Tuesday, 18 October 2016
Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:17
The word, “Therefore” is certainly referring to the thought of verses 15 and 16 –
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
But, in a fuller sense, it is speaking of the entire argument which led to that statement. We are to be imitators of God, walking circumspectly and not as fools. Rather, we are to be wise. Now Paul says, “…do not be unwise.” Here he uses a different word than that of verse 15. It is aphron, and it means “lacking perspective because short-sighted, i.e. lacking the ‘over-all picture’ (perspective) needed to act prudently” (HELPS Word Studies). We are not to be lacking the overall picture. To explain what this entails, he then says, “but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
The Bible says that –
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10
We begin to demonstrate wisdom by fearing the Lord. From that stepping stone, we are to then learn what His will is for us. How do we do this? Do we go meditate in the corner of a room? Do we watch TV, hoping to hear a wise man tell us what God’s will is? What is it that brings us to an understanding of the will of the Lord? It is reading and remembering Scripture. It is the source of our understanding what we are to do, how we are to act, and what we are to refrain from doing.
It is incomprehensible that people do not want to learn Scripture and yet they claim to be followers of the Lord. How can you follow and imitate that which you do not know! Although spoken to Israel while under the law, Jesus’ words in the parable of the sower show us where such an attitude can lead –
“And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.” Luke 12:47
Further, without knowing the word and applying it to a right understanding (in context) of what it is saying, He then gives these words from Matthew 13 –
“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.” Matthew 13:19
Is this how we want our state to be? Does it matter so precious little to us what the Lord intends for our proper walk in His presence? Are we willing to have the wicked one come and steal away our joy which was sown in our hearts?
Life application: A Bible which remains unopened and unread is a true tragedy.
Lord God, we can ponder what the word “tragedy” means. It is used to indicate a calamity, catastrophe, or even a cataclysm. And so what is a “tragedy” for Your followers? It is to fail to get to know You through Your word. An unopened Bible which gathers dust is a true tragedy. Help us not to face Your displeasure at the seat of judgment which lies ahead. Instead, may we stand approved before You. Help us to turn the tragedy of an unused Bible into the honor of needing a new one because the one we carry is worn out from use. Amen.