You and I would never understand human beings, we would never understand the complexity of humanity and relationship until we start to see one another as God’s own handiwork. The reason for all the turmoil in our society today is because we have failed to have this perception.
- Today, we have more wealth than our forbearers ever had, but are we less selfish?
- Today, we have more psychology and education than our forbearers ever had, but are we more moral, or do we have less crimes and violence in our society?
- Today, we have more books on communication and relationship of all kinds, but are we getting along better than they did?
We look up and see the government totally failing and disappointing us; we look up at science which is proving its shortcomings; we look up and see medicine which is showing its limitations; we look up and see family and friends and others who can do only so much. While I am thankful to God for science and technology, the fact of the matter is this – both science and technology have discovered far more diseases than they have eliminated. Science and technology have never managed to eradicate poverty, and science and technology cannot overcome the ultimate challenge – death.
Throughout history, so many people and ideologies have offered themselves as the real solution to humanity’s problem. We have seen how communist ideology, as in economy and political solution to man’s problems gave us nothing but heartache and the destruction of millions of lives… The very first phrase in the charter of the United Nations reads, “We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind.” And yet, since the forming of the United Nations, there have been untold millions of people who have died through genocide, wars, and conflict.
Why is it that all of these ideologies, education, politics, diplomacy, science, and technology, good as all they may be, why have they not been able to solve humanities problem? Why have they failed again and again? The answer comes to us screaming from the pages of the scripture. Because they are not God’s way, they are man’s way, therefore they failed and are bound to always fail.
The core of the problem, the very heart of humanity’s problem is the reality of sin. The Bible makes it very clear that sin stains our thinking; sin taints our decision making; sin impacts our words and actions; sin affects our emotion; sin affects our will, and sin cannot be eradicated by diplomacies, politics, education, and science. Great as they may be, they can never deal with the core of humanity’s problem.
And the answer has to be that throughout history, human wisdom as never solved humanity’s problem. But only the Cross of Jesus Christ can truly deal with the very core of humanity’s problem. Only the cross of Jesus Christ is the true answer to humanity’s desperate need. Only the cross of Jesus Christ can give hope to the hopeless, light to the darkness; strengthen the weak; relieve from the pain of sin; forgiveness to the guilty conscience; joy to the desperate; healing to hatred; and life out of death.
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” – Psalm 14
The Hebrew word for ‘the fool’ here is the word “Nabal” which does not mean intellectual weakness, but what it really means is moral perversion. No one can ever accuse some of the non-believers particularly as being stupid, no not at all. Many of them are intellectually brilliant and intelligent, but when it comes to the most important thing in life they are foolish. It seems to me that people (in general) are willing to do anything, except for seeking God for help. We have more knowledge today than in any other time in history, but not the knowledge of God. Hitler believed that ignorance goes hand in hand with gullibility, and that is why Satan is working so hard to keep God’s people in ignorance from the word of God, which is the most important knowledge of all.
Satan’s greatest distortion for us today in our culture and in our society is this – that we are the ones to decide what is right and what is wrong, and not God. Morality without God is as dangerous as immorality. In fact, I dare to say that the greatest challenge to our society today and as the church of Jesus Christ is not immorality. Here’s why – Immorality says, break the moral standards, absolutes, codes, and norm. Even a blind man can sense when something is broken, and that is why immorality is not the most dangerous threat we are facing. But the most dangerous threat we are facing today is amorality.
Amorality says nothing about breaking the moral absolutes, but amorality says that there is no such thing as moral standards, and that is far more dangerous than immorality. I think Margaret Thatcher (former Prime Minister of the UK) was very well aware of the dangers of amorality, and she was absolutely right when she said, “Liberty decays into license in an atmosphere where all is permitted and nothing prohibited”
Today, our culture, media, courts of law, and some of the legislator all seem to have conspired together to tell the people that it is up to each individual to decide his or her moral’s standard or absolutes. Not only that, there are pressure groups that are working within the education system that seems to be hell-bent on ramming this amorality down the children’s throat.
Knowledge and wisdom are two different things, yet they are closely related. Why? Because, knowledge is information, and wisdom is the ability to apply the right information in the right situation. Knowledge enables us to take things apart, but wisdom helps us to put things together. Our world is bulging with knowledge, but we are bankrupt of wisdom. Somebody said that the reason universities are filled with knowledge is because freshman bring very little into it, and the graduating seniors take none of it away, and so it accumulates in the university. The right knowledge is of vital importance, but what is extremely of immense importance is the ability to apply this right knowledge.
The Bible speaks about four types of wisdom. Firstly, there is the natural wisdom which is a combination of intellectual capacity and experience. It’s a technical wisdom and most of those who have this type of natural wisdom neither acknowledge it comes from God nor do they rely on God for it. This type of wisdom is often used by politicians, lawyers, policemen, and other professionals.
Secondly, the Bible talks about worldly wisdom. Upon this type of wisdom, God declares war! Here is what God says in 1 Cor. 1:19, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent, I will thwart.” Why? Because, this type of wisdom leads people away from God; It leads people to deny their maker; it proclaims that men are God; It rationalises and justifies sin. This type of wisdom is demonic, it is Satan’s wisdom, and it is used to call evil – good, and good – evil.
