- 1 Corinthians 3
- Psalm 27
We can be so quickly and easily deceived. We can convince ourselves of just about anything. I was reminded of this fact as I have been reading the account of Saul’s descent from the throne in I Samuel. Saul started out humble. So much so that God had to tell Samuel where Saul was hiding in order for him to anoint him as king (1 Samuel 10:22). But before not too long, instead seeking the wisdom of God and following God’s instruction, he began to rely on his own worldly wisdom. (1 Samuel 13:5-15, 1 Samuel 15:1-23) Ultimately God rejected Saul as king and appointed David because David was a man who sought after the heart of God (1 Sam 13:14, and not his own (Ps 27:4).
In 1 Corinthians 1:20 Paul said, “God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom.” Saul had left Godly wisdom, and was following his own thinking which is all worldly wisdom is, man’s own thinking. We see by living example that these words are true. Saul went further and further away from God as he followed his own thinking.
This begins a downward spiral for Saul. From that point (1 Sam 15:23) Saul no longer sought the Lord, and as a result his self-deception and following his own worldly wisdom produced some pretty shocking things (1 Sam 22:13-19) much of which he justified and claimed to be doing in God’s name. (1 Sam 23:7; 1 Sam 23:21)
I think Paul’s words in 1 Cor 3:18-19 are so powerful in light of our own tendency toward self-deception. “Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this word’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God…. the Lord knows the thoughts of the wise; he knows they are worthless.” And 1 Cor 1:18-21 adds these thoughts, “where does that leave the world’s brilliant philosophers and scholars? God has made the wisdom of the world look foolish. God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used the foolish preaching to save those who believe.”
Instead of relying on our own wisdom and trying to figure things out in our thinking, let’s learn to take David’s approach. While Saul was pursuing his own way of thinking, David was seeking the Lord. (1 Sam 23:1-5; 1 Sam 23:10-13) In Psalm 27 David gives some really good instruction for us:
- Psalm 27:3 Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desire.
- Psalm 27:7-8 Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper, it only leads to harm.
- Psalm 27:16-17 It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich. For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the Lord takes care of the godly. (23) The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.. (25) Once I was young, now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.
- Psalm 27:34 Put your hope in the Lord. Travel steadily along his path. He will honor you by giving you the land. You will see the wicked destroyed. (39) The Lord rescues the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble. (40) The Lord helps them, rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them and they find shelter in him.