God’s Versus Mankind’s Wisdom


The more progress mankind makes, the more it leans upon its own wisdom and the farther it moves from God, yet humans aren’t any closer to solving basic problems and social ills. The Bible says there are two kinds of wisdom.

Two kinds of wisdom in the world

There are two types of wisdom: Wisdom from God and wisdom from the world.

Knowledge from God

“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.”

– James 3:17

The first kind of wisdom is that which comes from God. The late Reverend Billy Graham writes: “Wisdom that is given by God views life in terms of eternity.”

God’s wisdom is not based on the mindset of the current moment in time. It is not influenced by prevailing trends, social norms or enlightenment through so-called progress. It is wisdom that will benefit the entirety of the universe for all eternity.

Worldly wisdom

“For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.'”

– 1 Corinthians 1:19

The second type of wisdom is the “wisdom of the world.”

Graham writes: “The troubles and problems of the human race have stemmed from the fact that it has followed the wisdom of the world rather than the wisdom of the Lord.”

Progression or regression?

Worldly wisdom falsely believes that all the strides of progress of mankind is making the world a better place. But look around. Can you truly state world is getting better overall? By some estimates, the world is seeing more wars than ever before. Starvation and disease are still rampant.

At the time of this writing, the world is still on the losing end of a global pandemic. Crime is on the increase and there is social unrest throughout the world. There is division and alienation.

Graham writes: “The United Nations was supposed to be a forum in which people could resolve their differences. Instead, it has been a forum for magnifying them.”

In other words, even in our efforts for peace we seem to find more conflict.

For all our worldly wisdom, we can’t seem to find the peace that God promises. Still, rather than look to God for answers, most still insist on following their own wisdom.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

– James 1:5

Is knowledge really power?

The phrase “knowledge is power” is one oft repeated in modern times. The phrase has been attributed to Sir Francis Bacon (‘knowledge itself is power’, from his Latin writings Meditationes Sacrae, 1597), and American founding father Thomas Jefferson (1817 letter regarding the establishment of the University of Virginia, and 3 other letters).

This statement about knowledge being power has been scientific credo ever since. One thing we know about human nature is its craving for power.

However, another popular phrase says, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” This echoes what the Bible says about knowledge.

Knowledge is NOT power. Knowledge can lead to your doom.

One can know a lot but lack certain understanding. This blind spot can hide the truth.

The folly of human wisdom

The Bible tells us that the wisdom of this world is not wisdom at all. There is no true power in the wisdom of this world.

“For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness,’ and again, ‘The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.’

–1 Corinthians 3:19-20

Think about the knowledge that has created the atom bomb. The only power such knowledge has provided is the power capable of destroying the entire planet. We can eliminate the whole human race with this knowledge. Not so wise after all. Knowledge most people wish humankind never had.

Jesus said that the only true wisdom comes from God.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

–Matthew 7:7-8