LORD : Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, for the customs of the peoples are false. A tree from the forest is cut down, and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. Men deck it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move. Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, for they cannot walk. Be not afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good." [Jer 10:1-5]
When LORD created the Israel nation through Moses, LORD gave them Laws/ordinances/statutes. In other words, LORD gave them a COMPLETE POLITICAL SYSTEM, DEVISED BY LORD.
They had no king. LORD was their king, but they have teaching priests/Levites to educate them in teachings of LORD. LORD also bid them not to learn the customs of the Canaanites nor befriend with them. The Israelites should be people holy to the LORD.
This political system went on well until one day, the Israelites wanted a king. They wanted to be like the surrounding nations, where there were kings. LORD was sad because of this(1). Nevertheless, LORD granted their wish and make Saul their king.
From that moment onwards, LORD was no longer their king, but a human being was their king. This went on for many years, and bad king could send the whole nation tailspin into sin (e.g. Jeroboam(2), Manasseh(3), ... ) Finally the day came when Israel was invaded by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and ceased to be a nation.
Worshipping idols is strictly prohibited by LORD [10 Commandments], but in the above passage, we see that Israel learn from the surrounding nations which worshipped idols, and forgot LORD's commandments.
In Japan, there are the "motor cycle gang", whose behaviour reflect the characters in the comic books, lust for violence. They would use extreme violence against people.
Young people in Hong Kong have not yet developed into that stage, but the future is worrying.
Adultery always was the cause of fall of dynasties in China, and adultery will also be the cause of the fall of Hong Kong.
Divorce rate, single-parents, youths without parental care ... are on the increase. How would LORD tolerate such and not send a curse on all people ?
There are many other things Hong Kong people learn from other nations. How could they not learn such when Government provides no lead ? Government is always concerned with money, money, and money, and economics, and never moral.
Jesus : Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. [Mt 5:6]
Foremost, we should learn righteousness - how to conduct ourselves in this world and live a righteous life before LORD. Here we have a model man - Jesus, how Jesus lived should everyone of us live. Life was full of dangers in Jesus time, and life is still full of dangers now, the year 2001. How Jesus handled such should be our way to handle such - always do what is right in the sight of LORD and endure to the end, even to death on cross.
We have LORD and Jesus' teachings in the Bible, and they are terribly good learning materials.
In [Job 38, 39, 40, 41], it was plain that LORD wanted us to learn science, biology, zoology, weather science, astronomy, ....
There are lots of similar things worth learning :
- How to build ships,
- How to build aeroplanes,
- How to build electronic gadgets,
- In fact, all engineering courses in Universities,
- All physical sciences and natural sciences in Universities, and other courses offered in Universities,
- Woodwork, metalwork, needlework, weaving, embroidery, pottery, .... all handicrafts,
I cannot list all.
Now that we have the Internet, and we may access material (even extremely good University courses) without fee. A person can learn terribly lot of things just through the Internet, not to mention the many good text-books available in shops and in libraries.
We should learn things which are right in the sight of LORD, and not those condemned by LORD (those that break His Laws and Commandments), and should remember, our life here is a probation, a temporal stay, and one day, we will have to give account before the Judgement Seat of LORD, and whether we will live eternally in the New Heaven and New World will depend on what we do now.
Jesus : ... Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or "What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. [Mt 6:31-33]
LORD to Jeroboam : "Because I exalted you from among the people, and made you leader over my people Israel, and tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you; and yet you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commandments, and followed me with all his heart, doing only that which was right in my eyes, but you have done evil above all that were before you and have gone and made for yourself other gods, and molten images, provoking me to anger, and have cast me behind your back; therefore behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will utterly consume the house of Jeroboam, as a man burns up dung until it is all gone. Any one belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs shall eat; and any one who dies in the open country the birds of the air shall eat; for the LORD has spoken it." [1 King 14:7-11]