Every day life presents us with an unquantifiable amount of questions. Where you go for answers will make all the difference. Christians will always have to make the choice, will we seek worldly wisdom or biblical wisdom?
Worldly Wisdom vs. Biblical Wisdom: God’s Word Trumps the Experts
In the age of information and when there is academically trained professional for everything, we are pressured into listening to the “experts.” With all their scientific data, sophisticated arguments, and educational titles behind their names, we feel we must listen to the wisdom of the world if there is “evidence” to support their claims. Sometimes we even seek to validate the Bible with worldly evidence rather than to interpret the evidence of the experts through God’s wisdom in the Bible.
Faith in God means interpreting everything through his word, not interpreting his word through everything in the world. Worldly wisdom that contradicts God’s word will always lead us to severe consequences. The Bible does not condemn all forms of modern wisdom, but it certainly warns us not to believe all forms of wisdom just because it is modern (Ephesians 4:14).
The temptation to follow the example of the world over God’s word is so common it can trip up even the best of saints, for it even happened to King David.
Worldly Wisdom Led David Astray, Biblical Wisdom Led Him Back
In 1 Samuel 6 the ark of the Lord is in the possession of the ungodly Philistines. God sends plagues on the Philistines, so they send the ark back to Israel on a cart (1 Samuel 6:7).
Years later when David wants to bring the ark back to Jerusalem, he too uses a cart to transport it. However, this was not what God commanded. God had specific instructions that the ark was to be transported by poles (1 Chronicles 15:15). When the ark began to fall off the cart, Uzzah tried to catch it with his hand, “The LORD’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God” (2 Samuel 6:7).
God had specific instructions in his word on how to transport the ark. These instructions were for the people’s good because God knows how holy he is, so he knew that the people had to treat him a certain way or his holiness would breakout against them.
David was led astray by the worldly wisdom of the Philistines. Instead of judging what the Philistines did by comparing it to what God said in his word, David followed their example blindly, and it cost him and others dearly. In the same way, God gives us instructions on how to live in the grace of Jesus Christ so his holiness will not breakout against us.
In the Battle Between Worldly Wisdom and Godly Wisdom, God Always Wins
If we hope to be blessed and live in right relationship with God, we must not anger his holiness by following the sinful practices of the world that contradict his word. All the knowledge of nonbelievers is not automatically wrong. God often uses modern wisdom, like modern medicine, for his glory. But we must interpret the wisdom of the world through God’s wisdom and not the other way around. When David repented of his errors he stated:
It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the LORD our God broke out in anger against us. We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.” So the priests and Levites consecrated themselves in order to bring up the ark of the LORD, the God of Israel. And the Levites carried the ark of God with the poles on their shoulders, as Moses had commanded in accordance with the word of the LORD. (1 Chronicles 15:13-15)
The Bible was written through God’s Spirit, therefore if we want to live in the Spirit we must live by his word. We must bury God’s wisdom deep in our hearts so it will be a well of life flowing out into every decision we make.
Worldly Wisdom vs. Biblical Wisdom: Let Your Decisions Be Governed by Scripture
God knew the king of Israel would have to make countless decisions, so he instructed every king:
When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees” (Deuteronomy 17:18-19).
May we too know God’s word so well, reading it “all the days of [our] life so that [we] may learn to revere the Lord.” We must not fall to the temptation to rely on the wisdom of modern man over the wisdom of God. The modern way is not always the wrong way, but it’s not always the right way either. God’s word is the only source of truth that stands the test of time. It was true from the beginning of time and it will be true forever (Matthew 24:35).
Let us not have to say again and again in life, “We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.” When a decision must be made and the worldly wisdom contradicts the biblical wisdom, choose God’s way. God loves to instruct us through his word and by his Spirit, we just have to ask and be willing to listen.
(Note: And with modern technology like your smart phone, you can have access to the Bible right when you need it. I use the Bible Gateway App. It’s great for keywords searches, too.)