Saturday, 21 February 2015
But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant. 1 Corinthians 14:38
There are two variant readings on this from the Greek texts. Compared side by side they say –
But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant. (NKJV)
But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored. (NIV)
Either way, it is a continued rebuke on those who reject the word of God either ignorantly or purposefully. If ignorantly, the blame still rests upon the individual for speaking without first knowing. In this case, Paul is saying that if they should purpose to speak without knowledge, then let them remain in their ignorance. As Ellicott says in this situation –
“…a person who could not recognise such an evident and simple truth must be of a perverse mind—his opposition would give the Apostle no further concern.”
On the other hand, if the person is acting against the word purposefully, they have replaced their personal conduct above the explicit word of God. Such a person should be completely ignored. Only the word of God should guide the conduct of the saints. Therefore, if someone claims that speaking in incoherent tongues is acceptable, ignore him. If someone starts speaking (prophesying) while another person is speaking, then ignore him. And if a woman inappropriately speaks words of instruction in the congregation, ignore her.
This is the context of the passage and it is the intent of Paul’s words now. Unfortunately, they are often ignored in modern times. There has been a falling away from adherence to the word of God and an acceptance of that which is inappropriate. Let us turn our hearts and minds back to God’s word and away from those who manipulate it, either willingly or in ignorance.
Life application: The only way to know if a person is misguiding you in their words about Scripture is to know Scripture yourself. Read and study your Bible!
Praise You Lord! Again I face a new day knowing that You are here with me. There is food for me to eat, there is work to be done, and there is the unknown which is unfolding moment by moment before my eyes. Whether good things happen, or whether this is my last day in this life, I know that it has been directed by You and that Your purposes for me will come about. And so why should I fret? Thank You for the marvelous blessing of simply walking in Your presence! Amen.