Folly of Mans Wisdom

(1 Corinthians 3:18-23)

When we consider the wisdom of this world in comparison to the wisdom of God there is no comparison. The wisdom of God is so much greater that a simple comparison shows the wisdom of man to be mere folly.

The folly of the wisdom of man
The folly of the wisdom of man

What man has the wisdom to be able to create the world and everything in it from nothing? As you are thinking about this recall also that God did not just create your brain but also created thought as well. If you compare it to a computer, a programmer uses hardware with software to create programs that do something. But God created all those things and more to enable us to think, feel and then act.

God's wisdom is based in spirit, whereas man's wisdom is based in the flesh. God sees and knows things that a man cannot even comprehend. If you read the last dozen or so chapters of the book of Job where God answers Job you get some insight into God's wisdom and power. Job was brought down a peg or two when he realized the power and wisdom of God and he stood in awe of God as we all should do.

And Job was a man favored by God so how much worse would it be for those who are not. Job recognized the wisdom of God and was humbled. So how foolish is it when man thinks he is wise in his own eyes and does not recognize God's wisdom?

Man's Folly

Man makes decisions on the basis of what he thinks or feels is right, and often those decisions are poor and are wrong.

Consider some of the decisions being made today that people make which are wrong. People are being led astray by so called experts who promote wrong thinking as wisdom and so the people are led astray.

For example, financial counsellors promote that people should lend their money out at interest to increase wealth. But the bible teaches that usury, which is the lending of money at interest, is sinful and should be avoided. And in fact when money is lent at interest within an economy it reduces the value of that money and sends the economy into debt.

Let me explain. If an economy has a total worth of say $100 billion. And if that money is lent out at a rate of 10% interest, where will the additional $10 billion come from to repay the debt that the interest or usury incurs? This $10 billion never existed in the first place so how can it be paid back? The way it is done is that the central bank in the economy “creates” an additional $10 billion to cover the debt otherwise all the money would end up in the hands of the money lenders (e.g. Banks). But now if the economy has not grown by $10 billion then you have a small economy but with more money circulating, that is, the value suffers inflation and so the spending power of the dollar goes down. What used to cost you $1 for say a pint of milk, will now cost you $1.10 for the same product.

And the cycle goes on and on and the economies reach the point of collapse as we have seen in the boom and bust cycles every seven years or so. This is the disastrous consequences of lending money at interest and why it is so evil. And yet in man's wisdom this is promoted as a good thing and as a way to get rich.

Consider also when the economies collapse. How much is this inflated money worth? Look at some examples and let's look at post world war 1 Germany.

The German government chose to finance WW1 by borrowing money, unlike France who raised money through taxes. The impact was after the Germans lost the war they could not repay the debts and the interest bill caused hyper-inflation.

At the start of the war the exchange rate between the US dollar to the German mark was 4.2 M = $1. By the end of the war this had fallen to 32M = $1. But then came the reparations and the bill for the war. Reparations were set at 132 Billion gold marks or foreign currency, which Germany could not pay. One strategy the Germans used was to print massive amounts of paper currency to buy foreign currency to pay the debt, but this led to massive hyperinflation.

By the end of November 1923 the currency exchange was ridiculous! The rate reached 4,210,500,000,000 Marks =$1. That's 4.2 TRILLION Marks to buy one US dollar. Inflation in post WW1 Germany was running so high that if you wanted to buy something it would be cheaper if you ran to the shop than if you walked. You needed to take a wheelbarrow full of money to the shop to buy a loaf of bread.

Now this is an extreme case but it highlights the folly of man's wisdom as compared to the wisdom of God.

Man thinks money speaks. Man looks to money to solve his problems. But if the economy fails, and we do have recessions every decade or so, then the value of money becomes worthless. And with inflation the value of money becomes so devalued it is next to worthless.

On a personal note from the impact of inflation that I have seen in my lifetime, I recall as a child we used to have these chocolate coated liquorice sweets called “bullets.” As a child you could get eight of these for one penny which was roughly equivalent to one cent for eight lollies.

Today in Australia we do not even have one cent coins. The lowest coin available is a five cent coin because you cannot buy anything for less than five cents, including these chocolate coated “bullets.” The value of money has so devalued because of inflation, driven by lending money at interest, that we need the government to continually “top up” the nation's economy with funds to pay interest debts. Otherwise the country would go bankrupt.

And where does the money from these “top ups” go? To the money lenders of the world. To those whom the government borrows from to pay for the many services they provide, some good and some not so good.

The world is a world of debt and the economies of the world today are on the brink of collapse because of it. The so-called wisdom of man has led us to the brink of economic disaster again and again because man chose to ignore the wisdom of God for the sake of money, greed and self interest.

God's Wisdom

God showed man in His laws as given to Moses that it is folly and sin to take usury. God knew that to do so would lead to disaster.

The bible tells us that if we want to be at peace we should not follow the path of the world, and in relation to money it says,

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. – (Romans 13:8)

The law of God is full of His wisdom and here we see a summary of the law being that ALL of the law is fulfilled by following the path of God's love. In particular as it relates to money He says we should be debt free. Don't borrow what cannot be repaid and owe no one anything.

This is wisdom. Consider when the economies of the world fail, who is it that suffers most and suffers first? It is those who have significant debt.

When the GFC occurred in 2008, how many people lost their homes because they were mortgaged to the hilt and in the crash they could not afford to pay what they owed? In the 1970's we in Australia had the instance of “stagflation” when both the economy was stagnant AND inflation was running high. Usually these two do not occur together but circumstances allowed this to occur back then.

As a result of this stagflation, interest rates went through the roof and rates of 18%-20% on mortgages were not uncommon. Many people lost their homes during that period because they could not afford the interest payments on their mortgages. If the same thing happened today it would be even worse because people, under the instruction of financial advisers, often gear up their home loans so high that even small fluctuations in interest rates hurt them.

God's wisdom saying not to be in debt if adhered to would not have affected people so much. If you do not have an interest bill then when rates fluctuate it is of no consequence.

Today I have looked at only one instance of where the wisdom of God is so much greater than the wisdom of man. There are many, many other examples where this can be shown, and where following the world-called wisdom of man leads to ruin, sickness, death, social injustice and failure.

Listen to God and the words of Jesus Christ. Read His words in the bible and follow His teachings. Seek the truth and the wisdom of God for they will sustain you in peace until the Lord returns and establishes His rule, His justice and His wisdom across the earth.

(Image sourced from Wikipedia – German Post WW1 hyperinflation )

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