Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hastens with his feet sins.
Manifold are the evils of ignorance. All evil of all kinds has been resolved into error; but, if we do not go so far as this, we may truly say -
I. THAT IGNORANCE OF GOD IS FATAL. "This is life eternal, to know God;" and if the knowledge of God is life, what must the ignorance of him be? History and observation only too fully assure us what it is: it is spiritual and moral death; the departure of the soul from all that enlightens and elevates, and its sinking down into grovelling and debasing superstitions. To be without the knowledge of God is simply fatal to the soul of man.
II. THAT IGNORANCE OF OUR HUMAN NATURE IS PERILOUS.
1. Not to know its nobler possibilities is to be without the needful incentive to lofty aspiration and strenuous endeavour.
2. Not to know its weaknesses and its possibilities of evil is to go forward into the midst of bristling dangers, unarmed and undefended.
III. THAT IGNORANCE OF THE WORLD (OF MEN AND THINGS) IS HIGHLY UNDESIRABLE.
1. To study, and thus to be acquainted with nature as God has fashioned it, to be familiar with the ways and with the arts and sciences of man, - is to be braced and strengthened in mind, is to be far better able to understand and to apply the truth of God as revealed in his Word.
2. To be ignorant of all this is to be correspondingly weak and incapable. Knowledge is power, and ignorance is weakness, in every direction. To go on our way through the world, failing to acquire the grasp of fact and truth which intelligent observation and patient study would secure, - this is to leave untouched one large part of the heritage which our heavenly Father is offering to us. There is one particular consequence of ignorance which the wise man specifies; for he reminds us -
IV. THAT PRECIPITANCY IN WORD AND DEED IS POSITIVELY GUILTY. "He that hasteth with his feet sinneth." An unwise and hurtful precipitancy is the natural accompaniment of ignorance. The man who knows only a very little, does not know when he has heard only one-half of all that can be learnt; hence he decides and speaks and acts off hand, without waiting for additional, complementary, or qualifying particulars. And hence he judges falsely and unjustly; hence he act,'s unrighteously and foolishly, and often cruelly; he takes steps which he has laboriously and ignominiously to retrace; he does harm to the very cause which he is most anxious to help. It is the man of wide knowledge and expanded view, it is the large-minded and well informed soul, that bears the best testimony, that does the worthiest and most enduring work, that lives the largest and most enviable life. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.