“The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God” (Psa. 14:2).
And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land. 7 And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord, that he did for Israel 8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being an hundred and ten years old. 9 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash. 10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. 11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim: 12 And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger (Judges 2:8-12 KJV).
WHAT DOES IT MEAN ‘TO KNOW GOD’?
The prophet Jeremiah talks about a generation that refused to know God. “Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the Lord” (Jer. 9:6).
What are some of the characteristics of a person that refuses to know God? One famous example might give us a good description to begin with: “And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go” (Exod 5:2).
“Wicked” is the word God used to describe a person that is not necessarily intending to behave terribly, but is just going on his or her own way, not acknowledging God as God (their Creator and thus their Owner) or Lord. They live to please themselves without regard for what is fair and just to the one who created them. They have no desire to do His will. This description certainly fits Pharaoh, as well as many people in the world today. “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts” (Proverbs 10:4).
Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power? Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them. Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf. They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ. They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him? Lo, their good is not in their hand: the counsel of the wicked is far from me (Job 21: 7-16).
Once again, we see the self-will of those who refuse to know God. They live to please themselves:
- “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:19-20).
- “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame” (1 Cor. 15:34).
- “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded (Prov. 1:24).
- “For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord” (Prov. 1:29).
- “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” (Rom. 1:28).