My dad tells stories of his time in Vietnam. As a grunt soldier he has often told me of one story in particular. He’d been out on a mission in the jungle to go from village to village. The soldiers were to figure out what village was hiding the enemy and the enemies stuff, and what villages were innocent. One particular day came where dad was leading his troop and he happened to come across this community out in the middle of the jungle. He could tell that it had been painstakingly removed from the other villages. There was a crude fence all around it. He led his men to the door of the compound to see Vietnamese writing on the door. He didn’t speak Vietnamese. He didn’t read Vietnamese. His interpreter wasn’t with him. So he walked into the village. He tells me stories of going through that village. “It was as if the whole community must have been napalmed or bombed,” he says. As he walked into the compound puzzled faces watched him. Several were missing limbs and dad just figured they’d been bombed. Making his way to the center of town dad wondered what were all these people staring at? Why did He suddenly felt as if he were wearing a big purple mask. Something wasn’t right with this village. Eventually dad made his way to the center of town and called his CO on the radio. The eerie feeling in the air was almost tangible.
“Eagle,” He called in the radio. The cackles from the radio mixed with his voice as he explained the situation. Waiting for their Officers response daddy couldn’t help wondering why all these people were staring at him.
The static came response from his officer came back. After a few four letter words were shouted. “Get out! Leprosy Colony!” To which my father and the rest of his men were medi-vaced to the closest base and received a series of three leprosy vaccines to which my father swears are the most painful vaccines he’s ever been subjected to.
Hosea 4:6a says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Often we have this mindset that just because I don’t understand something that would make me immune to it. We think that ignorance is bliss and we mustn’t try to seek anything out. My dad didn’t know that he was walking into a leprosy community, but that still meant he had consequences for his actions. I could be driving on a road and not know there is a cliff ahead. I’m going to fall in that cliff whether I knew it was there or not.
Ezra 7:10 says, “For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.” We have to earnestly seek to study and learn about God. We can’t just claim ignorance.
Isn’t it great that we live on the other side of the New Testament? Where it’s not all about the law, but now we under the grace of God. We can plead the blood of Jesus Christ over our situations and we aren’t going to know everything. That is very true but ignorance isn’t bliss. We must know what God has to say on certain matters. We must study the word to show ourselves approved. God loves it when we seek after Him to learn His ways, Proverbs 8:17 (NASB)"I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me”
I love the analogy that Tommy Tenny of “God Chasers” uses. That God loves to play hide and seek with his children. He loves it that we seek him out and esteem him. He loves it when we take the effort to figure out what something means according to His word. He loves it when we value the things He says.
I am in no way saying that we need to set down and study our Bible every waking moment and think we must fulfill every tiny detail. That would be exhausting, and you would never be perfect. That would be living under the law of the Old Testament. But what I am saying is realize that by studying the word of God, you then learn more about God. If the Bible seems boring to you, then ask the Holy Spirit to come in and give you revelation. Instead of just doing your typical devotionals, ask the Holy Spirit where he wants you to study today. Realize there are things in the word that God wants to show you so that you won’t go walking into a “leprosy colony” spiritually speaking. He wants to bring you wisdom and revelation. Spend sometime with Him today. You’ll be glad you did.