Hebrew Highlights 86 - KNOW
Shalom, this is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.
JER 31:33-34, "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the Lord, "I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the Lord, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." To emphasize the importance of this passage, I should point out that it is quoted verbatim in Hebrews 8:10-12.
The word rightly translated as “know” in this passage is “Dah”. “Ki kulam yedu Oti”, or “for they shall all know Me” is a magnificent promise in deed. Let’s put some light on the Hebrew idea of knowing. It is not speaking of intellectual knowledge about God or His laws, as we are reminded of in 2CO 3:5-6, “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
Just for a minute, let’s look at the same Hebrew word in a different, and seemingly unrelated context, first reading from the King James Version of the Bible. GEN 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
If we read the same passage in the New American Standard Version, it sounds like this: GEN 4:1, “Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, "I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord."
The Hebrew idea of “knowing” is personal and intimate. We can see the connection to a marital type of relationship very clearly in HOS 2:19-20, "And I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord.”
Obviously, the Lord wants us to have a close personal relationship with Him. This does not mean the Lord wants to be our “good buddy”, but that He desires to be a Husband to His bride, which is made up of Israel and the church. It is a bond founded on respect and covenant.
A question might arise here. Is this “knowing” a gift of the Holy Spirit, or is it something we can somehow attain to by some effort on our part?
The answer is found in HOS 6:3. "So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth." In this passage, we are told that if we purposefully seek to know the Lord, He will come to us refreshingly, as surely as the spring rains.
Both the notion of “knowing” Him and “pressing on” are repeated in the New testament in PHI 3:8-14, “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
“K’dei lada’at Oto, ve’et koach tachiato”, or, “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection”. What a wonderful privilege. We have been given the opportunity to know God the Father, and our Lord and savior Yeshua as a wife knows her husband, enjoying the protection, guidance, and complete benefits which go along with coming under His headship.
How could we possibly pass up God’s proposal of betrothal? Our bridegroom is gently calling. So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.
Shalom, Shalom from Jerusalem.