Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” (1 Corinthians 3:18-20)
When A Man Thinks He Is Wise
Pride is one of the triads of foolish mistakes all men make when they look at themselves in the mirror. Charles C. Colton wrote, “Of all the marvelous works of the Deity, perhaps there is nothing that the angels behold with such supreme astonishment as a proud man.” The apostle Paul reminded the carnal hearts of the Corinthians that their division of human wisdom was folly compared to the majesty of Jehovah God. Wisdom is much sought out worldwide as men seek to exalt themselves beyond measure. The world’s knowledge has built great monuments, achieved remarkable accomplishments, unlocked secrets of the unknown, and explored the vast universe as no generation before. There is much for human wisdom to boast but compared to the wisdom of God, there is not even a comparison at the atomic level. God’s wisdom is so far above the foolishness of human wisdom.
Men deceive themselves when they boast of their wisdom. Great men declare monumental truths. In every age, the wisdom of the world seeks to exalt itself above the nature of the Divine. And in every generation, the exaltation of human wisdom fails – without exception. The greatest wisdom a man can possess is when he sees himself as the fool that he is compared to the Creator and Maker of the world. What can man create or accomplish that can apex the work of God? Where has the vaulted wisdom of humanity made the plight of man one whit better than the smallest fragment of divine wisdom? Could the Shakespearean wisdom of man create the divine story of Jesus of Nazareth? What principles of human wisdom can find greater worth than the pages of holy writ?
Eliphaz the Temanite was correct when he answered Job that God’s and man’s ways are not the same. God can frustrate the plans of humanity, defeat their schemes, make void the counsels of human wisdom, and do so without any effort. The wisdom of the world is nothing but foolishness as the Divine potter forms the clay to His will. When can man make himself taller than God? The psalmist answers the highest thoughts of men are fruitless and vain. When a man thinks himself wise, he becomes a fool.
The wisdom of the world seeks to destroy the wisdom of God. For two thousand years, the world has rejected the final revelation of the Lord as useless. The Bible represents the complete mind of God revealed to all men for every generation in every place. Nothing can compare to the message of the sixty-six books of divine knowledge filling God’s heavenly library. Anything written by men is foolish and empty. There is only one divine truth, and that is contained in the Bible and the Bible alone. Adding to the divine word will fail. Taking away from the word of God will fail. All men will fail when they embrace the wisdom of the world over the knowledge of God. In the end, men are found to be foolish and God divine.