Jeremiah 8:9 - The wise men shall be put to shame; they shall be dismayed and taken; behold, they have rejected the Word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?
Scripture's evaluation is clear: wisdom of the worldly sort without the Word of God will not win the day. In other words, God isn't all that impressed with the wisdom of humankind.
That's what Jeremiah was saying when the Holy Spirit inspired him to write that the wise who reject the Word of the Lord will be put to shame.
In truth, we're not as smart as we sometimes think we are. As evidence of that, I refer to a little exchange between the great detective Sherlock Holmes and his colleague Dr. Watson.
The story begins with them going on a camping trip, setting up their tent, building a campfire, and turning in for the night.
Hours later, Holmes wakes his friend and says, "Watson, look at the sky and tell me what you see."
Watson replies, "I see millions of stars."
Holmes says, "What does that tell you?"
Watson thinks for a moment. "Astronomically speaking, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. The positions of the stars tell me it is roughly four-thirty. Meteorologically speaking, it indicates we will have a beautiful day tomorrow." Then the good doctor asks, "So, Holmes, what does it tell you?"
Holmes was silent for a moment and then he said, "It tells me, dear Watson, that someone has stolen our tent."
While we have access to amounts and kinds of information that were unheard of only a few short years ago, we can still be in the dark on many things. It may seem that an answer is available for every question we raise—if only we search the world's databases hard enough, if only we ask the right questions.
It may seem that way, but sometimes the world's wisdom doesn't possess the answers we need. When that is the case, we must admit that the world—like our dear friend Dr. Watson—can sometimes miss the obvious.
Here are two examples.
* The world will not tell us that we are, by nature, lost and helpless sinners.
* The world won't tell us that forgiveness and salvation can only come through faith in Jesus Christ, the world's crucified and risen Savior.
The world won't tell us these things because these truths are not of this world. And like Dr. Watson, we can be "blind" to our real condition. So then, where are these truths to be found?
"For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). This is where our search finds answers the world cannot give. This is where the Heavenly Father directs us—to the truth-Giver who gave His life to save us: "This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!" (Luke 9:35b)
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of salvation that is ours through the risen Savior's suffering and sacrifice. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
From "The Obvious," a message by Rev. Dr. Kenneth Klaus, Speaker Emeritus for The Lutheran Hour
1. When was the last time you had an "Ah-ha!" moment about something obvious?
2. How does the world's knowledge differ from the wisdom of God?
3. What are some things you learn from God's Word that you would probably never learn from the world?
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"