Today’s Reading: Isaiah 1:21-5:30
Either I am getting to be an old man or the culture I live in is changing around me. There are so many things that I see as I live in this 21st century world that seem backwards to me. It is very tempting to go into an old man’s diatribe on all the things that are wrong. Even now I am resisting every fiber in my being to not start typing a list of the screwed up thoughts, ideologies, practices and evil in our world today.
Even in Isaiah’s day he had the same struggles that we have today. People get things screwed up. The reverse the truths of God with the ideas of man and change black into white and white into black.
Isaiah 5:20 – 21 (NLT)
20 What sorrow for those who say
that evil is good and good is evil,
that dark is light and light is dark,
that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.
21 What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes
and think themselves so clever.
I really believe that Isaiah nailed it on the head when he said “what sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever”.
Solomon had given the Israelites the same warning earlier. How many wicked kings ago?
Proverbs 3:5 – 7 (NIV)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.
750 years later Paul wrote about this also.
1 Corinthians 1:18 – 31 (NIV)
18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 3:18 – 20 (NIV)
18Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness"; 20and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile."
Are you starting to see a pattern? Three wise men, separated by 1000 years and different circumstances all had the same advice. Don’t think yourself so clever as you get caught up in the teachings of the world. The truths of God will seem foolish to the world.