The Quest

January 3, 2011

The search for truth and self-purpose is perhaps the greatest of all human quests. The yearning for truth, the yearning to understand the reason for being, has been the inspiration of great poetic lyric. It has been the subject of masterpieces of artistic expression. It has been the driving force behind epic adventures. “Who am I in the grand scheme of the universe? Why am I here? What is my purpose for being? Is there a God, an Almighty Creator? Is there an intelligence and purpose behind the schemes of the universe? Or, is all of this that we see, that which surrounds us, the product of mere chance and happenstance, the result of unintelligible and random acts of mutation.” The reason for man’s yearning is set forth in the book of Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 3:11
“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”

The Word of God declares that He “hath set the world in their heart.” The word “world” in that verse is the Hebrew word ‘olam,’ which means ‘forever,’ ‘eternity,’ ‘of old,’ ‘antiquity,’ ‘everlasting,’ and this is its usage throughout the Bible. God has set eternity in the heart of mankind. Every human individual knows deep within themselves that there has to be something more, some greater purpose and meaning to life than just that which they experience and see around them.

It is like a void, a vacuum, in the depth of the soul of a person that they live with throughout their lifetime, endeavoring to fill it with temporary pleasures and carnal remedies, until they come to the knowledge of God, and humble themselves before the understanding of man’s purpose as declared in the scriptures, again in the book of Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 12:13
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

The word “duty” is italicized in the King James Bible because it was added by the translators, and as such may be deleted without affecting the truth of God. The word “fear,” as it is used throughout the Bible in this context, means a healthy and deserved reverence, awe, and respect. It is not used in the sense of terror or dread. We are not terrified or in dread of our God. We stand in awe of Him, and have a healthy and well deserved reverence and respect for our Creator. This is the whole of a man or woman, to reverence God and keep His commandments (His Word). This is the conclusion of the whole matter. The only heart satisfying reason for being. Anything less is a mere empty and painful existence.

Proverbs 1:7
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

The ships that sail in the quest for truth and self-purpose must first be laden with awe and reverence and respect for the true God, or they will return with empty holds, or holds filled with worthless and counterfeit trinkets.

Nehemiah 8:8
“So they read in the book in law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.”

In this great epic adventure of the quest for truth, man’s first port of call must be the accuracy of God’s Word, the scriptures – rightly divided and handled logically, simply, and lovingly. The first cargo secured must be the knowledge of God, not the religious traditions of men, theological speculations, or the mutterings of the intelligencia and the critics. Not the ‘testimonies’ of the devout, or the academic world’s opinion or analysis of the scriptures, but the scriptures themselves, understood in light of every word of God. This is how a man or woman truly lives.

Matthew 4:4
“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Yet, throughout history, the great cargo of the treasures of God’s Word have continuously been thrown overboard as just so much worthless ballast, despised and rejected, even by God’s own people at times.

Jeremiah 2:13
“For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold not water.”

Hosea 4:6a
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee.”

The truth of God’s Word has been cut up by the pen knife of a king of antiquity, as recorded in Jeremiah 36, even as it is cut up by the pens of modern theologians, to the end of being so muddied and confused that hardly anybody can understand it, or believes it, or can even read it today without the commentaries, study aids, or opinions of men.

II Corinthians 2:17a
“For we are not as many, which corrupt (adulterate, water down) the word of God.”

II Corinthians 4:2a
“But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully.”

The accurate knowledge of God’s Word, His Holy Scriptures, which the world, and religion, and sense-knowledge, pseudo-intelligent man treats with such disdain, is the first, and most valuable treasure we must fill our cargo holds with in our quest for truth and self-purpose.

Psalm 19:10
“More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”

Proverbs 4:20-22
“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.”

In man’s quest for truth and self-purpose, when his ships of discovery are laden first and foremost with a healthy and well deserved respect and reverence for the Creator God, and his first port of call is the accurate knowledge of God’s rightly divided Word, then his cargo holds will be filled with the genuine treasures of the knowledge of God, and he will understand his purpose and reason for being, and be satisfied and blessed all his days.