We Need Jesus Because We are Stupid
“The man declares, I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and worn out. Surely I am too stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man. I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.” (Proverbs 30:1-3)
Yesterday a twenty-five-year-old TV actor posted a depressing message on his Instagram account that has attracted international media attention. And last night, a twenty-four-year-old techie game developer was found dead in his NYC apartment (but the cause of his death has not been reported). These are disturbing events, but certainly not unique in the world, since over 151,000 people die every day and over 16 million adults in the U.S.A. had a depressive event in 2018. (1, 2) Sometimes I get weary about being fed the news that the media wants me to have, and wonder if the world is becoming more and more stupid as a result of this phenomena. However, according to Proverbs 30:1-3, the way the world views and reports the condition of humankind is not the cause for our stupidity but a reflection of it. Human idiocy has its root in godlessness.
Usually, Scriptural proclamations of wisdom begin with the writer’s acquisition of learning, as the reason to pay attention to what he will say. However, in this case, Azur (possibly Solomon) declares that he has not become wise at all, but is ignorant and tired of even attempting to gain knowledge. His “series of rhetorical questions [is] meant to indicate the limitations on human perception and achievement. Like the questions of God in Job 38-39, these questions point to things that only God can do; silent reverence is the only proper human response. (3) “Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know!” (Proverbs 30:4)
It is senseless and reckless to assume that we know something about that which is beyond our understanding. To think I know why the young man was found dead without medical data is ridiculous. And yet, we assume that we know what God is doing in our lives, and the lives of others more often than we admit our ignorance and inability to grasp his mysterious, incomprehensible will. This week, leading up to Christmas, I will be focusing on reasons why we need Jesus Christ, as revealed in some of our wisdom literature. One reason we desperately need our Savior is our inability to gain wisdom without him. “The more enlightened people are, the more they lament their ignorance; the more they pray for clearer, still clearer discoveries of God, and his rich grace in Christ Jesus. In verse 4, there is a prophetic notice of Him who came down from heaven to be our Instructor and Savior, and then ascended into heaven to be our Advocate.” (4) Jesus proclaimed, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32) Trust in Jesus Christ by God’s work in our hearts results in freedom from the prison of pride, ignorance, self-righteousness, and stupidity.
This week we can either proceed merrily on our ways into the Christmas hype and climax, eating, partying, decorating, and buying presents without thinking about why we even needed Jesus to be born. Or, we can remember that we desperately need his saving grace, mercy, and light to live wisely and honorable toward God. Which will it be?
(1) Information on deaths was found at https://www.quora.com/How-many-people-die-in-a-day-on-average-worldwide
(2) The statistic on depression was found at https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/facts-statistics-infographic#1
(3) ESV Study Bible Notes, Proverbs 30:1-4, (digital edition), Crossway, 2008.
(4) Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, Proverbs 30:1-6, https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-concise/proverbs/30.html