Humans have tried to set up their own wisdom apart from God, but human wisdom apart from God is foolishness. Humans in their supposed wisdom often consider Godís wisdom as foolishness. But Godís wisdom is wiser than the wisdom of men. Today I want to talk about Godís wisdom and human wisdom. First, letís look at a few Bible verses.
Jer 9:23 Thus says the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
Jer 9:24 But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who exercises loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth: for in these things I delight, says the LORD.
Jer 17:5 Thus says the LORD; Cursed be the man who trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the LORD.
Jer 17:6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good comes;
but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.
Jer 17:7 Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD
Jer 17:8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, and that spreads out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat comes, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be anxious in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
1Co 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
So we see that manís wisdom, apart from God, is foolishness. One area where human wisdom conflicts with Godís wisdom is in the creation story. Human wisdom says that life on earth evolved gradually, over hundreds of millions of years, but Godís wisdom says life on earth was created only a few thousand years ago, in six literal days. Especially in our colleges and universities, evolution is taught, and there is tremendous hostility to the Bible account of creation. In fact, the teaching of evolution in our colleges and universities is causing many students to lose their faith in God. People who donít believe in God as the Creator have a hard time believing that He can re-create them in the image of God through Christ. If we are going to reach modern, educated man, then we have to deal with the creation evolution issue, otherwise we donít have much of a chance to present the gospel message. But more and more evidence is coming to light to support the Bible account of creation, which may be foolishness to men, but it is the wisdom of God. Letís consider some of these evidences to support the Bible account of creation.
First I want to review some evidence that Eve lived about 6000 years ago, as the Bible says. This evidence is based on the cells in human bodies, and the structures that occur inside them.
In particular, mitochondria are parts of cells in your body that supply energy. Mitochondria are like little cells within the cells of your body, and one cell may have many mitochondria in it. As cells in your body divide, the mitochondria inside them also divide. All mitochondria in your body come from your mother, it turns out, and all the mitochondria in your motherís body came from her mother, et cetera.
The mitochondria have genetic material, called DNA. This differs from the DNA of the cell, which is inside the nucleus. All the genes in your body, whether in the mitochondria or the nucleus of cells, are copies of genes from your mother or your father. We donít have time to explain exactly how this works, however. But the body sometimes makes mistakes in copying, so your genes may be slightly different than genes from your parents. The mitochondrial DNA all comes from your mother, but may also have copying mistakes, so it slowly mutates, or changes, with time. The longer the time that elapses, the more the DNA in mitochondria will change.
If two people have the same mother, their mitochondrial DNA will be almost the same because there hasnít been much time for it to change since it was in their mother. If they have different mothers, but their motherís mother is the same, the DNA will be a little more different, because it had more time to mutate since it was in their grandmother. If you have person A and person B and the motherís motherís motherís mother of A is the same as the motherís motherís motherís mother of B, then their mitochondrial DNA will differ somewhat more. By comparing the mitochondrial DNA of two people, you can tell about how many mothers ago it was that they had the same ancestor. According to the Bible, eventually the line of mothers will come to Eve, and everyoneís mitochondria will have had about 6,000 years to mutate since Eve.
Scientists have compared the mitochondrial DNA of people all over the world, and found that two people, taken from anywhere on earth, have a common maternal ancestor about 6000 years ago, just as the Bible says! So a person from Norway and a person from Africa, or a person from South America and a person from China, will have mitochondrial DNA indicating that they had a common maternal ancestor 6,000 years ago or less. Scientists were greatly surprised by this result, and they try to explain it away. But this is powerful evidence for the truth of the Bible.
Another area besides evolution where science contradicts the Bible has to do with the ages of fossils found on earth. Since life was only created on earth about 6,000 years ago, we know that all fossils are 6,000 years old or less. But scientists compute the ages of fossil-bearing rocks and get ages of hundreds of millions of years. If you go into a museum you will see many signs saying that certain fossils are millions or hundreds of millions of years old. Why is this?
