Theme: THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING IN THE SERVICE OF GOD
The Encarta Dictionary defines understanding from five perspectives: i) as the ability to grasp the meaning of something; ii) to have the knowledge of something; iii) as an ability to interpret something iv) as mutual comprehension and v) as the knowledge one has about the nature of another person or a situation; a sympathetic, empathetic or tolerant recognition of somebody else’s nature or situation.
of these five, the fifth, will, by God’s grace, form the main thrust of the devotional for the next fourteen days. Why would we not consider the other four? one may ask. The reason is because the others are more concerned with man’s personality rather than the character. For instance, being able to perceive and explain the meaning or the nature of somebody or something, does not go far enough in God’s reckoning, if it does not translate into much deeper values, such as strong faith in, and love for God.
We may have the ability to discern, to be highly perceptive, but if it does not translate into trusting God, it amounts to vanity. But to have knowledge about the nature of God in a sympathetic or empathetic way, and even being cognizant of Him, such that we entrust our life completely to Him, is understanding in the service of God.
Text: “Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite”. “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.” – Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 40:28.
Comment: Understanding is not just one of God’s attributes, He is the very source of it, and the depth of it is fathomless. Therefore, to get understanding as we run the race of salvation, we should turn to no other God than Jehovah. King Solomon says in Proverbs 2:6: “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding”. Apostle James said that one who desires wisdom should ask from God (James 1:5). The Holy Bible says that: “With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.” – Job 12:13.
Barnes’ Notes on the phrase, “There is no searching of his understanding” (Isaiah 40:8) emphasises that “God, who has made all things, must be intimately acquainted with the needs of his people.” Truely, God has a perfect understanding of man; He knows the frailty of man, the mortality of man, and so, He “has not dealt with us according our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities”. – Psalm 103:10.
Without God giving us the capacity to understand His ways (and this comes from having faith in Him while acquiring knowledge about and committing ourselves to working for Him), we would not be able to find our bearing. Jeremiah the Prophet exhorts us to take delight in nothing else than in being able to understand and know God. – Jeremiah 9:24.