Are We Wise? – Part 2

There are many things I will never know in this world. There are many more I will never become.

In my naivete, I thought I should know everything and I wanted to become everything. I read of Neil Armstrong and I wanted to become like Neil Armstrong. I had read about Abraham Lincoln; I wanted to be that great man. I had also read about Einstein, had even drawn pictures of him and wondered at the composition of the grey matter encased within that skull.

I even wanted to play the piano like Mozart. And I pondered what a great accomplishment it would be to be able to become a symphony conductor. (Today I am learning to play the bass guitar!)

I could spend hours, after a plane had flown by high in the sky, looking up and trying to work out the intelligence behind the kind of workmanship that would put such a thing up there. I became a lover of documentaries about the wonders of nature and the inventions of man.

In my country they dig for gold, diamonds, gas – and now they are prospecting for oil. Big, multi-national companies. I have seen them transporting incredibly big machinery to the mining areas. Huge 18-wheelers would pass by our town, each carrying a single ‘tiny’ component of the drilling machinery. The sight was a wonder to behold and one could not help wondering at the cost involved. (I came to understand why human life in such circumstances quickly becomes of little value. Billions of dollars are at stake and a few ‘worthless’ locals cannot be allowed to stand in the way of such a profitable undertaking in the name of claiming their so-called land rights… Regrettably, as a consequence of this, much of the beauty of the diamonds that the rich and famous people in this world wear is tainted with blood and tears.)

As I grew to know the Lord more, I realized that all this awe-inspiring stuff that I perceived with my five senses was… futile. It was nothing.

I admire Job. He was one of the wisest men who ever lived in this world. A man who would undergo such sufferings as Job went through and who at the end of it all says “blessed be the name of the LORD” is not your average Christian. That is a man in whom the wisdom of God lives. With that in mind, let us have a look at what Job has to say about wisdom.

Job says man has a way of arriving at all the worldly wisdom that he desires to. He can ‘discover’ anything he wants to. He can mine the deepest gold shaft. He can discover space – and beyond. In his ‘wisdom’ man can do many, many seemingly profitable things. That is what Job is saying in all of verses 1 through 11.

But apparently Job sought after another kind of wisdom. He doggedly asks: Where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?”

Job concludes that true wisdom is not found in the things that we perceive with our five senses. He says true wisdom is not found “in the land of the living”. That means that is cannot be found in the humanistic teachings or discoveries of this world. It is neither in macro- nor in micro-biology. It is neither in charting the outer reaches of space. Nor is it in discovering and bringing forth the riches of the earth.

Man can arrive at all these things. But if we want the real thing, we will need to take a different road. He says, “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.”

That is so far removed from the ‘wisdom’ of this world. No wonder God has a problem with people who think they are intelligent. God has a real problem with ‘smart’ people. Such minds are breeding grounds for worldly, humanistic wisdom or education which cannot make you to depart from evil. On the contrary, it will teach you principles, techniques – and a reason – to rebel against God.

I realize now how futile it was for me to want to know all those things and to become all those things I wanted to be! Had I attained to all of them, it would have been worthless.

Job, one of the wisest man that ever lived, tells us the secret of true wisdom: it is walking in the fear of the Lord, and leaving off from doing evil. That is the only one thing worth attaining in this world…

I no longer hold any grudges against Hercules. In fact, I often wonder what eventually became of him. But I do know that if he never came to know Jesus as Lord and Savior of his life, all his ‘gains’ in this world are so much rubbish.

Knowing and serving God in a spirit of brokenness, that is true wisdom. Desiring to appear wise in this world is folly with God.

I am so glad I am nothing. I have accomplished little in this worldly life. Now, whether that is okay with anybody or not is of no consequence to me. I have my sights on something completely different. In fact, some people think I am smart because I write this blog: I only know too well how worthless I am. And even if I were something in this world, still that has nothing to do with the calling that God has on my life.

I have only one calling in life: to deny myself, take up my Cross and follow Jesus. That is the only thing I have been called to accomplish in this world.