You see, scientists date rocks (that is, compute how old they are) assuming that radioactive decay is constant. Now, many people donít know what radioactive decay is, and they think it is like wood decaying, or food decaying, or tooth decay. No, radioactive decay is something different. It is what radioactive materials like uranium and thorium do. They give off radiation, which can be harmful to humans, and gradually change to something else. Radioactive decay is what takes place in a nuclear reactor or an atomic bomb.
Scientists determine how old rocks are based on radioactive elements like uranium, assuming that the rate of radioactive decay has always been the same as it is now. Again, we donít have time to explain exactly how this dating is done. But the ages obtained by scientists are under the assumption that the rate of radioactive decay has never changed. However, this is an unproven assumption. Also, there is another way of computing the ages of rocks based on how much helium and argon they contain. This dating method shows that these rocks are thousands of years old, which is another evidence for the truth of the Bible. Apparently the rate of radioactive decay was much faster in the past, which is why radioactive dating methods used by scientists give dates of hundreds of millions of years for the same rocks.
In fact, scientists have recently discovered that the rate of radioactive decay is not a constant, but it varies slightly in response to some particle given off by the sun. Whatever is causing the rate of radioactive decay to vary, the influence could have been much greater in the past. Perhaps the sun acted differently in the past, or perhaps a nearby star exploded and caused the rate of decay to speed up. The observed changes in radioactive decay rates are evidence that the age dating method used by scientists is not reliable, because it assumes that the rate of radioactive decay is a constant. This change in decay rates may explain why dates obtained by radioactive dating are so old compared to the Bible record.
Here is another evidence for the truth of the Bible. A man named Edgar Truax had ministered in south China among the Miao people. After the Communists took over China, he worked in Laos. Truax reported that at funerals and weddings the Miao people recited the entire ancestry of the deceased or of the married all the way back to Adam. They also had a story of the flood and the tower of Babel very similar to the Biblical account.
Another evidence for the Bible is that scientists recently discovered that humans and apes DNA (genetic material) differs by 30 percent or more! For a long time scientists have said that we are 99 percent identical to apes in our DNA, but this 30 percent difference between humans and apes contradicts the 99 percent identical figure and does not fit in at all with the theory of evolution. Evolution says that we evolved from an ape-like creature, so our genes should be almost identical to apes genes according to evolution. This 30 percent difference does not fit the theory of evolution at all. But this large difference between humans and apes genes does fit the Bible, which says how unique we are, made in the image of God, and different from all the animals.
There are many such evidences for creation today, but many scholars still do not accept the Bible account of creation. In fact, there is reason to believe that giant human skeletons and other evidences for the Bible have simply been destroyed by scientists because they do not fit in with their theories. Thus a lot of evidence for creation is simply ignored or even destroyed.
You see, evidence is not the issue, but the willingness to accept the truth. In the days of Christ, the Jewish leaders had abundant evidence that He was the Messiah, but they did not accept him.
Joh 12:37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they did not believe in him:
Joh 12:38 That the saying of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke, Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed
Joh 12:39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again,
Joh 12:40 He has blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; so that they would not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I would heal them.
The Jews, of course, all knew that Jesus had been raised from the dead, but still many of them did not accept Him. Many people were in the crowd that was calling for His crucifixion, and they had seen Him die. They had seen Jesus carrying his cross. They had seen him nailed to the cross, between two thieves. They had seen darkness cover the earth, and heard Jesusí cry, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me? They heard his cry, It is finished! and felt the earthquake. Probably there was lightning and thunder at the same time. They knew about the temple curtain being torn in two, and saw Jesus being taken down from the cross. They also had heard the reports from many witnesses who saw him alive after his resurrection. There was no question that Jesus had died and came back to life! This was a miracle that all could know about, and no one could deny! This experience convicted many people, and some of the leaders, and led them to accept Christ as the Messiah and believe that He had died on the cross for their sins. But still most of their leaders would not accept him.
