Man's Wisdom and God's Truth
Man's Wisdom and God's Truth
I have before me a desk calendar, which contains 52 ‘thoughtful and inspiring quotations’ – a quotation for every week. On the surface, these quotes look very intelligent and attractive. But like everything that is the product of man, it is greatly lacking in truth. Oh how we need to see the ‘foolishness of man’s wisdom’ (1 Cor 3:19) in the light of God’s truth. God’s truth is found in God’s word (Ps 119:160a), but that word will shine in our hearts only when we have really and truly received the Spirit of God as God’s born-again children.
Here is a discussion on five of those quotes:
Most of us spend a lot of time dreaming of the future, never realizing that a little of it arrives each day.
Comment: What this quote implies is found in the Latin saying: Carpe diem! (Or, seize the day!). In other words, Do not dream about the future, but live in the present moment! Our Lord said it better in Matt 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble!” Talking about worrying, our Lord said, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matt 6:31-33.
The focus in our Lord’s words is on ‘seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness’. Are you seeking the Lord? Are you seeking His righteousness? Man’s wisdom, man’s strength, man’s righteousness, profit nothing. You need to be ‘right with God’, and that is possible only by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ and believing that His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross (the shedding of His precious blood) is the means of your justification before God. If only you will believe!
A thought about the future. Soon our life on earth will pass away, and there will be a judgment. (Heb 9:27). The Bible clearly talks about a Great White Throne judgment. (Rev 20:11,12). So we cannot ignore the future. We have to ‘prepare to meet our God’ (Amos 4:12). Is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? (Rev 20:12, 15). Then you need not worry about the future at all.
Choice, not chance, determines destiny.
Comment: The point is: Can man make the right choice? What have we chosen for ourselves? Today the world is in a mess. Look at the widespread recession, the burgeoning violence in society, the collapse of moral values, the pollution, the corruption – surely the days are evil! Man does not know what to choose!
Moses placed the choice before the Israelites as they prepared to enter the land of Canaan. Read Deut 30:19. “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” Moses goes on to say that ‘the LORD your God is your life!’ But Israel rejected the LORD, and they brought a curse upon themselves.
The Bible declares: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?’ Jer 17:9. ‘He who trusts in his own heart is a fool.” Prov 28:26.
Of course, there is no such thing as chance. We live in a moral universe. And the truth is: 'The wages of sin is death.' Rom 6:23. Though God has placed life before us in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, man is utterly blind and unable to choose 'life'. God in His infinite mercy promises grace, but man needs to humble himself. 'Grace is given to the humble.' 1 Pet 5:5
Knowledge is knowing the facts; wisdom is knowing what to do with the facts you know.
Comment: On the surface this seems to be true. There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. But do we know what to do with the facts we know?
How does the Bible define wisdom? Read this: ‘Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.’ Eph 3:17. The Bible clearly states that if you do not know the will of God you are a fool. Elsewhere, in the Old Testament, the Bible declares, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Psalm 14:1, 53:1. When atheism prevails, how can we expect man to have true wisdom? Further, the Lord Jesus clearly declares. ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ The greatest reality is the kingdom of God. The kingdoms of this world will perish and pass away; but the kingdom of God will endure forever. It’s tragic that many who claim to believe in God really do not know Him.
The greatest fact that man should understand about himself is that ‘he is dead in trespasses and sins’, Eph 2:1. We have to be made alive, by receiving eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, Rom 6:23. We receive eternal life through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on Calvary’s Cross. We receive eternal life through the power of the blood of Jesus sprinkled on our hearts by faith. ‘It is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’ Lev 17:11. And the ‘life’ is in the blood!
Ignoring the basic facts relating to man’s salvation, what is the point of knowing other facts? Will they save man from hell and damnation?
At times we may not know where God is, but we can be confident that He knows where we are.
Comment: This is what you may call a ‘banal observation’. It makes no sense, really.
Yes, God knows where we are. ‘The LORD looks from heaven; He sees the sons of men.’ Ps 33:13. ‘God is angry with the wicked every day’, Ps 7:11. If you are living in sin, God is angry with you and you face His judgment and wrath.
The statement implies that there is a God. And that He is watching us. But how can we be ‘confident’ that He knows where we are? We can be confident only when our sins are forgiven and we have the assurance of salvation. We can be confident only when we are truly born-again and have the witness in our spirits that we are the children of God and that God is our heavenly Father. We have boldness to come into the presence of God through the merits of the shed blood of Jesus.
Are you right with God? Can you truly say that you are a child of God? Can you declare that you are born again, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
Love is a gift that God places in the hearts of people the world over.
Comment: Human love is selfish. God’s love is selfless. Human love is whimsical and partial. God’s love is deliberate and absolute. To some extent, it is true that God has placed love in our hearts. The love of parents for their children, the love that exists in a family. The love of a mother for her child. The love between friends. And there’s romantic love, which the poets keep writing about; though these days, everything has become sordid and sexual.
The statement fails to understand the deep truth that God is love. Read 1 John 4. ‘Love is of God’ 4:7. ‘God is love’ 4:8. In 4:9, 10, we hear these words: ‘In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’ What John the apostle is saying is: God’s love is seen in His sending His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to die on the cross of Calvary for our sins. ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’ John 3:16. John 3:16 is the greatest declaration of truth in the world. Alas, that so many should ignore it!
It also says ‘not that we loved God’, 4:10. No, we are still suspicious of God, and our carnal minds are hostile to God. This is the inherent depravity that has come into man’s heart since the Fall. But God did not wipe us out, and begin creation afresh. No, He sent His Son into this world, in the flesh, to be propitiation for our sins, so that we believing in Him and His great sacrifice on Calvary may be redeemed from sin, Satan, death and hell. God did not want us to perish in our sins, but offered us eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
John is talking about agape love, divine love. And even the best of us, the most spiritual among men, fail to grasp the immensity of God’s love. May God open our eyes to His amazing love, grace and compassion seen in the indescribable gift of His beloved Son sacrificed for us on the cross of Calvary.
© Roland N Oliver/Pratonix