Hosea 4:6a; my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
When someone lacks the know-how of how something comes about, it is tagged as ignorance. The web dictionary defines ignorance as; lack of knowledge, understanding, or information about something. The popular quote goes thus; knowledge is power. If power is in the hand of knowledge, therefore, why then can we even bring up the topic of the Audacity of Ignorance. The answer goes thus, In a perfectly good world, I believe everything should be worth knowing and the path of understanding should be followed. However, the only room for ignorance of the knowledge of God’s word was exploited by satan and this is why we even have a path which is opposing to the path of understanding. You will agree with me that sometimes, it is good for you to ignore something and other times it is good for you to know something. The reason why knowledge could even be bad is that the world is bad and not because the act of knowing something is bad. Also, the reason why ignorance is good is not because the act of ignorance is good but because the world is bad. The goodness of knowledge has been robbed by the evil of this world and with this robbery, sadly knowledge is losing grounds on its power to ignorance, as knowledge, a lot of the time is not even good in the world we have today. In a perfectly good world when the only likely choice could have been the acceptance of knowing everything, ignorance showed up and that is why we have to talk about the audacity of ignorance.The good news however is, God definitely knew this and that is why when He left us, He gave us the Holy Spirit who will guide us into all truth, tell us what is to come and tell us what Jesus wants to tell us according to (John 16:13-14). The fact that we cannot just go around knowing everything and doing anything makes us distinct.
How was Ignorance Born?
When knowledge is absent, ignorance is present. When knowledge speaks, ignorance is silent. When knowledge is driving ignorance is in the back seat and when knowledge doesn’t have the power then ignorance is powerful. The big surprise of the birth of ignorance is it was born in an absolutely good place where knowledge should be in the driving seat. The birth of ignorance reminds me of how Jacob stole the birthright of Esau (Genesis 27). It shouldn’t have been but Jacob faked or to put it in a nice way cleverly went on to take the good reserved for Esau. Knowledge is the senior brother of ignorance and duly should take all the blessings but ignorance faked his way and took precedence into the affairs of man. When Esau returned and asked his father to bless him, Isaac said, I have given all the blessings to Jacob and there is known for you. What Audacity, what temerity how could you take what is mine? There cannot be two firstborns, even among twins just like in the case of Jacob and Esau there had to be the first and the second born child. Knowledge and ignorance cannot share the driving seat. The thing is ignorance was born out of evil and as long as ignorance drives evil rains. If you are someone craving for good then there are little things that should be worth knowing. The fact is that man ignored the Word of God and forged a life based on ignorance of God’s word and this is still the case even though the good news is there to be grasped with the arms of knowledge.
Knowledge vs Ignorance.
The diagram above shows how I presume the path of knowledge and ignorance. The path of knowledge is the longer path, while the path of ignorance is the shorter path. They both start up with sensing and willpower but break up at willpower. I had previously mentioned that when knowledge drives ignorance is in the back seat. Although, they might have walked up to the car, opened the door, but if ignorance opens the driver seat’s door, then it drives and if it is knowledge then knowledge drives. The purpose of looking, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting e.t.c plays a major role in the direction of your willpower. You might think or well I can smell it, taste it or even look at it but when it comes to the willpower stage I can’t change it. It is almost impossible to change it when the purpose has already been assigned. Therefore, the direction of your walking determines the path of your will. In Genesis 3:1-6 the devil had to take Eve close to the tree before telling her all sort of things about the tree, she also had to see it. Therefore, Eve was in the conversation and close to the tree, so it was much difficult to resist. Another similar aspect with the two paths is that they have a final judgment. As with any act, one will finally know what the outcome is, whether it is good or bad. Eve’s decision was definitely bad, but just because it was bad then does not mean that there cannot be a good outcome. In fact, the fact that something is bad today leaves room for good tomorrow and because it is good today leaves room for it being bad tomorrow. In life, there are either good judgments or bad judgments. Good decisions and bad decisions. One will think that even a rotten dead apple serves no good, but we often ignore the seed. In life sometimes, we are very quick to write things off ignoring the very best things and just like the apple, Eve and Adam what we often ignore is life.
