Good Judgment & Knowledge
"There is perhaps no clearer proof that people are bad than the sort of people whom they consent to call good." - Encyclopedia Of Sermon Illustrations
"We live in a mixed-up world!" - you will oftentimes hear people say. If there ever was a time for people to have discernment, wisdom, understanding, and discretion; it is now.
The Prophet Isaiah referred to a people who would "call evil good, and good evil...put darkness for light, and light for darkness...put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter" (Isaiah 5:20).
Solomon alluded to those who would justify the wicked and condemn the just (Proverbs 17:15).
The Prophet Malachi made mention of those who would say - "...Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delighteth in them..." (Malachi 2:17).
He also mentioned a people who would "...call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered" (Malachi 3:15).
The Apostle Peter referred to the false prophets who would promise liberty unto others, yet themselves be the servants of corruption (2 Peter 2:19).
We are living in a day and an hour of great deception - great perversion, if you will.
Many are - confounding any distinctions between right and wrong, while -
Isaiah cried out - "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil..." (Isaiah 5:20).
In his commentary on this particular verse, Barnes included the Chaldee rendering of this verse which reads - "Woe to those who say to the impious, who are prospered in this age, You are good; and who say to the meek, Ye are impious."
"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil..." - They say, think, consider, and name all evil - wickedness of persons, thoughts, and actions - as being good - a good thing, a benefit, something appropriate and becoming.
"Woe unto them...that put darkness for light, and light for darkness..." - Darkness has always been an emblem for ignorance, error, false doctrine, or crime. On the other hand, Light denotes Truth, knowledge, and holiness or purity.
Isaiah referred to a people who would classify false doctrine and error as the Truth and consider the actual Truth of God's Word to be an error or a lie.
"Woe unto them...that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter..." - The bitterness mentioned in this verse denotes Sin and is attended with painful consequences. The sweetness refers to virtue or holiness and is attended with pleasure. These people consider Sin a sweet thing which brings great pleasure while virtue or holiness is a bitter thing which brings forth much pain and sorrow.
What a perversion of thought! Yet this is the kind of reasoning that pervades our society today! What can we do about it?
The Psalmist cried out to the Lord - "Teach me good judgment and knowledge..." (Psalm 119:66).
God desires to teach His people
Jeremiah 32:33 depicts His earnest desire to instruct each of us at the break of a new day - "rising up early and teaching them."
Psalm 94:10 tells us that it is the Lord Who "teacheth man knowledge..."
Psalm 94:12 calls the man blessed whom the Lord teaches out of His law.
Psalm 34:11 is a call for God's children to "Come, ye children, hearken unto Me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD."
Psalm 25:9 tells us that the Lord teaches the meek His way.
Psalm 25:4 tells us that He teaches us which paths to take.
Psalm 18:34 tells us that He teaches our hands to war in battle.
Psalm 143:10 tells us that He teaches us to do His Will.
And lastly, Isaiah 48:17 tells us that He teaches us to profit.
In Psalm 119:66, the Psalmist earnestly sought the Lord with this heart-cry - "Teach me good judgment and knowledge..."
What is "good judgment" and what is "knowledge"?
"Good Judgment" refers to having a good taste or relish for divine things. It is the power whereby we are able to determine the quality of a thing as to whether or not it is sweet or bitter, etc.
"Knowledge" refers to having and exercising discernment. It is the understanding which determines the moral quality of things as to whether or not they are right or wrong, wise or foolish, or good or evil.
We are living in "perilous times" (2 Timothy 3:1).
Many are overthrowing the distinctions between good and evil. They are condemning good.
In fact, they despise those that are good (2 Timothy 3:3).
Because they do not practice any good morals, they mock and ridicule those who do. They justify evil, applaud it, and recommend it to others as being safe and acceptable. Romans 1:32 confirms this fact - "Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."
Oh! How we need "Good Judgment" and "Knowledge" to discern the times in which we live and to be fortified against Satan's snares to deceive and pervert the multitudes.
God is willing to teach us. Are we willing to learn?
May God Bless His Word.
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