Frances and I were considering "ancient" times - 25 years ago and before - when the ring of a telephone would bring mystery into our lives.
"Who is it?"
Before caller ID and cell phones, the jangling of our connected-to-the-wall units did not tell us who was calling. We have all become so accustomed to the screens of our phones immediately introducing our callers that it seems completely strange that so much of the unknown accompanied the simple fact of a phone call. And how risky it was to answer! :)
Certainly our lives are lived more aware of things than ever before, at least in the natural sense. Science and technology have brought instantly available information to us that previous generations would have viewed as miraculous. Indeed, caller ID is a minor innovation compared to countless other wonders of an age when any subject imaginable can be instantly and thoroughly investigated by the mere touch of a computer key. The prophet Daniel long ago foretold a generation when "knowledge shall be increased" (meaning greatly multiplied), and the last hundred years have exponentially transcended all boundaries of previous human understanding (Daniel 12:4).
In light of this information and knowledge advance in the natural realm, the question arises, Is the same true in the spiritual realm? Have exponential increases of knowledge of the living and true God kept pace? I do not know. I suspect not, because of the growing spiritual and moral gloom that seems to be enshrouding all cultures and nations. However, it is true that the Bible is more available to more people than at any other time in history, and the dissemination of Christian teaching and information fills airwaves and the Internet. Opportunity to know and trust the Lord Jesus Christ surely seems more possible than ever, and doubtless people continue to meet Him and grow in His grace and knowledge during these fascinating days.
Nevertheless, I wonder. The knowledge of God, as promised and commanded by Scripture, involves time, patience and prayerful devotion if it is to be considered spiritually authentic. Contemporary modes and methods of information gathering do no lend themselves to such depth and ongoing cultivation. "Be still and know that I am God" may seem strange and almost impossible to a frenetic generation accustomed to bytes of information continually approaching and racing by (Psalm 46:10).
"Who is it?" The mysteries of long ago days when a phone call raised a question somehow causes me to wonder if our gains of science are not accompanied by losses of spirit. Yes, "Be still and know" may be increasingly beyond comprehension and apprehension for a generation that sadly seems to fit our Lord's description of those who are...
"Ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the the truth."
(II Timothy 3:7)