“It Ain’t What You Don’t Know That Gets You Into Trouble. It’s What You Know for Sure That Just Ain’t So.”
The origin of the above quote is unknown, being attributed by most to Mark Twain. Regardless of who came up with this quote, God teaches this principle in His divine word, and is being exemplified in peoples lives continually. What does this quote mean?
It means that there are some that are so confident in what they know, but do not know that what they know is false.
In other words, folks act on erroneous information as if it’s accurate. This gets them into trouble. They’re BLIND to the truth, believing a lie. (cf. 2Thess 2:10-12)
Samson is a clear example of this principle of being BLIND. “And she said, The Philistines are upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times, and shake myself free. But he knew not that Jehovah was departed from him”
(Judges 16:20) (ASV) [emph mine seb].
What we learn from this passage, and others I’ll show you, is that it’s possible to know for certain a lie is true. Samson KNEW that the Lord was with him, but DID NOT KNOW that the Lord had departed from him.
To say it another way, it’s possible to be separated from God and not know (feel) it. Feelings are no evidence of salvation.
Here are 5 more examples from scripture of those that DID NOT KNOW the Lord was not with them, they’re BLIND.
BALAAM (Num 22:34). As Balaam went with Balak’s men against the will of God, he did not know that the Angel of the Lord stood in the way to slay him. But his donkey did. Upon seeing the Angel of the Lord Balaam said, “I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.” Lesson from Balaam; it’s possible to be headed toward death and not know it.
LAODICEA (Rev 3:17). In the letter to the church of the Laodiceans Jesus says, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” Lesson from the Laodiceans; It’s possible to be successful, content, and feel secure and not know that you’re actually not secure at all.
ISRAEL (Num 14:41-44). After God denies them entry into the promised land for their disobedience, they make an attempt to go in. Moments earlier it would have been a good idea, but God had already given a new command. Moses even warns them saying, “Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies. But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp.” Lesson from the children of Israel; It’s possible to want to do what you think is “good,” be warned against it, ignore the command of God and lose.
NONE of God’s counsel (Prov 1:28-33). “Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.” What is the lesson from this Proverb? We fail to be with God, even though we call on His name, when we ignore His instructions. This helps us understand Matthew 7:21-29.
DOOMED for Destruction. (2Thess 1:8-9); “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:” People who claim to be agnostic or atheistic will not have “I didn’t know” as an excuse. God has revealed Himself and the gospel of His Son to all, but not all believe and obey (cf. Acts 14:17; 17:23-31). Lesson from this passage; Saying “I didn’t know” will be no excuse.
It’s possible to not know the Lord has departed from you.
How are we to KNOW if God is with us? How CAN we KNOW and have assurance of salvation? We have to read His revealed word, make an examination of what it says to do and obey it (James 1:22). The Apostle John wrote; “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1John 5:13; 1:1-2; cf. John 20:31; Eph 3:3-4; 2Tim 3:15-17)
Spencer is an evangelist for the church of Christ that assembles in Borger Texas.