“…Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart…”
The prophet was on a mission from God. His task was to spread knowledge. He would succeed in carrying out his duties to such a degree that the result was a nearly complete failure. He went anyway.
I have frequently been charged with splitting hairs and being too exact about words. It’s a fair judgment—ask anyone who has told me they are spiritual but not religious.
That criticism of me acknowledged I wish to point out that the purpose of studying the scriptures is not knowledge. It is understanding. What’s the difference?
It is one thing to know that the Incarnation happened. It is quite another thing to understand why it was necessary. Reading the scriptures will impart knowledge. Understanding comes through meditation, reasoning, and life application (often by trial and error). The goal is not to discover how things work, but why they do—to go beyond the recitation of facts, beyond the underlying principles into the presence of the designer.
Jesus on the night before He was crucified, promised to send a Comforter to His disciples. He called this Comforter, the Spirit of Truth. Strange, because truth seldom begins as comfort. Truth usually comes as a stark light of contradiction shined upon our darkest desires. It makes us uneasy, disrupts our beliefs, and holds us accountable for our moral failures. It is only after we surrender to the truth that comfort and understanding come.
Seek to see and hear. Having done so, allow knowledge to guide your heart to the healing power of understanding.