January 4, 2023
Bishop, W. F. Houston, Jr.
Bible Study Reading: Isaiah 44:24–28
Isaiah 44:24–25 (NIV)
* “I am the Lord, . . . they think they know much, but who overthrows the learning of the wise.”
In 2 Kings 6:15–17, the inspirational book tells us about what Elisha and his servant woke up to one morning.
When Elisha and his servant awoke one morning, their city was encircled by a massive enemy army. His servant screamed to him, “Oh no, my lord! What are we going to do?” Elisha said, “those who are on our side outnumber those on theirs.” The man's eyes were then opened by the Lord. He saw a superhuman army with horses and chariots of fire all around the mountain to protect Elisha. The Lord had them in absolute safety. God's vision is vastly superior to what our human eyes can see. Human knowledge is also very different from divine understanding. The takeaway isn't to shut yourself off from all learning of the outside world (as Solomon didn’t) but rather to study under the guidance of God. Unbelievers can acquire knowledge because general revelation truths are accessible to everyone. However, human understanding is tainted by sin and frequently works against God.
Because of this, He "overthrows the knowledge of the wise and converts it into foolishness" (v. 25). The human understanding by itself is arrogant and erroneous; excluding God from consideration is a grave mistake! Because such knowledge doesn’t submit to the Lord, it must be overthrown or refuted. Our human expectations are frequently thwarted or subverted. For instance, in the story of the Exodus, God brought a global hegemon to its knees by empowering a race that had been oppressed. In Luke 13:30; 20:17 Jesus taught that the last shall be first, and He Himself was the rejected stone who became the Cornerstone.
Now there may be someone in our bible study class asking: “Bishop Houston, why must human learning, knowledge, and intelligence bow down to the Lord? That’s a great question! And my answer is: Human learning, knowledge, and intelligence all owe their origin and authority to the Lord, who created the universe and each individual (v. 24). Besides being omnipotent, He’s also absolutely trustworthy and clairvoyant. (vv. 25–26). To top it all off, He rules supremely over the forces of nature and the nations. (vv. 27–28).
*Beloved, the limits of what we can achieve through human learning are not indefinite. There’s a need for godly and spiritual education! All we learn, understand, do, and accomplish must be committed to God because God's wisdom is more significant than our own.
Let Us Pray:
Dear Heavenly Father, stories like "Frankenstein, Gothic literature, Godzilla, Dracula," are cautionary tales about the perils of unbridled curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge. We place a high value on learning and understanding because it's made up of what You have made known to us. We pray that the truth brings us wisdom and will bring us closer to You our God of truth. Amen.