1 Corinthians 13
Today education has become a discussion point for children around the world, particularly for girls. Knowledge is thought to be the key to a better life, and therefore is to be pursued. Actually it is God’s will for us to grow in knowledge. He gifted us with brains and curiosity; language enables us to learn from one another.
According to scripture, wisdom and knowledge go together. The wisest man known on earth wrote “The wise heart will know the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter” (Ecclesiastes 8:5-6). Does that include time in a pandemic which has hearts failing out of fear? As we look at our world today do we really reverence the God who knows all things (Psalm 139:4)?
Solomon also wrote “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). Job acknowledge his need of the One who “can do all things”. This God whom Job worshiped listened to Job as he talked about things he didn’t understand, “things too wonderful for me to know” (42:2-3). How often do we make observations about things we do not fully understand?
With these few thoughts in mind us turn to the scripture reading. God is revealing His will for His children; they are to emulate the Father by their love. Often we read this chapter as a challenge for the way we live, and truly it is that. But let us consider it as a revelation of who God is.
In the midst of a multitude of good things we find a small phrase embedded, beginning with the word “If”. If you or I have the gift that enables us to fathom all knowledge….. (:2). Think of it – we would understand why this pandemic has taken over the world. We would know how the stars came into being. Recently astrophysicists have sent equipment into space that is supposed to enlighten us on that topic. If we could understand what makes people tick we could solve the world’s relational problems, and the list goes on!
The Apostle Paul had been given some specific knowledge that enabled him to finish the “if” in all these verses. If we could speak all earthly and heavenly languages, if we could prophesy, if our faith was strong enough to move mountains, if we were magnanimous in our charitable giving and even sacrificed our lives as martyrs to our faith, what good would it do IF one key ingredient was missing.
Throughout scripture we see the heart of God; the essence of His uniqueness which makes Him worthy of all our worship, is LOVE. He has all knowledge. He knows you and me because He made us; He knows what makes us tick, He knows our every need. But without the love that reached down to earth in the person of His Son Jesus, all that knowledge is nothing. His love poured out on the cross revealed that knowledge alone is not enough. We need both head and heart to be engaged, if ever we hope to serve this great God!
It is a solemn thing to consider that without love God considers our lives to be worthless. Three small words say it all “I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2). All our strivings, all our learning, all our fame and fortune are useless without the spirit of the living God motivating us. Our greatest hope is also found in this chapter. “Love never fails” (:8). God does not leave us to flounder alone, but puts His very Spirit within us to lead us into true love. So much masquerades as love today that has nothing of that quality which God knows is truly love. We have been given the gift of the knowledge of that love, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)