I have been greatly concerned for this nation. The lawlessness that has befallen us is not new, but I never imagined I’d see this nation fall for it. After all, we know who God is, right? So how could we ever be like that generation of Israel that did not know God. But then it struck me: maybe I didn’t understand the Hebrew behind that translation. So I looked into it and, sure enough, I had missed something very important!
The passage is here:
10 All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.
I never really worried about this happening in the United States. After all, a vast majority of us still claim to be ‘Christians,’ so we ‘know God’ — right? WRONG! When I looked into the Hebrew word translated here as ‘know,’ I discovered that it does not necessarily mean the same thing as what we think of when we read the word, ‘know.’
The Hebrew word here is ‘yada.’ It can mean many things. To ‘know’ can refer to having sexual relations with someone. It can mean to have a personal relationship with another. But it has another meaning that might be more important in regard to this passage and the story it tells. ‘Yada’ can also mean to ‘acknowledge!’ So, why would this alternate possible meaning be important?
The answer is simple: do you really think that there could ever be a generation in ancient Israel that had no knowledge or memory of YHWH? I don’t. But I could certainly see a generation rising up that refused to acknowledge Him. What’s more, as best I can understand it, this alternate possible understanding fits the original Hebrew in Judges 2:10. But there’s more. It also fits this passage, as well:
3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:
Here again, the word in question may be the Greek word, ‘ginōskō,’ and it may mean to know someone intimately, it can also mean, ‘to acknowledge.’ Now, others are free to disagree, but — to me — these passages are telling me that there was a generation that refused to acknowledge that YHWH is God, and that His Ways are to be followed and upheld. What’s more, John is telling me that, if I claim to ‘know’ YHWH, but I do not obey His Laws, I am a liar. I do not know — or acknowledge — Him. In other words, in both cases, the generation or myself, neither is willing to acknowledge that YHWH is Lord over us.
This was on my mind when a friend sent me a link to this story:
It is a good read but, for me, the most striking few lines are these:
But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”
Do you think the Russian people had forgotten YHWH? The Church was strong in Russia, and Lenin had to ‘war’ against God. So, knowing that, I find it difficult to believe that the Russians had forgotten God. But I could easily believe they had turned their backs on Him; had refused to acknowledge Him or His Laws. I think this is whatwas trying to tell us in this article.
This story also reminded me of a book I had read several years ago. In this case, it was about how a People much like the United States today. They had the appearance of ‘knowing’ YHWH, but they did not ‘acknowledge’ Him. In short, they refused to obey His Law and it lead to one of the darkest periods in human history. This is the book, and I cannot recommend that you read it strongly enough — mostly because the United States is far down the path Germany traveled in the 1930’s:
The United States has raised a generation that refuses to acknowledge YHWH. We refuse to obey His commandments, therefore, we cannot see the Truth anymore. We think a man can chose to be a woman; a woman can bounce back and forth between a man and a woman; that the child is not a human being; that removing evil from society is murder; that ‘science’ is our new god…
The United States is lost because it is lawless; it is lawless because it has forgotten YHWH. It is that simple, and nothing will change the result. Unless and until YHWH’s people remember who their Lord is, turn back, repent — and I mean REPENT — and beg His forgiveness, this nation will be destroyed by the nation that knows Him not!