God told Noah to build a boat because it was going to rain. “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” We’re told “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Even though Noah heard God and was doing what he had been told can you imagine the ridicule he must have received? God’s wisdom was foolishness to the world in which Noah lived and it is even today. Truth is God loves to choose what seems foolish to the world to confound the wise so no flesh should glory in his presence.
Abraham was told he would be the father of many nations and yet it took several years to come to pass. In fact Abraham’s wife Sarah suggested that he go in to Hagar their handmaiden, perhaps that was the way God would fulfill his promise. Apparently having a woman, other than ones wife, to bare children for you was an acceptable practice in Abraham’s day. This just brings us to another point. Just because the society you live in is approving of something doesn’t mean God has changed his mind about it. Sarah and Abraham did go on to have Isaac, the son of promise, but not until after they had produced Ishmael. These two sons are the product of two different kinds of wisdom: earthly and heavenly.
Further along in the Bible we come across the story of Moses. His true identity was Hebrew but he had been raised as an Egyptian in the house of the Pharaoh. After growing up, and actually being in line to be the next ruler in Egypt, he made a decision to side with the Hebrew people instead. We read, “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season…” Once again we see the two wisdom’s. The world’s wisdom would have said to him “Come and enjoy all the riches this world has to offer and be in charge of the greatest world power known to man, Egypt.” On the other hand, God’s wisdom said, “Come with me and join yourself to my people to suffer temporarily in this life but gain riches unimaginable in the next.”
King David’s story is another one that displays the stark contrast between the world’s wisdom and God’s. When David was a young man he found himself facing a giant. King Saul and David’s brothers were too scared to confront the giant so young David volunteered for the job. King Saul said, “You can’t go up against this giant you’re too young.” David responded “I’ve fought a lion and bear, in order to protect my father’s sheep, why should this giant be any different?” Even then Saul told David if you’re going to fight him use my armor. David tried it on but it just didn’t fit, and he knew Saul’s methods wouldn’t work for him; so he took his simple little sling to do the job. First they said to David “You can’t do it” then they told him how to do it. David went against the giant with the same wisdom he had used with the lion and bear. David shouted “I come in the name of the Lord of hosts, the god of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” David understood the battle was the Lord’s and his greatest weapon is faith.
God’s wisdom comes from above and the world’s comes from below. In fact in the James 3 we discover wisdom from below isn’t just human but demonic at its foundation. A simple test to see which one you’re dealing with involves motive. God’s wisdom always puts others first whereas the world’s wisdom always has its own best interest at heart.
The great news is, even though the world’s wisdom is opposed to God’s wisdom, God has a way of working through and fulfilling his plan for our good and his glory. The wisdom of God is hidden to the world in fact “None of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” The world in its wisdom had Jesus crucified, but God knew all along that was exactly what needed to happen in order to bring salvation to the world and even the very ones who crucified him. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”
Written by Louie