HAS NOT GOD MADE FOOLISH THE WISDOM OF THE WORLD?

Reading through the story of Abraham in Genesis has brought me into a deep truth. There is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof is death. Think about it for a minute. Abraham was given a promise from God. He seemed to be taking too long to fulfill it so Sarah and Abraham use their human reasoning powers to hatch a plan. Sarah had an Egyptian handmaiden named Hagar, so she tells Abraham to go into her to have a child. I guess she thought, well, maybe that’s how God is going to fulfill His promise. Of course for those that know the story, you know this wasn’t the way God had in mind and it hasn’t turned out well for the world since. While the story of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar is sufficient on a surface level to teach us plenty, it has come to my attention there is quite a deeper lesson here.

The book of proverbs describes for us two women, the Wisdom of God and the harlot of natural reasoning. James teaches us mere human wisdom is earthly, natural and even demonic. In the story of Abraham we can clearly tell which is which can’t we? Although Sarah is the one to suggest Hagar to her husband, in the end she represents the wisdom of God and Hagar is the harlot. You see Sarah was the means by which God was going to bring forth the child of promise not Hagar.

According to the Galatians letter these two women represented two covenants. Hagar was a slave representing the Old Covenant and slavery to religion, the flesh, the Law and so on. Sarah, on the other hand, represented the New Covenant, grace and freedom. In other words Hagar was an earthy woman representing earthly, natural, demonic wisdom. Sarah represented the wisdom of God because she was going to be the one by which God brought forth the child of promise but it was through no help from her, seeing how her womb was barren. You see it seemed right to Abraham that Hagar might be the way God fulfilled His promise, but natural reasoning can never produce the life God intends.

If you think back with me a bit you’ll see that the choice between these two women, or wisdom’s, started in the Garden which were represented by the two trees. On the one hand the tree of Life, or the Wisdom of God, and on the other the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, or earthly, natural reasoning, and we know the choice Adam made don’t we?

Ever since that fateful decision in the Garden, mankind has struggled to walk in God’s Wisdom. Mankind has fallen so far Paul said, “their god is their belly” and others have said they are like “unreasoning animals” (2 Peter 2:12, Jude 1:10).

It’s humorous in a way because my first reading in the Bible after I was born again was 1 Corinthians, and in it I immediately read how “the natural man cannot know the things of God because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). But God does in fact reveal things to us by His Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10). Even though these are some of the very first verses I learned it has still taken me 14 years to see this in the way I see it today. There is so much deception and blindness that came with the fall of man. Although God can reveal the truth to us in a flash, it may take years for us to really see. I thank God He never stops pulling the blinders off and as long we don’t let natural reasoning overrun God’s wisdom, we will see Him as He really is, and we will know even as we are known (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Louie

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SISTER WISDOM AND THE HARLOT OF NATURAL REASONING

In the beginning Adam was created in the image and likeness of God. God created him to have a mind and a will in order to choose. To use New Covenant language we might say, he had the mind of Christ. So actually what happened at the fall was Adam lost his mind. Adam had made the decision to go with what Satan said rather than God. Therefore all who have been born of Adam are born operating from the mind of the enemy, or the mind naturally ours because of the fall.

The Bible admonishes us to “not lean on our own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5), and “There is a way that seems right to a man but the end leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). So we’re not supposed to live according to our natural reasoning because our natural reasoning is opposed to God. “The mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God” (Romans 8:7). Because, “a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Proverbs spends a considerable amount of time telling us to seek Wisdom. We are to “make our ear attentive to wisdom, incline our heart to understanding; for if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2:2-5). So we see Wisdom is a woman who is to be sought after. The Wisdom of God is actually God Himself. It’s the knowledge “of” God not simply knowledge “from” God. In the New Covenant we discover “Christ Jesus became to us Wisdom from God…” (1 Corinthians 1:30). We are to “be renewed in the spirit of our mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Ephesians 4:23-24).

It only makes sense to me if Wisdom from God is a woman, the enemy might just have a woman of his own. You see we have all been operating from the wrong mind or wisdom because of the fall. Part of what happened in the fall is the Wisdom of God departed. Once Adam, and subsequently all of us, was left without God’s Wisdom, or mind, natural reasoning was all we had left. The trouble is what I’m calling “natural reasoning” is actually the mind of the Harlot.

Proverbs seven shows us the mind of the harlot, who is a deceiver. She sees a naive young man lacking sense walking a bit too close to her house. What I would like for you to notice is the harlot works this foolish young man over through natural reasoning. She says, “Today I’ve paid my vows. I have spread my couch with coverings. I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. My husband is not at home, he has gone on a long journey.” The young man blindly walks right into her web “as an ox goes to the slaughter.” That old harlot gave him every reason in the world why he should come to her place, and he went. You see we are absolutely no match for the craftiness of the enemy without the Wisdom of God. We are told “in all your getting get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7). We are told to “Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your intimate friend; that they may keep you from the adulteress, from the foreigner who flatters with her words” (Proverbs 7:4-5).

Ultimately we are all operating from one of two minds. Romans eight tells us “the mind set on the flesh (natural reasoning or mind of the harlot) is death, but the mind set on the Spirit (the Wisdom of God, mind of Christ) is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh(natural reasoning, satanic mind) is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God; for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh(natural reasoning, satanic mind) cannot please God” (Romans 8:6-8).

James tells us the wisdom from below is “earthly, natural and demonic…but the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:15-18).

Louie