind.
When I got to work, Derek asked if I had just woken up and I desperately wished I could have said yes. I slid into the groove and Derek, Jeremiah, and I made good progress on the night's orders, though I kept noticing the weight of my feet.
And then Derek asked, "You read the Bible, right?"
Whatever was dead in me revived and I think my eyes got really big, "Uh-huh..."
"Well, you believe that it's all true, right? 'Cuz I have a question..."
I smelled trouble, "Derek, this sounds like I'm about to walk into a trap, but I'll hang with you. What's your question?"
He kind of smirked, acknowledging his underhanded set-up of this conversation, "Well, why does it tell me I can't mix threads in my clothing or that we can't eat, like, meat of hooved animals?"
I was quiet for a bit, measuring his interest.
"I mean, do you believe that - because you believe the Bible, right?" he pushed a little further.
"Derek... can you hear me out?" I thought I should get his permission before launching into a discussion of the old and new covenants and the significance of the Bible read as a whole.
He actually looked surprised, "Oh, of course! That's why I asked."
Derek is currently one of my favorite people and he wears genuine around like its high fashion. So, I took a deep breath and dove in. I can't really explain what happened next.
We talked about Adam and sin and how it put all people at odds with God. We talked about Moses and Abraham and the guidelines God gave in the Old Testament for a holy, healthy life. We talked about the covenant God made with the people and how that covenant set up a temporary system until the fully sufficient sacrifice - a Savior - would arrive. We talked about Jesus and how he was that sacrifice. We talked about Peter's vision in Acts 10 and about how salvation is not based on works or a family pedigree. We talked about how salvation is meant to bring freedom from the bondage of sin.
Not one customer came in during our conversation and the telephone stayed silent.
At the end of all this rambling, Derek asked, "So, does your church teach you that stuff - like do they present it like that? How do you know what you just said?"
I threw off all the strange weight of a full day, as I stood there and heard his questions. There was nothing else but his question and the Truth that answered him.
I shared the Gospel, plain and simple. I was a sinner, destined for destruction and deserving of death. But, I believe that Christ took my place on the cross and I'm now united in right relationship with Him and freed to live life abundantly with a knowledge of the Lord. The Spirit lives inside me and He shows me what is true. He gives me understanding as I read the Bible. The more I read the Bible, the better I know the Lord. And, yes, church is part of that process.
My knowledge of the Lord is my delight. Knowing Him means mystery, adventure, security, refuge, and cRaZy joy.
And so I want Derek to know Him, too! I want him to get lost in the wonder and get filled with the beauty that comes as we grow in the knowledge of the Lord.
God desires that we return to Him - that we seek Him and not vain pursuits.
“Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. (Hosea 6:1-2 ESV)
Hosea's story parallels the hearts of the wayward Israelites - who pursued many lovers. Our story is similarly told - our hearts are inclined to love another. But, in Hosea, there is a future hope of reuniting with the Lord through Christ on the cross, "...after two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up..."
We live with that hope.
Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” (Hosea 6:3 ESV)
Let us know. Let us press on to know the Lord. By the grace of God, may we not be destroyed for lack of knowledge.
let LOVE fly like cRaZy