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We live in a technologically advanced age. For instance, several technologies are used to search for oil, gas and hot water reservoirs buried deep in the earth. Sound waves are transmitted into the ground. These may be generated on land with explosives. In water, guns that fire air are dragged near the bottom. The sound waves generated bounce around and travel through the layers of rock deep underground. Huge volumes of this seismic data are collected. But the data must be studied and analyzed to provide insight into the structures within the earth. Machine-learning computer algorithms process the data and provide maps of the structures deep underground. It is amazing.
Did you notice that gathering and studying the data was not the end result of the process? The end result was insight into what the data revealed. The same is true in our study of God’s word. 2 Peter 1:5 commands us to “make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge.” (NIV 1984) Knowledge is not simply knowing facts from the bible. It involves using our minds to process the biblical teachings so we have insight into God’s will. That insight tells us who God is, what is good versus what is evil and what God wills for our lives.
Yes, we need knowledge of the bible. Yes, we need to study what it teaches. But the goal is not knowing the bible. The goal is knowing God.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.