WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 17, 2020
TOPIC: IGNORANCE IS DANGEROUS!
BY T. O. BANSO
“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3 New King James Version).
To put it simply, ignorance is a lack of knowledge. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6a New King James Version). However, there is a sense in which ignorance could be an advantage. For instance, when one is ignorant or unaware of something unfavourable or unpleasant, like a negative piece of news, one may not be disturbed by it. But the moment one becomes aware of it, it may have a negative effect on one.
Nevertheless, looking at the big picture, ignorance is dangerous. That’s why drugs come with leaflets for instructions on usage, and products come with manuals on how to use them to avoid abuse or misuse, damaging them, or injuring self and others.
What you don’t know, you don’t know. Therefore, you need to educate yourself to be better informed and equipped in life and in your profession or calling. For instance, a student cannot afford to be ignorant if he wants to excel in his academics. One of the reasons students fail exams is ignorance, which could be caused by different factors, including laziness and lack of seriousness.
I recall a secondary school student who was accused of cheating in an Economics test. Actually, he was not caught cheating but the teacher, while marking his script, suspected that he copied from the textbook. The teacher summoned him and accused him of cheating while writing the test.
The teacher detected this just the next day after the test was written. The student insisted he didn’t cheat and boldly told the teacher if he allowed him, he could sit for the test in his presence. The teacher agreed. The truth was that the student didn’t cheat; he was only ignorant and, in sitting for the test again, he repeated the same thing that made the teacher suspected he had cheated.
Diagrams are often used in Economics and the text will make reference to it. The test was on a topic the student didn’t understand so he memorized the topic as explained in the book. The author in explaining the topic said: “in the diagram above.” This student forgot to memorize the diagram but still wrote: “in the diagram above.” Ignorance!
The teacher read his new answer script and started laughing. He sympathized with him for his ignorance, asking him for the diagram he referred to. Other details in the book he memorized and wrote as an answer to the test were also not required. The student should have asked for help from someone to explain the topic to him instead of troubling himself to memorize what he didn’t understand. He memorized his ignorance! If I may borrow the words of the prophet Isaiah, I would say, “Such stupidity and ignorance!” (Isaiah 44:18a New Living Translation). That’s not to say that memorization or learning by heart is entirely bad but one should understand something before committing it to memory.
Nobody knows everything but don’t tolerate ignorance that is inexcusable. Seek knowledge; seek understanding; seek wisdom. Proverbs 4:5a says, “Get wisdom! Get understanding!” (New King James Version). Verse 7 says, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding” (New King James Version). Also, the apostle James says in James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (New King James Version). He adds that we should ask in faith, not doubting (verse 6).
Don’t be an ignorant student, professional, pastor, leader, citizen, etc. Empower yourself with knowledge and understanding. Any organization or nation being led by an ignorant leader is in trouble. Ignorance often contributes to poverty. “How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver” (Proverbs 16:16 New King James Version). As often said, knowledge is power.
I don’t know who coined this statement: Ignorance is a disease. That means it can kill. Actually, it has killed many. As a matter of fact, ignorance, poverty, and disease are interrelated. Because of ignorance some have eaten or done what they were not supposed to eat or do. Some have lived recklessly, thinking they’re enjoying life. As Eliphaz, one of Job’s friends said, some people have died in ignorance or without wisdom (Job 4:21b).
Although God testified that Job was a perfect and an upright man, one that feared God, and turned away from evil (Job 1:8, 2:3), he exhibited ignorance in some of the things he said. God told him later, “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them” (Job 38:2-3 New Living Translated).
Job himself admitted he was ignorant about some of the things he had said. He answered God, “You ask, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I. And I was talking about things I did not understand, things far too wonderful for me” (Job 42:3 New Living Translation).
Nevertheless, Job was still better than his three friends because the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, one of Job’s friends, that His wrath was aroused against him and his two friends, for they had not spoken of Him what was right, as His servant Job had (Job 42:7).
Ignorance has put some people in trouble because they said what they were not supposed to say. Instead of keeping quiet, they decided to express their ignorance probably because they were seeking attention, not because they wanted to learn or seek knowledge. It’s better to keep quiet than to talk ignorantly and disgrace yourself. Proverbs 17:28 says, “Even fools are thought to be wise when they keep silent; when they keep their mouths shut, they seem intelligent” (New Living Translation).
Ignorance is dangerous! Spiritual ignorance is more dangerous. Idolatry is foolish ignorance! (Isaiah 44:9-20). 2 Corinthians 4:4 says, “Satan, the god of this evil world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them. They don’t understand the message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God” (New Living Translation).
At Athens, Paul observed the objects of their worship and saw an altar with the inscription, TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. He told them, “What therefore ye worship in ignorance, this I set forth unto you” (Acts 17:23 American Standard Version). The Athenians had many altars. Paul noted they were religious (verse 22). But they were ingloriously ignorant! They were worshipping God without knowing who He is.
In Romans 1:28, the Bible says when the wicked people or the unrighteous refused to acknowledge God or retain God in their knowledge, He abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done. However, God’s will is that all me be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).
Despite this, many people have chosen not to accept God’s way of saving them. In their ignorance, they have devised their own ways. “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3 New King James Version). Self-righteousness cannot save anyone. Isaiah 64:6 says we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags. Only Jesus can save us.
Spiritual ignorance causes many people to sin. In Leviticus, the Bible tells us it is possible to sin through ignorance (Leviticus 4:2, 13, 22, 27; 5:15, 18). Numbers 15:24-29 also deals with sins committed in ignorance. Ezekiel 45:20 talks about everyone who has sinned unintentionally or in ignorance. Hebrews 9:7 also refers to people’s sins committed in ignorance.
The apostle Peter told the Jews that what they did to Jesus was done in ignorance (Acts 3:17). In 1 Timothy 1:13-14, the apostle Paul said, “I hunted down his people, harming them in every way I could. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief” (New Living Translation). Before his conversion, Paul persecuted the church in ignorance!
Ignorance is dangerous! Acts 17:30-31 says, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (New King James Version). Ultimately, God will judge the world. The soul who sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:4). The sinner shall be eternally separated from God. Only Jesus Christ can save from sin and hell.
Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:14 to obey God as His children and not conform ourselves to the former lusts as in our ignorance. Also in 1 Peter 2:15, he says it is the will of God, that by doing good, God’s children may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
As you get rid of ignorance in living your life, running your business, or performing your tasks in the workplace, also deal with spiritual ignorance. God has given the world the Bible and His servants to teach and preach His Word thereby delivering people from ignorance. Study your Bible like the Berean Christians (Acts 17:11) and be open to the ministry gifts – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11-16). Don’t be an ignorant believer.
Also, the clergy should not be ignorant. Malachi 2:7 says, “The priests’ lips should guard knowledge, and people should go to them for instruction, for the priests are the messengers of the LORD Almighty” (New Living Translation).
Don’t associate with fools. Stay away from them; you won’t gain knowledge from them (Proverbs 14:7). Anyone who walks with the wise will become wise and anyone who walks with fools will suffer harm or be destroyed (Proverbs 13:20). Ignorance is dangerous!
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I shall not establish my own righteousness; I submit to Your righteousness. Deliver me from all forms of ignorance and grant me wisdom and understanding. Father, help Your servants so that their lips will guard knowledge, and people can receive Your instruction from them.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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