This is one of the most important concepts in the Scriptures to understand, but many misunderstand it. Basically, it means to “know the Lord in a redemptive way.” So when you see that phrase “know the Lord” think “in a redemptive way” along with it. In Jer 9.23 it says that if we are to boast, we are to boast in the fact that we know him (in a redemptive way). So, we are going to give a few examples and concepts to help give a better understanding of what it means to “know the Lord.”
In Gen 4.1 it says that Adam “had relations” with his wife Chava and she conceived. The Hebrew word for “had relations” is “yada” and it is an intimate knowledge. It doesn’t get any closer than that physically speaking. Now, in a spiritual sense, how can this be applied? In Hosea 2.20 it says that the Lord (Yehovah) is going to betroth himself to his people, and they will “know the Lord (in a redemptive way).” But the Hebrew word for “know” there is “yada’at.” It combines “yada” with another Hebrew word for knowledge called “da’at.” So, this knowledge is intimate and deep. But what exactly is it and how do we know that we know the Lord in a redemptive way? People say all the time that they know the Lord, but that does not mean they are redeemed, and it is not an intellectual knowledge alone. There is a difference between “knowing someone” and really “KNOWING someone.”
Now turn to Hos 4.6 and you will recognize this verse right off because it is quoted by people all the time, but they never recite the whole verse in its context. It says, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge” and most people stop there. They say it in the context that you need the information they have in their books or videos on health or prosperity or their interpretation of particular verses. You don’t have what they are trying to put forth and you need it! However, is that what the Lord is saying? When you read it in Hebrew it says, “My people are destroyed for the lack of “the” knowledge.” The word “ha’da’at” is used there, so the next question is, “What is the knowledge?” The rest of the verse gives us the answer. It goes on to say, “Because you have rejected “the” knowledge, I will also reject you from being my priest since you have forgotten the law (Torah commandments) of your God, I also will forget your children.”
Do you see what he is saying? The Torah commandments are “the” knowledge that the people rejected. When the New or “renewed” Covenant is in full force in the Olam Haba, which is not right now in the Olam Ha Zeh, it says that “all will know the Lord” in a redemptive way (Jer 31.31-34). That means everyone will be redeemed in the Olam Haba, or the World to Come. In other words, the Torah commands are the knowledge we need to acquire, God will write them on our hearts. and we will obey them if we know the Lord. It is the evidence and proof that we really do know the Lord in a redemptive way. In 1 John 2.3-4 it says, “And by this we know that we have come to know him (in a redemptive way) if we keep his commandments. The one who says, ‘I have come to know him’ and does not keep his commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him (also see Matt 7.21-23,19.17; John 14.15; Titus 1.16; Jam 2.26).”
In other words, if someone says they know the Lord and does not keep the commandments, contradicts himself because his walk is not consistent with his words. The redemption is all the work of God (John 1.13), not just a rote, mundane ritual of observance and walking down an aisle void of any real intentions of the heart. When one becomes born again, the Spirit of God puts the desire to keep the commandments in that person’s heart. This is called the “circumcision of the heart (Deut 30.6; Jer 31.31-34).” One will have a desire to want to keep the Sabbath; eat kosher meat that is allowed in Lev 11; get away from false doctrine paganism and idolatry; love your neighbor and walk in the way of righteousness as defined in the Torah. If you don’t have this desire, it is an indication that you do not know the Lord in a redemptive way, but it is not too late. Repent of sin (as defined in the Torah-1 John 3.4) and believe in Yeshua as your redeemer, and ask God to be born from above and to write his laws on your heart, because that is how we know we have come to know him in a redemptive way.