Intro. This scripture is a prophecy and was fulfilled in the time of Judas Maccabeus. Who with a small band of men, dedicated fully to God, attacked and defeated the superior forces of Antiocus Epiphanies over and over again. Before each battle he would encourage his men to be willing to give their lives for God. The exploits of these men became legendary. There is a truth here that goes beyond the prophetic fulfillment by the Maccabees.
I. THE PEOPLE WHO DO KNOW THEIR GOD.
A. In John 17:3
Jesus said, "And this is life eternal, that they may know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."
1. There is a vast difference between knowing God, and knowing about God.
2. All but the fool know about God, it is only the fool who has said in his heart, "There is no God." Paul said, professing themselves to be wise, they became fools as they sought to change the glory of the incorruptible God and they began to worship and serve the creation more than the creator.
3. This is a reference to knowing God in a personal intimate way. In such a way as you carry on daily conversations with Him, and seek His advise before making any major decisions. You look to Him daily for comfort, advise, and strength, He is your closest friend and confidant.
B. How do you get to know God in this way?
1. By learning of Him. Jesus said, "Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me."
a. There is only one textbook whereby you may know God in truth, and that is the Bible.
b. A lot of books have been written about man's concepts, and ideas about God, these can be very confusing.
c. The Bible is an autobiography in which God has revealed Himself to man. It shows how He has related to man through history, and how you can relate to Him.
2. Through Jesus Christ.
a. God who in different times and in various ways spoke to man through His prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His own dear Son. Jesus is the final and perfect revelation of God to man, for He is God.
b. When Philip said to Him, just show us the Father and we will be satisfied, Jesus answered, "Have I been with you all of this time, and have you not seen Me, He that has seen Me has seen the Father."
c. In his latter years John wrote in his 1st epistle, "That which was from the beginning which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the Word of life. For the life was manifested and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us."
d. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh to the Father, but by Me."
e. Again Jesus said, "Neither knoweth any man the Father except the Son, and he to whom the Son revealeth Him."
d. Jesus is the true revelation of God for He is God. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God, the same was in the beginning with God, and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth.
II. THE OUTCOME OF KNOWING THEIR GOD.
A. They shall be strong.
1. As we were sharing last week, we are in a spiritual battle in which physical force is ineffective, for we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but spiritual powers. In the context of this spiritual warfare mentioned in Ephesians Paul said, "Be strong in the Lord, and the power of His might."
a. Our strength is in Him, "Be strong in the Lord."
b. Our power comes from Him. "And the power of His might."
2. When Paul was praying for the Ephesians, he prayed that they might know the exceeding greatness of His power toward those who believe.
3. In his second prayer for them he asked that they might be strengthened by His Spirit in their inner man.
4. When Paul was praying for his own infirmity the Lord spoke to him and declared, "My grace is sufficient for you, My strength will be perfected in your weakness."
5. You can, as Isaac Watts, be a physical wimp, but a spiritual giant. He said as he stretched himself out to his full four foot eleven inch stature,
"Were I so tall to reach the pole,
Or span the ocean with my hand,
I must be measured by my soul,
The mind is the standard of a man."
6. You may be a physical giant, and a spiritual wimp.
a. Goliath was a physical giant nine feet tall, but he did not know the God of Israel, and he defied Him.
b. Goliath fell before a stripling of a youth, who knew the God of Israel.
B. They shall do exploits.
1. I would take you to Hebrews 11
to show you the exploits of the men and women who knew their God.
a. Gideon with his 300 men routing over 135,000 Midianites.
b. Barak with the help of Deborah, routing the forces of Sisera with his many iron chariots.
c. Sampson with a jawbone of a donkey as his only weapon facing and destroying 1000 Philistines.
d. "Out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
2. The Bible is replete with stories of the great exploits of those men who knew God and trusted in Him.
III. THE BOTTOM LINE QUESTION, DO YOU KNOW GOD?
A. Some people claim that He is unknowable, they claim to be agnostics.
1. This is a claim usually made by those who suppose that they are to intellectually sophisticated to believe in a personal knowable God.
a. It is the problem of starting with an earth base and seeking to reach heaven.
b. The finite, can never reach the infinite.
2. The friend of Job asked, "Who by searching can find out God to perfection?"
B. To know God is the most important thing in life.
1. Jeremiah said, "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches, but he that glorieth let him glory in this that he knows Me, that I am the Lord that exercises lovingkindness, judgment and righteousness in the earth."
2. Paul told the Corinthians that God had not chosen many wise, or many mighty or many noble men, for He has chosen to use the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. And the weak ones of this world to confound the mighty, that no flesh should glory in His sight.
a. God wants to do exploits on this earth, but it is difficult to use the wise, for men will then glory in the wisdom of men.
b. It is difficult for the same reason to use the mighty and the strong.
C. There is no excuse not to know God. He has revealed Himself in nature, which should lead you to His word, which will lead you to His Son.
1. And this is life eternal, that they may know You the only true God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.