Molecular Thoughts

Humans are so smart!

Where did we ever get the idea that our reasoning, our feelings were a reliable guide? God reminds us that his thoughts are sky-high above ours (Isaiah 55:8,9).

Consider the term “global warming.” Do you know what that means? It means all the brilliant scientists – you know, the ones we admire so much, the ones that gave us the technology for space ships and your automobile? Well, those smart scientists have polluted our environment, despoiled our water, and brought hundreds of creatures to the brink of extinction. And they have been unable to find a way to reverse these problems.

Man is not as smart as he thinks he is. 

Human beings are very, very smart; we’re just not very wise. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). What “seems right to a man,” that is, human solutions, are unreliable. Why is this so?

  • Because we are fallen men and women: “None is righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10-12).  We sin. Our attitudes toward God and each other are sinful. It would be foolish to trust the motives and agendas of mere men when it comes to determining what is right and wrong in God’s eyes.
  • Because we lack God’s wisdom: “None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory”(1 Corinthians 2:8). That’s right, the best humanity had to offer in the first century went out and made history’s biggest blunder. They killed the son of God. “I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).
  •  Because our pride gets into the way: The disciples argued over who should be the greatest. The Corinthians were divided over Paul, Apollos and Peter (Luke 22:24-26; 1 Corinthians 1:10-12).
  • Because when we make decisions for ourselves, we choose selfishly: Chaos is the result when citizens do what is right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25). This is why a constitution is necessary in a country. Rulers become selfish and crush civil rights in order to keep their own position.
  • Because we are susceptible to spiritual blindness: Jesus suggested that those who claim to see are in fact the ones who are blind (John 9:41). The irony is that we continually delude ourselves into thinking that we are “Oh so insightful,” so very wise. Our very arrogance blinds us to our failures!
  • Because more than conscience must be our guide: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”(Jeremiah 17:9).  And who does the heart deceive? Usually it deceives its owner! We find “excellent” reasons for our own actions, excuse our sinful actions, plead extenuating circumstances in our own case.

We’re only human. We’re not gods, and we’re not noble and wise and advancing all the time. We sin, and are desperately in need of God’s guidance! Man still has not resolved the problems of violence, racism and hatred in our society. If we cannot resolve these things in our earthly “wisdom,” how do we think we can determine our own way when it comes to regaining our relationship with God? For that, beloved, we will have to fall silent, and listen.

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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