[Note: The following is a devotional that was written by my mom. It was taken from her blog.]
Proverbs 26:12 (12) Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible:
"...as multitudes may be seen, by looking round; man is a creature but of small knowledge in things natural, civil, mechanical, philosophical, moral, or divine; yet greatly conceited for the most part of his knowledge and wisdom. As by a "fool" in this book is generally understood a wicked profane man, so by a wise man is meant a good and righteous man, and may be so understood here; and many there are who are good and righteous only in their own conceit and esteem, not truly so; they place their righteousness in outward things, in the observance of external duties; and though there may be some little imperfection in them, yet they think, as they mean well, God will accept the will for the deed: and some have imagined they have arrived to perfection; and such are generally conceited, proud, and haughty, and despise others; all which flows from ignorance; for, though they fancy themselves to be wise, they are very ignorant of themselves; of the plague of their own hearts; of the law of God, and the spirituality of it, and the extensiveness of its demands; of the strict justice and righteousness of God, which will not admit of an imperfect righteousness in the room of a perfect one; and also of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the nature and necessity of that to justify: and this being their case, they are in very dangerous circumstances; they are building on a sand; they are liable to fall into a ditch; they cannot be justified nor saved by their own works; they oppose themselves to God's way of justifying and saving sinners; and he sets himself against them, he resisteth the proud." (emphasis mine)
"There is more hope for a fool, than him." Pretty harsh words there! It seems being wise in our own eyes has with it the same sense of being righteous in our own eyes. We all look at ourselves as better than the other person. We excuse our own faults and condemn others. We set in our own mind what is ok, what is good, what makes us somehow above another, and we judge others according to ourselves and our own "goodness" and standard of right and wrong. The world bases their standard of good and right and moral on humanistic values that they perceive through their own "wisdom," the wisdom of this world without God. They determine in their own minds a philosophy of living or "wisdom" that excludes God and put themselves above God and above God's children, and proclaim themselves good and wise. But they are lost in their own wisdom. Jesus speaks of such self-righteousness... that is a sense of righteousness without God, in one’s self, in Luke 18:9-14...
Luke 18:9-14 (9) He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: (10) "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. (11) The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. (12) I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.' (13) But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' (14) I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
We think of self-righteousness coming from the religious who proclaim their own righteousness as the Pharisees, but anyone proclaiming themselves righteous because of their own deeds, whether it be in a religious sense or in a humanistic sense, trusting in our own deeds and our own wisdom is both self-righteous and foolish. There is only light in His wisdom. In that light we find true wisdom from above, from the Creator of all things, from the only true God Who IS wisdom, and whatever true wisdom and light is available to man to learn comes from Him alone. When we block out that light through trusting in our own wisdom and understanding, whether we be Christians or non-Christians, we become fools.
The world accuses the believer of being self-righteous. But a true believer is one who knows himself to be a sinner, feels the conviction of God's wisdom against his sin, and the condemnation of it and cries out to God for forgiveness and puts his trust in God's righteousness alone. He sees he has none in himself. Jesus said this person is the one who goes away justified. He places His righteousness on this person and calls him His own, and calls that person "righteous." Only God has the right to declare a person "righteous." This person has received the light of true wisdom, faced that wisdom, and seen himself in its light for what he is. The one who rejects what God says, considers himself good, in no need of a Savior, and does not recognize the wisdom of the cross, has become a fool in his own self-righteousness. Many religious people reject what God says in His Word, declare themselves righteous, by their own good deeds they perceive as good, and never acknowledge their own sin or His Word.
Romans 1:16-23 (16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (17) For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith." (18) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (19) For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. (20) For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (21) For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (22) Claiming to be wise, they became fools, (23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Unbelievers reject God's wisdom, true wisdom, and so do many believers, sadly. Rather than trust in God's wisdom... His written Word to us, His heart, mind, instructions, love, faithfulness, promises... all we need to live godly in Christ Jesus, they turn to the foolishness of the world's philosophies. They try to mix humanistic "wisdom" so-called with Christianity, which does not mix. Anything added to or taken away from God's wisdom becomes foolishness, as though God's wisdom was not complete and sufficient and we, mere humans of His creation, could somehow add to it, or change it so that it is improved upon. When we follow the light of true wisdom... God's wisdom, we find true light. We find a light to our path.
