Daniel 12 concerns the "time of the end." So the Bible clearly predicts that an enormous increase in knowledge and travel would characterize this final age of man. But what kind of knowledge?
We have seen great progress in material knowledge, particularly in the almost instant transmission of knowledge and information. The Internet- that proverbial information superhighway-is alive with bits and pieces of data of every stripe.
America sits on the leading edge of the fantastic ability to transmit information from nation to nation, corporation to corporation, person to person. Wrote Joseph Nye and William Owens in Foreign Affairs: "America has apparent strength in economic power and military production. Yet its more subtle comparative advantage is its ability to collect, process, act upon, and disseminate information, an edge that will almost certainly grow over the next decade" (March-April 1996).
From God's point of view, however, growth in technical knowledge and information is not enough. Wrote the Hebrew prophet Hosea: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children" (Hosea 4:6 Hosea 4:6My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to me: seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.
American King James Version×, emphasis added).
This is the great conundrum of our age: massive growth in material knowledge coupled with an unbelievable paucity of spiritual understanding. Make no mistake about it. America and the other Western nations possess vast knowledge that has produced and increased untold wealth. But this prosperity is not being undergirded and supported by national obedience to God's great spiritual law, the Ten Commandments.
The authors of the above optimistic article titled "America's Information Edge" freely acknowledge in their conclusion: "The final and most fundamental requirement is the preservation of the kind of nation that is at the heart of America's soft power appeal. In recent years this most valuable foreign policy asset has been endangered by the growing international perception of America as a society riven by crime, violence, drug abuse, racial tension, family breakdown, fiscal irresponsibility, political gridlock, and increasingly acrimonious political discourse in which extreme points of view make the biggest headlines."
Their first paragraph begins: "Knowledge, more than ever before, is power." Yet, to maintain the power and strength of a nation, much more is required than mere material knowledge. Hosea continues his prophecy about knowledge with the solemn words, "The more they increased [in population and prosperity], the more they sinned against Me" (verse 7).
The Bible defines sin as the rejection of God's law (1 John 3:4 1 John 3:4Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
American King James Version×). Unfortunately the fantastic growth in technical knowledge is paralleled by an ugly growth in all kinds of evils. Every day the Western news and entertainment media broadcast an unceasing litany of these societal evils.
In the long run the only thing that will save humankind is a humble compliance with the spirit of these words spoken by our Creator nearly 3,000 years ago: "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14 2 Chronicles 7:14If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
American King James Version×). GN