Few of our readers there are who would care to challenge the statement that the words of Daniel 12:4 are being fulfilled before our eyes today.
In this verse we read, “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
With our modern means of transportation there are many that “run to and fro” from our country to Europe and back, to say nothing of many who circle the globe more often in a year than our forefathers in a lifetime left the State in which they resided. Many there are who are reaching beyond this earth to the moon. We are a people on the move!
But we wish to concentrate at this time particularly on the last part of this verse: knowledge shall be increased! How could we ever doubt that we live in such a day and age?
Man explores the depth of the sea; and he reaches far into outer space. To us he communicates what he has found; and with our present-day methods of communication, we receive that knowledge in a matter of moments. By television and radio, but also by the printed page, knowledge is spread from one corner of this globe to the other. Books upon books are written on almost every subject conceivable, and knowledge is dispensed to all who will take the time to read or to listen. Educational institutions are crowded with students; and colleges and universities have long waiting lists of applicants for entrance as students who seek knowledge. New buildings must be erected for these as well as for the other schools of preparatory education. Never before have so many children and so many young people received such a concentration of instruction concerning so many subjects.
In the field of medicine new knowledge of the human body and its functions have led to astounding bits of surgery, wherein the organs of the dead are successfully transplanted into the living to take over the vital functions of that new host. Just yesterday the organs of one dead man were transplanted into the bodies of six ailing persons. Not many years ago this was impossible because the knowledge was lacking as well as the skill. Today man has the know-how. And our children, two generations removed from us, share this knowledge with us. They do not need to wait until they reach our age before they know of these developments and achievements and the way that man performs them.
But knowledge is one thing. Wisdom is quite another.
The increase in knowledge does not insure an increase in wisdom. And though men may run to and fro and thus obtain knowledge—yea even fly around the moon to know by a first-hand look what the other side of the moon is like—this does not mean that he has increased one whit in wisdom.
In the Church you will find an increase in wisdom. For the fear of the Lord is the beginning or principle of all wisdom. God is not dead. And His Spirit is very much alive. And we have the promise of this living God that His Spirit will lead us into all the truth. There has, therefore, been a steady development of the truth. The Church has steadily become wiser in the things of our salvation.
Using the heretic to prod us on God has brought the Church back time and again to the Scriptures to dig deeper and yet more deeply into the mysteries of our salvation, and has given both knowledge and wisdom of the things of His kingdom. This also is so very necessary. As we approach the days of the Antichrist, the Church must see more clearly Christ and His kingdom. As the lie develops, there must be a parallel development of the truth. And God has not denied the Church this but instead promised this Spirit Who would lead into ALL the truth.
To be sure, there is today a concerted flight from that truth and knowledge. All across the world the cry rises for mergers at the expense of the rich knowledge into which God has led His Church. In order to be able to ride their hobby horse of a social gospel, and not being interested in preaching SIN against God, and a gospel that speaks of justification by the blood of the cross, these will gladly cut the sharp corners of the truth to attain to bigness which furthers and serves their social programs and projects. Social unrest and disorders they see as being due to poverty and lack of opportunity, but not to man’s total depravity and spiritual corruption inherited from Adam. And so they need not the cross and the Spirit of Christ but money, and understanding, and organizations of men of all races and unbeliefs, and freedom marches and the like. Indeed there is a development of the lie as well as of the truth. And there is a cry for folly as well as for wisdom, a yearning for ignorance as well as for knowledge.
Nor is any of this something new. It may never before have reached to the height that it cherishes today, but it was always there since man turned from the living God to receive the “sweet” counsel of Satan and to learn to know something from him rather than to retain the knowledge that man received from God.
The psalmist in Psalm 119:99 could say, and we can say it today, “I have more understanding than my teachers: for Thy testimonies are my meditation.” Speaking of this wisdom that excels, the psalmist—and he is not David, nor Solomon—is not speaking of that development of the truth of which we wrote a few moments ago. He does not mean that in the development of the truth he is wiser than his teachers who lived in a former age. He received a richer understanding by meditating in God’s testimonies. And the plain implication is that his teachers did not. That is why he has more understanding than they. And it is not Solomon with the greater natural wisdom that God gave him above all men who speaks here. It is a humble child of God who has more understanding, because all his natural knowledge is controlled by and explained by the knowledge which he received by meditating in God’s testimonies.
