God Knows Something about Everything

October 2, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments
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Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.

Psalm 119:66

The Hebrew word for “judgment” in this verse is ta’am and it literally means “taste.” One of our regular prayers ought to be to ask God to give us “good taste.” It is generally recognized by her friends that my wife has excellent “taste” – except when it comes to picking husbands. (I think she tastes great!) But what we’re really talking about here is a big word for taste: it’s the Christian doctrine of “Discernment.”

We don’t like to think of ourselves as “judgmental.” It’s a term that has a bad connotation if you use it for someone who thinks he’s “better” than someone else, but “judging” is not really a sin – not when it’s done according to God’s standards. Every time we take a bite of food in order to determine whether we’re going to eat the rest of it, we’re being judgmental. We think, “This tastes good, but how fattening is it?” Or, “If I eat this and this, I’ll be too full to eat that.” Or, “If I don’t eat what my wife brought to the party, she might get mad – especially if no one else is eating it either.” Or, “This will give me heartburn and keep me up tonight.” Or, “This is going to make my breath smell bad.” That’s how “discernment” works: you make decisions based on past experiences, potential consequences, appetites, what people will think of you, and on and on. There are many benefits to cultivating good discernment, especially if we move on from thinking about food, and apply it to thinking spiritually.

A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.

Proverbs 14:6

“Understanding” is another word for discernment. Somebody who thinks he knows it all already is a scorner. He’s not teachable and he stays ignorant. But, for someone who has gotten skilled at practicing discernment, it starts to get easier. He gets to where he can look right into the heart of a matter and make good decisions.

Hey, honey, we can get this yacht for no money down!
-Wait a minute, Dear, remember what the Bible says about covetousness and stewardship.

Can little Billy come over for a play date with Susie?
-Well, I saw you doing shooters at Big Mike’s last week, so I’m thinking little Billy and little Susie might not get the proper supervision at your place. How about if Susie comes over to our house instead?

When you practice discernment, knowledge starts to come more easily. So how are we going to do it? How are we going to cultivate this gift of discernment?

I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.

Psalm 119:25

Remember to ask for it. According to I Corinthians 12, some people have it as a special spiritual gift, but we are all called to exercise it. We need to pray about it, then practice it (“I am thy servant”). Start thinking about your decisions the way you think about what you are going to eat. How healthy is this for me spiritually? Throw out the spiritual junk food. Cultivate a desire for Godly habits by practicing them.

“I am thy servant.” Remember that discernment is making the exact choices God would have you to make. It is doing God’s will, and where do we find God’s will? In the Bible as illuminated by the Holy Spirit. In reading the Bible with the intention of obeying it.

What do you think about boron? What do you think about Jupiter’s eighth moon during it’s fifth solar phase? Probably nothing. You don’t have an opinion one way or the other because you don’t know anything about it. You have an opinion on bananas in your Corn Flakes because you’ve tried bananas or Corn Flakes or both, and you know something about them. You have an opinion on whether certain words are cuss words because you grew up hearing them and you know what they mean and you’ve seen people’s reactions to them.

This is where we observe a huge distinction between God and us. His discernment and knowledge and wisdom and information and data are unlimited. He is truly omniscient. So you need to consult with God and try to find His Biblical revelation about every decision you make. Most of us know at least one “special” person who gets on our nerves because he acts like he knows something about everything. Nobody really knows something about everything – except for God. In fact, He knows everything about everything.


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  6. […] it’s smart to not be contentious. So how do we short-circuit the pride that brings it? By being well-advised. By taking advice from the Bible (the best) or from someone who is well-versed (pun intended) in […]

  7. […] is obvious from multiple other passages. But here, what is being described is a person with no discernment: someone who foolishly “takes at face value” whatever he encounters. The prudent man, on the […]

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