September 29, 2018
I have been perusing the book of Isaiah. The other day I encountered a line, which, after sinking in, is startling:
“Your wisdom and knowledge led you astray“. (Isaiah 47:10)
What? What we esteem and are universally acknowledged as desirable can lead me astray? How could wisdom and knowledge be bad? Who does not want wisdom and knowledge? Are they not to be valued?
Look around the culture. How much wisdom and knowledge do you see in action? Do you find it harder to see evidence of them than you used to see?
Why the statement above, then, if wisdom and knowledge are desirable? The context answers: God is talking to people who think they know everything.
- They are rich.
- They are at ease.
- They have great comfort.
- They love luxury.
- They think they can accomplish whatever they put their mind to accomplish.
Just before this statement it says these people are secure in their wickedness, thinking no one could see them.
They thought they had wisdom. They thought they had knowledge. And maybe they did have some level of knowledge, at least. But they were led astray.
Their wisdom was false. It was not from above, but earthly and sensual. Their wisdom was short sighted and self focused. What they had and that from which they operated would not meet the definition of wisdom and knowledge. God was being ironic with His statement when He said wisdom and knowledge led them astray. To get the idea, put “wisdom” and “knowledge” in quotes. It was not His opinion that they actually possessed these qualities, but only operated as though they did.
Human beings tend to think they are exceptionally smart. Especially in our culture we have the attitude that our desires come first and no one can stand in the way, without some kind of violence being done to those interrupters.
To rely on your own wisdom and knowledge, though, is to display the fact you do not really have wisdom.
Our high sounding philosophies and extensive educations can lead us far afield. Education without wisdom—godly wisdom—is futile and even damaging.
So, an individual full of self and so-called knowledge, with highly cultivated philosophies of wisdom, can be led far afield. This is troubling because usually such a person is unaware of the plight they have created for themselves.
The Messiah, Jesus, when he walked this planet, talked about people who are blind guides. He said if a blind man leads a blind man will both fall into the ditch.
What is missing for those whose wisdom and knowledge led them astray?
The wisdom of the Almighty.