Many of you may recall Sgt Schultz from the TV series “Hogan’s Heroes” who often made the statement, in a humorous way, “I know nothing.” Without realizing it, he made a very profound statement.
There is the Scriptural account of a man who was so humbled before the Lord that in comparing what he knew to God’s knowledge, he basically said, “I know nothing.” After God had reminded Job that he wasn’t there when the Earth was created (Job 38:4), and then He proceeded to ask questions and make statements about various aspects of the universe, Job responded by saying:
I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not…Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:2,3,6).
When you think about it, how much do we really know compared to our Creator—who is infinite in knowledge and wisdom (“
In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3)? When you compare our finite knowledge, even if we had a hundred PhDs from Harvard University, compared to God’s infinite knowledge, in essence, we know “nothing.” After all, how much is something compared to an infinite amount?
One of the biggest and increasing obstacles which people (even in the church) have to accepting what AiG teaches concerning the Bible is intellectual/academic pride (“
Knowledge puffeth up”—1 Corinthians 8:1).
For instance, when I show Christian leaders that the straightforward understanding of Genesis chapter one is that God created in six days, many admit this is so, but then they bring up the “but.” “But science has shown the universe is millions of years old,” they claim. “But what about what the Word of God clearly states?” I respond. “Yes, but we can’t ignore the overwhelming scientific data,” they continue.
Then I challenge them with, “But if God’s Word clearly conflicts with man’s fallible theories, surely we should question man’s theories, not the Word of God?” They often reply, “But, surely the majority of scientists couldn’t be so wrong?” And so on.
When I attended university back in the ’70s, my professors told me that natural selection/speciation was such a slow process, that there was no way the various kinds of land animals could have left the Ark 4,500 years ago and develop into the various species within each group as we observe today. The minister of my local church agreed with these scientists and told me I had to believe in millions of years.
I praise the Lord, however, that my father taught me an important lesson. When something looks as if it contradicts Scripture, go back to Scripture and study the words, in context—according to the type of literature and language. If you are then sure from Scripture what God is clearly saying, and this conflicts with what fallible man is saying, then there must be something wrong with man’s ideas.
You see, just because we don’t readily know what may be wrong with man’s theories doesn’t mean God’s Word is untrustworthy. It just means we don’t have all the information to know why man’s ideas are incorrect.
I praise God for this training from my father. Years later, scientists finally acknowledged that processes like natural selection/speciation can occur very rapidly. God’s Word is once again vindicated!
The Lord has allowed us through good scientific research to discover many answers in geology, biology, anthropology and so on.
We do need highly educated scientists to explore God’s world. But no matter how qualified we are, let’s remember who the real authority is—God, not fallible man. Let each one of us be challenged to recognize that compared to God, “I know nothing.”
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