kjv@1Samuel:3:13 extends sin to include those knowingly do not restrain others from sin. Here in kjv@1Samuel:3:17 we perceive a further guilt to those who have been given a special revelation of knowledge from the LORD and withhold it.
If connected in context to the rest of the remainder of the chapter we'd see that this astounding kingdom growth is a result of a caregivers' nurturing care towards repentance (even by calamity), the bounds of Satan being identified and loosed, legalism and tradition and religious expectation being loosed, certain adversaries being shamed in their confrontation, and praise of the multitude for what He has done. Not a bad summation of the Gospel...eh?
There is a vast difference between believing "in" God and believing "God". They are two different objects. The devils believe "in" God. The hard part is to actually believe that God said this thing or did this act or commanded that we obey that; that this is His certain Will regarding salvation. It is the difference between believing in a quaint notion and believing what proceeds forth and is emanated from the real person. Here we are told that God intends for the name of His Son to be the dividing line between the saved and the unsaved, that He has set His entire course of motion from eternity past to establish just that. He doesn't have to condemn be cause the soul remaining unborn to the Spirit chooses not to be born again thus condemning itself.
The teaching of the chapter is so profound that often we neglect it's obvious conclusion: doing. Knowing and doing go hand in hand. So why don't we always do this? What we are called to do is not just washing each others feet, that would almost be acceptable. What we are called to do goes way beyond that to the point of lowering ourselves beyond our respectability in the service of people we'd really rather not lower ourselves to. I think of all the stay at home Christians that have been hurt by other Christians. Whose feet are they washing there at home? Who are they lowering themselves for? How is our Lord's example being lived in their lives? Jesus said "each other's feet". Who are we to pick and choose whose other feet we'd be willing to clean?
The damage is done anyway. His previous influence remains even though he himself has changed. We see this in our own lives as well, friends that we've gone back to now that we've been reborn in Christ who see us as former shells of ourselves, turn coats to the truer rebellious faith, enemies to be reconverted or abandoned.
The prophet concludes with a song. In context it comes to mean that we may not know everything about what the Lord is doing. We may think that He is doing nothing at all or that He is letting evil overcome good. If however we could see the Lord in all of His larger than life actions, the directions He comes from, the foundations He shakes at, the tireless march that He is on, His goings forth for the salvation of His people; then certainly our view of things here and now would be much different. The song is summed up kjv@Habakkuk:3:17-19.
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