This verse in Psalm 119 is very important and speaks volumes to us as well. It is found in a very interesting trilogy of verses. In verse 98 the psalmist speaks of being wiser than his enemies. The text we already quoted, verse 99, points out that he has more understanding than his teachers. And the last of these three verses, verse 100, contains the observation that he understands more than the ancients, the old men of a generation or two before his birth. Note he says: wiser, more understanding and understand more. But do not overlook: enemies, teachers and ancients. And observe that it is being taught God’s commandments, meditating in God’s testimonies, and keeping God’s precepts that makes all this difference and results in wisdom that excels.
We see then that wisdom, understanding more, and having more understanding all express the same general idea. So do being instructed in God’s law, meditating in His precepts and keeping His commandments. But now note then that the enemies, teachers and ancients also all fall into one category. These teachers are his spiritual enemies. That follows from the fact that they do not meditate in God’s testimonies. Such activity would keep them from being his enemies. Avoiding these, despising them, they must become the enemies of God’s people. And likewise these ancients, then, were teachers who were enemies of the truth.
How powerfully then does this passage of God’s Word speak to us with a view to our children’s instruction and the teachers they ought to have! By the time that this series of articles on “Wisdom that Excels” is brought to its conclusion, and perhaps in some localities even before it is ended, you will be faced with the decision of where to enroll your” children for the school year that follows this present one. Are they going to be sent to teachers who do not meditate in God’s testimonies? Is their instruction going to be based on the ancients, the departed philosophers of the world who rejected God’s Word and His precepts. Are they going to sit at the feet of Jesus or of Plato and Aristotle? Are the enemies of the cross of Christ and of the truth of God’s testimonies going to be given the opportunity to “convert” your children to that which is not in His fear?
Let it be understood clearly that the psalmist is not talking about men who had less understanding and wisdom simply because they lived—or shall we say? were born—too soon to have the advantage of the latest discoveries of this later age. Not at all! He is speaking of men whose source of wisdom and understanding differs from his. And he is speaking of those who are his enemies, even though they had the opportunity to give instruction to him. His eyes were opened, perhaps, after sitting at their feet.
But what a warning to covenant parents!
Those who close the Scriptures and turn to the scientists of old and of today for understanding the heavens, the earth and that which they contain areenemies of you and of your children! The psalmist does not hesitate to call them such. Have we less understanding of the matter than he had, because we will not meditate in God’s testimonies? God’s testimonies speak of Him as He truly is. The unbeliever draws up his own idea of how God should be and how he wants Him to be. He then looks at His creation and teaches it as he wants it to come into existence, explains the events of men upon this earth as it serves his flesh, and teaches a new morality that rules God and His law out and satisfies the flesh. But God’s testimonies show us this God as He is and explain His creation as He makes it known to us.
The only teachers we can trust, the only ancients we can read with edification and to whom we can turn for instruction are those who know this living God from His testimonies. Only such can teach us and our children our calling before God and to understand our position in this world as God’s royal priesthood. Beware of all others. And if, of necessity, you must send your children to such enemy-teachers, such testimony-despisers, you better keep close check on what your children are taught and open to them the Scriptures.
The polished way, the sweet smile, the friendly approach of the learned of the world does not make them friends of God’s people. They only underscore the fact that these are enemies of you and of your children. For that smile, that friendly handshake, that pleasant demeanor is not because he is on your side, but because he wants to get you and your children on his side.
We better learn well and learn fast—and if God’s testimonies are our meditation, we will—that any man who will not bow before God’s Word is our ENEMY! One of the first principles in obtaining a victory in any war is to be able to recognize the enemy. All your armour means nothing, if you are not able to distinguish him from your fellow soldiers. Let us also learn well and learn fast that this is exactly one of our enemy’s chief weapons to gain the victory over us. He wants us to think that he is on our side and means no harm. But look and see whether he has been taught God’s commandments and loves them. Observe whether he meditates in God’s testimonies. Make sure that he keeps God’s precepts. If he does not, let him not be the teacher of your children. They, your reborn children, already have a wisdom that excels the “wisdom” of these spiritual fools. And these spiritual fools can only seek to rob your children of their superior wisdom.