The Knowledge of the Lord, part 1
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from


Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

The Knowledge of the Lord, part 1

In Isaiah 11:9, the prophet envisions a world of peace in which all creatures will live in harmony, and “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” What is “the knowledge of the Lord”?
I think the knowledge of the Lord is the wisdom to know how to live in peace. Jeremiah lamented, “They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, 'Peace, peace,' when there is no peace” (6:14 and 8:11). I think this aptly describes our current age. The Western nations are not immediately threatened by foreign forces, but the appearance of peace is a façade. Behind the window dressing is extreme violence on a massive scale, with most of the victims being nonhuman persons. Humans are also victims of the violence inherent in the exploitation and abuse of nonhuman persons, and the links between the victimization of humans and nonhumans has been documented well in David Nibert’s book Animal Oppression and Human Violence.
I think Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had a good appreciation of the knowledge of the Lord when he observed, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” There is no peace as long as we countenance violence and injustice. Our society is making violent choices, which are leading us toward widespread destruction and misery. What can we do to avert disaster? In other words, what, if anything, can we do to help the world be filled with the knowledge of the Lord? I’ll start to explore that question next essay. 

Go on to: The Knowledge of the Lord, part 2
Return to: Reflection on the Lectionary, Table of Contents 

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