1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to those who perish foolishness; but to us who are saved it is the power of God.
Itís interesting that the Jewish leaders were looking for the Messiah, but could not recognize Him when He was standing right in front of them! Satan had so confused and blinded them, little by little, that they could not see the plainest truth. So it will also be in the last days, and even is now. Scholars are in some cases blinded to the clearest revealed truths and will not accept them.
Not only could the Jewish leaders not recognize the truth, they were very hostile to it. Acceptance of truth depends more on oneís willingness to follow it than on intellect and education.
People naturally look to their leaders for guidance, just as the Jews looked to the scribes and Pharisees. But what happens when the leaders themselves are in darkness? Then it is not an easy matter to know what is truth. People go to their leaders and teachers to learn. They assume that the leaders and teachers have more wisdom and knowledge than they do. So what happens when the teachers themselves are in darkness in some ways? Then who do we go to, to learn? And how do we distinguish truth from error, when the teachers themselves are wrong about some things? This is the situation we face today concerning creation and evolution.
We donít know if the scientific world will soon accept creation; perhaps it will. But there will always be areas like this in which leading scholars oppose the truth, and we will face more and more opposition to Bible truths as we approach the end of time.
Even today many Bible truths besides creation and truths about history are being challenged by leading scholars. For example, many leading scholars say that Jesus did not rise from the dead, or that there are no miracles, or that the Bible is not inspired, or they minimize the number of people killed in the Inquisition. Even many Protestant seminaries teach that Jesus did not really bear the punishment for our sins. There are many such errors in the world today, but we have a sure guide in the Bible, which helps us to distinguish truth from error. The Bible says, ďYour word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.Ē (Psalm 119:105)
So we see that many scholars today are in darkness about creation, and other areas, just as many of the Jewish leaders were in darkness about the Messiah. But this blindness does not happen all at once. People go into darkness little by little, by resisting the light, until they can hardly be reached at all. We need to be careful that this doesnít happen to us! We need to take every opportunity to follow revealed truth. The further people go into darkness, the harder it is for them to believe in Christ and accept Him and His salvation and find eternal life.
It will be a challenge in the last days to hold to Bible truths when so many leading and scholarly men will be arrayed against them.
Isa 60:2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon you, and his glory shall be seen upon you.
Revelation tells how false leaders will react when Jesus finally returns, and they realize that they have been rebelling against God, and it is too late for them to accept salvation:
Rev 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Those who will hide from Christ at His coming include ďthe kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men,Ē which includes many of the leading scholars at the universities. Then these people will be sorry that they did not accept the Lord and follow Him all the way! But then it will be too late to repent, too late to believe, too late to be saved. Letís accept Christ now and serve Him while we still have a chance.
Even now, and especially just before Christ returns, we will have to swim against the current of the world, because so many are in error.
Mat 7:13 Enter in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in through it:
Mat 7:14 Because the gate is not wide, and the way is not broad, that leads to life, and few there are who find it.
Most people will be lost. Only a few will be saved. In some areas, the world is a good teacher, but we canít look to the world for guidance in all things. Also
2Th 2:11 And for this reason God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who did not believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
This is the issue: People have pleasure in unrighteousness and do not want to give up their sins and accept Christ. But had they done so, they would have found a better life than they had before.
We are told that there will be great deceptions in the last days.
Mat 24:23 Then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not
Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; to the extent that, if it were possible, they would deceive even the elect.
We need a connection with Christ through the Holy Spirit to endure even now and especially through the last days. And we have a sure defense in the Scripture:
Psa 17:4 Concerning the works of men, by the word of your lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.
May this be our experience, is my prayer. May we be kept from the paths of the destroyer through a knowledge of Godís word and a connection with Christ. May we have confidence in the Bible and its account of creation, and all that it says about other areas as well, and accept the salvation so freely offered by Christ to all who will confess their sins and believe in Him and commit their lives to Him. And may we be saved in His kingdom when He returns. Amen.