While knowledge claims to be the one with power, knowledge itself sometimes can be bad and as bad as ignorance seems it can be good sometimes. This is because from the very beginning we threw away God’s experience. I would like to remind us of how good and bad even came into play. This came into play firstly in Genesis 2:16-17. “But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” This was the first mention of the idea of good or bad. Adam and Eve went on to eat of this tree at the time when they were not supposed to and they ended up having to have their senses activated and hence had to make decisions of what they agree to be good or bad, based on the little experience they had about a good life. The fact is it is a disaster, as they had not grown a lot to live life without the father and hence could not make good judgments by themselves. One must recognize that the knowledge that we have today was born out from the power of the human will which delivered a species that have constantly ignored the word of God. Therefore, we have knowledge that is devoid of the necessary experiences through ignorance of the Father, the word and ultimately the Holy Spirit. The parable of the prodigal son does some justice to this. This is one of my best parables as it does justice to a host of topics and this is not an exemption. For a father to share his property, it is only normal for him to have a will, which is then meant to be established after his death. However, the two sons ignored that fact and decided to ask for their inheritances when the father was still alive. The ultimate ruin of one of the sons occurred as he was reduced to a feed on the food meant for hogs. You see this particular son had no experience of business and then went far away from the father, thinking he was equipped with the necessary tools for success. The fact is we are all unequipped for a good life because we have missed the father’s experience. Although we might think we know it all, I say it is a mirage. However, we can experience God and hence a good life through the word of God and again it is up to us to either ignore or accept to know it. You might be looking at your rotten dead life at the moment but there is a seed inside of you and God wants to cultivate that seed.
Manifestations of Ignorance
It is also worth noting that in moving to each of the stages in the above diagram willpower takes you to the next stage. I see ignorance manifest in three faces: not knowing something at all i.e never heard of it ever and it is not your fault it is just destiny and you just might never know, knowing it and purposely ignoring it and knowing something but purposely failing to practice it, because you are yet to understand it.
The first face is really self-explanatory as it is the most common manifestation of ignorance. An example of the second manifestation will be seeing a pack of a cigarette with the warning, smoking kills and purposely ignoring it. An example of the last manifestation could be, knowing you have to take your drugs three times a day but lacking the understanding that if you don’t it will take a longer period before you get better, you know for a fact what you have to do but because you lack the understanding (the why), you have decided to do as you please. Hosea 4:6b gives two examples of the last two manifestations of ignorance. I have quoted the NLT as it is much clearer here.
Since you priests refuse to know me, I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children.
The first highlight in bold really could be the second or third manifestation of ignorance, as they had the Rhema of God’s word but purposely ignored it. It could also be that they read the books and purposely refused to practice. The second highlight clearly indicates what happens when you fail to practice, and failure to practice is as a result of the lack of understanding of what you know. What is the point of obeying the law when we don’t know why the law was even created? This could have been their thinking process and is a clear example of ignorance.
The Big Question
Why is the world still evil if there is God?
The simple answer is that they have ignored Gods word just like in the very beginning. The opening scripture says it leads to destruction. However, if that question was asked with a genuine interest in having a good or better world then they can give God a try and see if their world changes. Don’t forget the world is evil not because there is an evil atmosphere but because individual worlds are evil. It is worth noting that, each and every individual is a world of his own and makes up the larger world of which is a combination of about 7 billion worlds today.
In conclusion, though ignorance of God’s word built the evil world we have today, we have a second chance to accept to know his word today so that we can change our world for good. However, you must approach with a good purposeful intent, so as not to go down the route of ignorance. When you accept His word, you will definitely be equipped with the right experiences, to say yes I know, backing experiences with knowledge and applying it in future circumstances means you have learnt and because you see good results in your daily life through daily application of God’s word you will then agree you have made a good judgment. However, don’t stop by having the good for yourself, the knowledge is not just for you. It is for the whole world so it is wise to share the good news with everyone around you (Mark 16:15). After Eve ignored God’s word and ate of the fruit she gave it to Adam. If you have eaten off a good fruit of the knowledge of the word of God give it to your spouse, children, neighbor, friends and everyone around you. Remember, the power to go on the path of knowledge or the path of ignorance is in your hands (Proverbs 4:1-8). A good world starts with you as your knowledge of the word of God is for the good of the whole world. Shalom!