Summary: Isaiah tells us that "by His knowledge... he will justify many." What kind of knowledge is this and what can it mean to us. Powerful application.
OPEN: It was a retirement dinner and the speaker stood up and began to make remarks about the man they were honoring that night. He opened with these words:
"Tonight we honor a man who doesn’t know the meaning of the word dissemble,
who doesn’t know the meaning of the word fear,
who doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit.
And so, we’ve all chipped in together… and we bought him this dictionary.
(Expect groans and then apologetically say: “he didn’t KNOW the meaning of the words…”)
APPLY: As I was preparing for the sermon this week, one phrase caught my eye in the text. Look again with me at Isaiah 53:11
“After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his KNOWLEDGE my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.”
(pause) By His Knowledge…he will justify many
I got to thinking about “knowledge” this week and it occurred to me that in the US, knowledge is highly valued.
I mean, as a United States citizen, if you look hard enough, you can find magazines and books on practically every topic imaginable. And to hold all that knowledge, our nation has public libraries and college libraries and even the Library of Congress.
If you can’t get the information you want quickly enough that way, there’s always the internet where you can find reams of information
In addition… to help people know how to utilize all this knowledge, our nation has built public schools and Universities and colleges in every state of the Union. Yes… Knowledge is highly prized in our nation.
I. Apparently, God also considers knowledge as highly valuable.
In proverbs we find:
“The lips of the wise spread knowledge…” Proverbs 15:7
“The discerning heart seeks knowledge…” Proverbs 15:14
“Wise men store up knowledge...” Proverbs 10:14
And in Proverbs 8:10 we’re advised to “Choose… knowledge rather than choice gold.”
Knowledge is highly prized in Scripture…
BUT… (pause…) not all knowledge is good. Paul tells Timothy:
“Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge” 1 Timothy 6:20
And Titus is told some of the kinds of knowledge to be avoided: “… avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.” Titus 3:9
Not all knowledge is “good” knowledge. In fact, the very first time the word “knowledge” shows up in Scripture… Well, let’s do a quiz here. Does anybody know where the first mention of “knowledge” is made in Scripture? It’s in Genesis (give them time to come up with the answer).
That’s right. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The first mention of knowledge in the Bible refers to a knowledge that God didn’t want His people to have.
God told Adam and Eve "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." Genesis 2:16-17
Not all knowledge is good knowledge. And when Even ate of that tree, (and gave of its fruit to Adam) - and he ate…the result of the THAT KIND of knowledge led to: