The Wisdom of This World vs. The Wisdom of Christ
It does not take much observation to recognize the world is a mess. It is a mess of man’s making, with the help of the ruler of this world, Satan (Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). Ruined lives, squalor, abuse, illness, addiction, anger, hate, murder are met with moralism, therapy, self-help, and mantras of positivism.
In his penchant to be God, to control people and circumstances, man believes in himself and his ability to fix himself and others. Man optimizes himself into organizations: universities, corporations, nation states, sports teams, civic and service clubs, etc. The objective is to harness wisdom and power, in order to attain and maintain some sense of pleasure and glory.
The good life is the goal of whatever philosophy has been learned and adhered to, in pursuit of an elusive end. Men passionately engage in the activities they believe will bring them to babel, utopia, nirvana, or whatever is conceived and spoken of by them.
Man introspectively searches his heart and mind to figure out the void, but satisfaction is only temporary, with successive attainments, fleeting with each new endeavor. The simple fact is that human flesh is never content. Sin has ruined man, and there is no hope in this world because this is a world of sin.
The blindness caused by sin causes man to miss the fact: one is born into this world with nothing; and one leaves this world with nothing (1 Tim 6:7). Man strives with his neighbor for gain and advantage (Eccl 4:4). He profits, acquiring all he can, and then unexpectedly his soul is required of him (Lk 12:20). A man literally drops everything, His body included, and with death comes the judgment (Heb 9:27).
All of man’s gain in the world was deemed worthless, and yet, his striving continues, forever. There is not rest for him. He is a slave of sin (Rom 6:6), and sin is a brutal task master.
The curse reaches everything man thought was his salvation. His cottage by the lake needs a new roof. His prized sports car needs a new transmission. His pretty wife has spent so much money on Botox that he opts for a newer, less expensive model. The over-accumulation of stuff in his storage unit, and stove top stuffing in his belly has everything bursting. He is still not content.
Man is enslaved with the labor to manage it all, and he is not coping because of age and medical issues. He looks for escape through drugs, alcohol, food, pornography, etc. Coping mechanisms only add to his burden. Man awakes in a homeless shelter, a jail cell, or in eternity before God.
Wisdom was crying out all the days of a man’s life, but he was deaf (Prv 8). Wisdom shined truth, but man was blind (2 Cor 4:4). Wisdom came to visit man, but he was trying to reach the next level in his video game.
The wisdom of God, in contrast to the wisdom noted here, is Christ (1 Cor 1:24). Christ is the truth in a world of lies (Jn 14:6). Christ is light in a world of darkness (Jn 8:12). Christ is life in a world of death (Jn 14:6). Christ is the way in a lost world (Jn 14:6). Christ is love in a world of hate (Jn 3:16; 1 Jn 4:19). Christ is the Spirit of God in a carnal carnival (Rom 8:9). Christ is the only hope in a hopeless world (Eph 2:12; Col 1:27).
Will the world ever turn from its foolish “wisdom”? Not of its own volition, for it has too much invested in its ongoing activities. The world itself ends in the same fire as those who were inflamed with its philosophies and “wisdom (2 Pet 3:10–12).”
The paradox for the Christian is to know the truth about the world he lives in now, and yet, live for the world to come (Col 3:2; 1 Jn 2:15–17). He dies to self. He crucifies the world, even as the world is crucified to him (Gal 6:14). The more dead he is to the world, the more alive he is to Christ (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13). This is the wisdom of Christ and of God, but it is foolishness in the eyes of his neighbors (1 Cor 1:18–21; 3:19). So, who is the wise man? The man who loses what is temporary, in favor of that which is permanent; or he who loses what lasts forever, in favor of that which is observably fleeting.
Each man must examine his own life to determine which wisdom has enveloped him (2 Cor 13:5), and which wisdom he has embraced. The only wisdom that can be issued at this point is to flee to Christ, the wisdom of God. There is nothing else.
Spokane Valley, Washington
March 21, 2022