Thirdly, the Bible talks about God’s wisdom, which is available to every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. They can ask God for this type of wisdom and it will be given to them, simply because He promised that He will, if only we ask of it. For it written (James 1:5), “If anyone of you should lack wisdom, let him or her ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him or her.”
Fourthly, there is the extra measure of the Holy Spirit’s gift of wisdom given specifically to some believers. This wisdom is the Holy Spirit given-ability to apply the word of God accurately and correctly in one’s life and in the lives of others.
Godly wisdom is the kind of wisdom that comes from the very heart of God who is all-wise. True wisdom of God comes from his word, and one must be resolute in uncovering and discovering the truth and the treasures inside the word of God. Godly wisdom is not merely the accumulation of knowledge so that one is characterized as smart or savvy, but it is the source of moral and ethical principles, which are integral to the God-honoring lifestyle. James, the brother of Jesus reveals the characteristics of godly wisdom to us:
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” – James 3:17-18
Solomon tells us (Proverb 2:4) that seeking wisdom is like seeking a hidden treasure. When you’re looking for a treasure that you know your very life in the here and the after is dependent on, what do you do? You don’t give up after the first five minutes, or after an hour or two, right? You keep on digging, searching and looking because your eternal life is dependent on it, and you don’t give up for whatever reason. You are persistent, dedicated, committed and disciplined in your search of that treasure. This principle is especially very true with seeking after the wisdom of God. Solomon is saying it is like seeking after a treasure. This pursuit of godliness is not just mere head knowledge. If godliness is just a mere head knowledge then the devil will be the godliest creature.
1 King 3:5, The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said to Solomon, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” What Solomon’s answer reveals was this – At that point in his life, he wanted to worship no one but God, he wanted to worship the Lord with all his heart, might, and strength. He did not ask for wealth nor power, but he asked God to give him only wisdom, so he can rule his people righteously and discern evil from good. That was all he asked for, nothing more.
God not only blessed Solomon with wisdom, the Bible tells us that there was none as wise like him that has been before him, and none as wise shall arise after him (1 King 3:12). But that’s not all, God also blessed him with what he did not ask for. God blessed Solomon abundantly with riches and honour that made him incomparable with any other king back in his days. This same God that blessed Solomon abundantly is still the same, yesterday today and forever (Hebrews 13:8), and I think what He wants us to learn from this story is that when we seek first His Kingdom, and His righteousness, all other blessings shall be given also to us (Matthew 6:33).
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” – Proverbs 9:10
What is the fear of the Lord? Does it mean being terrified of God all the time? No, not at all. The fear of the Lord in the scripture means that you do not grieve Him; that you reverence Him; that you are devoted to Him; that you dread sin and not rationalise it. Originally in God’s plan, fear was a gift from God. The gift of fear was given to us by the hand of God so that we might fear God. It does not mean to be terrified of God but to honour, revere and respect God. Fearing God means reverence to his majesty and sovereign power, Fearing God is seeking to please him above all else. Fearing God means deeply desiring to honour Him, and that you have a deep longing in your heart to obey him even if you stumble. I believe the following quote says it all on what it means to really fear the Lord:
“I know my friends and family, those who are close to me know this – If you press me, if you say ‘Michael what would be the one sentence you want us to have as an epitaph on your tombstone?’ It would be simply this, “He feared the Lord.” Beloved, that’s what I live for. I don’t care what other preachers say about fearing the Lord, to me it is wonderful, it is joyful, it is a blessing, it is comforting. I can make you a promise – When you fear the world and the people of the world, you will crave the gold of the world, but when you fear the Lord, you’re going to crave Jesus. If you fear the world, you will crave power, but when you fear the Lord, you will crave purity. When you fear the world, you will be a people pleaser, but when you fear the Lord, you will be the Heavenly Father’s pleaser. As for me, I want to please the Lord, more than anything else in this life.” – Dr. Michael Youssef.
It is our relationship with God that determines how wise we are. While Peter was somewhere wallowing in his sorrow, John alone came back to the cross. While Thomas was somewhere covered with doubt like a blanket, John alone came back to the cross. While Judas was out there taking his own life, John alone came to the cross. John always referred to himself as the disciple who is closest to Jesus, whom Jesus loved. And someone may ask – Does Jesus really have favourites? Absolutely not! The reason John was close to Jesus was because John wanted to be close to Jesus. You can be as close to Jesus as you want to be as close to Jesus. When we draw close to Him, He draws close to us (James 4:8).
There as to be something tragically wrong with somebody who goes into a hospital and says I’m feeling sick, therefore I’m going to check in here for the rest of my life. Or a student who stay in school, and never graduates. By the same token, there as to be something radically wrong with a Christian who never matures and grow spiritually.
A story was said about a historian who went to a town, and asked the shopkeeper, “Are any great man born in this town?” The old-timer thought for a minute and replied, “No, only babies” This also is true in the spiritual realm, no one is born again and became a spiritual giant overnight. So-called spiritual giants are those who have surrendered there all to the Lord Jesus Christ and have sought with all their heart to grow in the knowledge and in the wisdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. God gave us all that ability when we became born again, the ability to grow. But the desire and the will is down to us.
God, I look to You… For your glory Lord, please, give me wisdom. Amen & Amen.