Psalm 119:104-105 (104) Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. (105) Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
We're called self-righteous Pharisees when we hold to His light... the light of His Word, yet the Bible calls those who don't, but trust in their own thoughts, or those of special teachers or "prophets" so-called or "apostles" so-called, the self-righteous. They are trusting in another kind of wisdom or insight or word other than God's and yet calling it God's. Many trust in their own inner voice or impressions they feel are from God apart from God's Word, thinking they do not need to know or read His Word to examine all things, even putting this so-called "light" above His Word. They are losing out. They are trusting in their own wisdom. How many places the Bible warns against this!!! Yet those who try to warn are shouted down and told that they are self-righteous Pharisees. But Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for NOT obeying or trusting in His Word, but trusting in their own. Or they are told that they "worship the Bible." How silly! If you have a lover who sends you a love letter from afar, and you miss that person, love them dearly, want to hear from them, wouldn't you take that letter and read it over and over again, cherishing every word? The word of that person you know is their very heart being poured out to you. The only one who would disregard it is those who don't know that person or don't care about them. They couldn't care less what that person has to say. But those who love God cherish the Words of His own mouth, revealing His heart and plan for them. They cherish every promise and every Word that helps them to know God more and learn more about Him. Even those parts of His Word that seem to cut or hurt, they cherish and want to know and understand. They could no longer accept the word of another than the sheep could listen to the word of another trying to take the place of the shepherd they know and are familiar with. In fact they will try to point out the difference in what those false teachers are saying that contradicts the Word of the God they love! They would be as jealous for His true Word as a lover would be of the true words of the one they love if someone tried to defame that one.
So why does anyone reject the light of His true wisdom for another? Because by the light of God's wisdom, our own moral depravities are exposed and seen for what they are. Our own wisdom is shown to be as foolish as it really is. Our own pride is humiliated and we find ourselves humbled and the sin we love exposed, and our hearts that we want to think of as good, we see as evil. We have two choices. We can see it, believe it, and as the sinner in Luke 18:9-14, bow our heads in shame, acknowledge it for what it is before God, and receive His forgiveness, His life, His love, His righteousness that He worked by pouring out His own life and blood on the cross, and rising from the dead and find life and true wisdom for life, or we can be as the self-righteous Pharisee who claimed he was good in himself because of his good deeds and go on in the darkness of our own wisdom, which leads to death... both the death of a corrupted life here and the consequences of it, and spiritual eternal death hereafter. As Christians who have gone off the path of His true wisdom and are following another voice, we can choose to disregard His Word of Wisdom and light, and think that our own will suffice, which will again lead to death... a corrupted life that will bring spiritual corruption and deception, missing out on all God has for you in this life, a life full of wood, hay, and stubble (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). They will not be able to discern truth from error and unless they repent and turn back to the light of His wisdom through His Word by His Spirit, they will have a wasted life that will lead further and further from true knowledge or fellowship with God. They will actually be walking as enemies of Christ and will not escape the corruption of this world and all that brings into their lives (1 Peter 1:3-4).
Contrary to what the world says, there are NOT many paths to God. There is only one. God alone calls it what it is. God alone determines the path to Him, His wisdom, and His light. God alone is truth, and all that veers away from His Word is a different path and will lead away from Him.
John 14:6 (6) Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
He alone is the way, the path to life, the truth, and He is revealed through His written Word. I can only think the one who rejects His Word then rejects His true living way and hopes to find another, more pleasant and appealing to his own sinful flesh, and that he can somehow make fit into his own way of thinking, his own wisdom. His Spirit works through His Word. He never, ever contradicts it or changes it. He acts in power in our lives through that Word, through our faith in it. We receive His life through the Word.
1 Peter 1:23-25 (23) since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; (24) for "All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, (25) but the word of the Lord remains forever." And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
That Word will not benefit us if we do not combine it with faith. When we do, His Spirit acts in us to make that Word come to life in us.
Hebrews 4:2 (2) For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.
Such a great wisdom for mankind from God Himself! What a horrible, horrible shame for those who neglect it or disregard it. And all the more terrible a sin when God's own children neglect His very Word of life to them and listen to the word of another. Abba, may our eyes be opened to the true riches that You have given us in Your living, abiding, written Word! It will be fully carried out even to the very end, just as You have spoken it.
Some more thoughts to meditate on:
1 Corinthians 2:4-14 (4) and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, (5) that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (6) Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. (7) But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. (8) None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (9) But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him"-- (10) these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. (11) For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. (12) Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. (13) And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. (14) The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 3:18-20 (18) Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. (19) For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their craftiness," (20) and again, "The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile."
If you are not sure you have eternal life, if you want to know more about salvation through Jesus Christ, and how you can be sure, you can read more about it here.
Jesus Christ on the Infallibility of Scripture
Is Scripture without Error?
Is the Bible Authoritative and Inerrant?
In Defense of The Bible? (Interview With Jay Seegert)
The Bible — Its Sufficiency and Supremacy
How Reliable Are the Biblical Documents?
What About the Manuscripts?
Is Divine Inspiration Essential?
Scientific Evidence for the Inspiration of the Bible, by Jay Seegert (Video)
How Much of Scripture Is Inspired?
What’s Inerrancy!? And Why Should I Care?
Why Should We Believe in the Inerrancy of Scripture?
Biblical Inerrancy: Hearing the very heart and mind of God through Scripture (PDF)
Rejection of Biblical Inerrancy = All Kinds of Heresy
The Critical Value of the Bible - Part One
The Critical Value of the Bible – Part Two
Bible Survival (Playlist on You Tube)
More on The Bible
The True Light
The Righteousness Of God
To Know Him
Intamacy With God's Word
The Idolatry of the Bible
Will The Real Idolator Please Stand Up
They Call It “Bibliolatry” (Bible Worship) – But Could it Be a Contemplative Smoke Screen?
More Of My Mom's Devotionals
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