Knowing God vs Knowledge of God

by Rev Jason Phua

Bible Readings: Ezekiel 37:1-38:23; Proverbs 28:1

READ (Verse chosen for reflection)
Ezekiel 37:5-6 “Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the LORD.”

The valley of the dry bones is a familiar biblical scene to many Christians. God did a phenomenal miracle to give flesh and the breath of life to an army of skeletons. This is not to tell the future of generations of Christians that we can so apply this to any prayer for the resurrection of the dead. It was to give the message to the house of Israel that even as they had lost hope and gone astray, God will turn them around. The emphasis of chapter 37 is that Israel shall know that God is the LORD.

Curiously, Old Testament Israel cannot be accused to have no knowledge of who God is. They probably had more “contact points” with God than any nations combined together. Many of them were also well versed in the ways of God. Perhaps the problem was more of “knowing” God.

Having the knowledge of God does not equate to “knowing God”. Sometimes we lie to ourselves in the knowledge of God to pretend that we know God in a deep way. “Knowing God” means growing in intimacy with the One who gave us the knowledge of Him; and not just keeping it cerebral. “Knowing God” means the living out of our faith because it does take faith to want to get close to God. “Knowing God” is asking tough questions after a miraculous experience like “what do you want from me God?” “what does this miracle has to do with my relationship with you?”

Today’s passage is a reminder to me not to merely get excited about getting insights from the Word; but also to have honest conversations with God about living out such insights. Otherwise I might only be as good as bones and flesh without living out the new life given to me in Jesus Christ.

O God, what do you want from me through this reading? Help me to continue to know You and not just having a knowledge of You. Amen.

Day 84

by Rev Joel Yong

2 Samuel 7:12-15
When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you.

God would be like a father to David’s son.
He would discipline him if he committed a sin.

But it would not mean that God ceases to love him or hope in him.

It is meant for correction and for his benefit.

It’s easy to spoil our kids with love and even a lack of discipline.

But a good parent exercises love that comes in the form of discipline too.
It will be hard for the disciplined. t may even seem that love has departed in the relationship but it hasn’t.

God does that for us.
He corrects us with discipline.
He allowed Israel at times to be overrun by its enemies.
He allowed even for its Temple to be ransacked and its people captured and led to foreign nations.
Yet His discipline was meant for its good.

It will hurt.
It will be hard to bear.
But it will be good for our destiny in eternity.