Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God. But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: you will lie down in torment. Isaiah 50:10-11 (NIV)
Have you ever noticed that two people looking at the same facts can come up with very different conclusions? One person looking at the world can see God’s hand at work, while another only sees random chance.
The Age of Enlightenment lasted from the early 17th century through to the late 18th century and was a time characterised by the use of reason, analysis and thinking to try to understand the world we live in. The 20th century was also a time of great advancements in science and engineering, as well as in other areas of knowledge. But where has it left us? There seems to be an increasing distance between those who search for knowledge and thereby find God, and those whose quest for knowledge leads them away.
Enlightenment is not a new concept, as mankind has always tried to develop creative thinking and to ask the question – Why? Let’s be clear about it, there is nothing inherently wrong with seeking knowledge and understanding.
The verses quoted above from Isaiah 50 speak of man’s quest for knowledge and understanding, but warn against walking in the light of our own understanding. The language used – ‘… all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches …’ – is emotive. Knowledge is to be searched for, but we must be careful that our new understanding does not lead us away from God.
In Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus he writes:
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms … Ephesians 1:18-20 (NIV)
God wants each of us to be enlightened. He doesn’t want any of us to be in darkness.
Pray that God might use your logic and reason to reveal himself to you.
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