Enjoy these entries - we hope they make you think.
They Hate Christians Because They Hate RealityMonday, May 22, 2023
Christians are not always the brightest bulbs, but we do shine in this dark world. We obstinately refuse to disagree with God, even when we don’t completely understand the how or the why. A scientist insists gravity is the law that makes things fall. It’s nothing special, he says; it’s just the way it is. The Christian enjoys the fact that God made the apple to fall down and not up. Why should it not fall up, after all?
Christians love reality. God paraded all the animals before Adam and told him to name them, and man has not stopped naming God’s created things. “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out” (Proverbs 25.2). A Christian understands categories and design, and he knows the Designer. Reality reflects the Creator, and the Christian revels in what is, not in what he wishes or hopes it were.
Satan is the father of lies (John 8.44); he lies because he hates the truth, and he hates the truth because he hates what God loves. Christians love what God loves. Enemies of God deny truth and speak against reality. They seek not necessarily to define things differently than God but to rid the world of definitions altogether because definitions recognize limitations, and God’s enemies hate limits.
Christians recognize and love God’s limits. “Who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out of the womb…and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?” (Job 38.8–11). Oh, how the world hates God’s “Thou shalt nots”!
The mega church down the road advertises their teen program: “Limitless.” I’d really like to hear the rationale on that one. Are they really teaching their teens they have no limits in Christ? No boundaries? What?
Matt Walsh has become famous recently with his bombshell documentary, What Is a Woman? The single point of the entire program centers on defining the word woman. It’s not that the current culture can’t define it—they refuse to because they realize giving a definition boxes them in. They don’t want to be confined to the reality of what a woman is, so they refuse to speak. Likewise, Jesus asked the chief priests, scribes, and elders of His day, “Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” He challenged them to define John’s baptism. They refused, specifically to avoid being trapped by their answer (Mark 11.27–33). They were not interested in reality; they were interested in getting their own way.
Because Christians seek to define terms, to categorize things properly, to accept reality, enemies of the cross hate us for it.
We say, “Marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman, as designed by God.” We say, “A man cannot change into a woman, nor can a woman change into a man.” We say, “A human baby is a life inside the womb, and killing him is murder.” We say, “A father should live with, provide for, and protect his wife and family.” We say, “A man will reap what he sows, and if you do not repent, you will die in your sins.”
In none of these things are we forcing a person to do or not to do something. We are simply recognizing reality as God designed it and giving voice to the truth. But don’t you know that silence is violence? And words are also violence. Everything is violence, and if God’s enemies don’t like what a Christian says, that gives them the moral green light to slander, malign, and even physically attack the Christian. They simply redefine violence to fit the need of their hour.
It has always been thus. They hated the Shepherd; they will hate the sheep. They hated the Master; they will hate the servants. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5.11–12).
Dear brothers and sisters, do not be surprised by abuse from Christ’s enemies. We cannot stop speaking the truth and recognizing reality because that would dishonor the Word and Designer. Speak the truth in love, keep your head up, and see what the Lord works through your faithfulness.
Where Can Wisdom Be Found?Monday, May 15, 2023
Do you know where to go to find wisdom? Wisdom means “skill,” and we see men and women through the Bible have wisdom in various ways. Some have wisdom in woodworking or metalworking or art or music. Some have wisdom in understanding nature and life. Wise people are skillful in life. Where does one find true wisdom?
Job 3–27 contains a debate between Job and his three friends, and Job 28 is a continuation of Job's reasoning. The main question of the chapter arrives in verses 12 and 20, but watch how Job builds up to the question in verses 1-11:
1 “Surely there is a mine for silver, And a place where gold is refined.
2 Iron is taken from the earth,
And copper is smelted from ore.
3 Man puts an end to darkness,
And searches every recess
For ore in the darkness and the shadow of death.
4 He breaks open a shaft away from people;
In places forgotten by feet
They hang far away from men;
They swing to and fro.
5 As for the earth, from it comes bread,
But underneath it is turned up as by fire;
6 Its stones are the source of sapphires,
And it contains gold dust.
7 That path no bird knows,
Nor has the falcon’s eye seen it.
8 The proud lions have not trodden it,
Nor has the fierce lion passed over it.
9 He puts his hand on the flint;
He overturns the mountains at the roots.
10 He cuts out channels in the rocks,
And his eye sees every precious thing.
11 He dams up the streams from trickling;
What is hidden he brings forth to light.
Through this gorgeous imagery, Job transports us into the recesses of the earth, into the mines, into the center of the rock. What does man find hidden there in the darkness? He finds precious things: gold, silver, iron, glittering jewels, sparkling dust.
What's the point, Job? We read on...
12 “But where can wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?
13 Man does not know its value,
Nor is it found in the land of the living.
14 The deep says, ‘It is not in me’;
And the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
15 It cannot be purchased for gold,
Nor can silver be weighed for its price.
16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
In precious onyx or sapphire.
17 Neither gold nor crystal can equal it,
Nor can it be exchanged for jewelry of fine gold.
18 No mention shall be made of coral or quartz,
For the price of wisdom is above rubies.
19 The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it,
Nor can it be valued in pure gold.
20 “From where then does wisdom come?
And where is the place of understanding?
Verses 12 and 20 create an inclusio, which is a section bracketed by two nearly identical statements. The twin statements expose the main point of the section: "Where can wisdom be found, and where is the place of understanding?"
We brilliant humans can search and find so many wonderful, valuable, precious items hidden in the earth...but can we find wisdom in any of those places? Man doesn't even know the value of wisdom—it cannot be measured like gold or silver. You cannot find wisdom in the ocean, you cannot purchase wisdom from a merchant, and you cannot measure wisdom's value using any earthly economic system.
So, Job again asks, from where does wisdom come?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living,
And concealed from the birds of the air.
22 Destruction and Death say,
‘We have heard a report about it with our ears.’
23 God understands its way,
And He knows its place.
24 For He looks to the ends of the earth,
And sees under the whole heavens,
25 To establish a weight for the wind,
And apportion the waters by measure.
26 When He made a law for the rain,
And a path for the thunderbolt,
27 Then He saw wisdom and declared it;
He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out.
28 And to man He said,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
And to depart from evil is understanding.’ ”
Wisdom is hidden from mankind. There is a wisdom which comes with age and experience, but not the wisdom which Job seeks: the wisdom of the ages, the rock-solid truth, the understanding of life. That wisdom is hidden from all the living. In fact, those irresistible forces of nature, Destruction and Death, have only heard rumors about wisdom!
God understands wisdom. Of course He does! Being the Creator of this life, He surely knows how this life operates! He sees and establishes everything. He's the one who created the physical laws in the first place. Even wisdom He spoke into being.
But God not only understands wisdom, He gracefully reveals wisdom to us! He says to man, "The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding."
Apart from God's revelation, man cannot be truly wise. The most learned scientist, the most widely-traveled archaeologist, the most introspective guru among men still has not found wisdom until he opens up the word of God and examines what God has actually revealed about man and about Himself. In His word we find truth and wisdom; those things which are hidden from mankind God teaches through special revelation.
Does that fill you with excitement? Isn't that brilliant? Doesn't that make you want to dig into God's book and share it with your children? That's the way I feel, too!
Let us fear the Lord, our Maker. Let us depart from evil. Therein lies wisdom.