Schooled by God

Michael Beck

“Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.” (Hosea 4:1)

In what school are we being taught the knowledge of God? A true knowledge of God reflects His heart. Jesus was the Word made flesh. His doctrine flowed from who He was in God.

Jesus was not schooled by men in the knowledge of God. He sat at the feet of the Father. He was taught of God. The Father was seen in what He did and heard in what He said. The Pharisees thought they represented the Father. They were scrupulous in “getting it right.” They were also unmerciful toward those who were getting it wrong. They deemed themselves guardians of the law, who had to maintain the standards of a righteous God before a people who were cursed because they didn’t know the law like they did. But Jesus looked through them and said: “But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.” (John 5:42)

So zealous were they to keep the law of God that they sought to kill their Messiah when they believed He ran afoul of the law, healing people on the Sabbath. Saul of Tarsus, who called himself blameless according to the law, also justified murdering those he deemed transgressors.

What kind of witness are we giving to the world around us? Yes, they are falling short of God’s standards. But we follow One who said He did not come into the world to condemn it, but to save it. Our focus should be on truth, but it should also be on mercy. If we don’t reflect the full heart of God we are in danger of becoming like the Pharisees.

See the wrong. Hate the wrong. But don’t forsake mercy.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.