As Paul writes to the church in Corinth, he contrasts the futility of following the wisdom of this world, with the benefits of following the wisdom of God. It is so easy to believe the wisdom of this world, that the things on offer can bring us fulfilment. Whether it is material wealth, relationships, work, education, etc. While there is nothing wrong with these things themselves, they cannot bring us fulfilment. For we can only find fulfilment in God, to know him and to love him.
The world is apt to tell us that we can live without God, that we can stand in our own strength. Yet, once we have the Spirit living in us, our eyes and minds are opened to the truth that we need God. For we are weak and helpless, not only that, but in our sinful state, enslaved by sin.
It is interesting to note, that verse 6 says ‘coming to nothing’, rather than ‘will come to nothing’. This is not just a message talking about fulfilment after death, but about fulfilment now. The wisdom of this world fails to fulfil us in our day-to-day lives. Only knowing God, here and now, can bring us fulfilment.
As Christians, we must also remember this wisdom is from God. We do not have this wisdom because we are smarter than non-Christians, but purely by the grace of God. God’s Spirit, by his grace, opened our minds and our hearts to accept this message, this wisdom from God. It is also God’s Spirit who works in us, that we might do good, for we ourselves are weak and feeble. Let us never forget this is all of God’s grace.
Around harvest time we are reminded of God’s great provision for us. The air we breath, the food we eat and the water we drink.
Yet, given our fallen state before God, we deserve nothing. We’ve shaken our fists at God, tried to live our lives without him, and yet, in his mercy and grace, he still provides for us.
When we consider how God provides for us, we should be very grateful. Our sustenance could have been a very dull, mundane affair, but instead fresh air is invigorating, food is delicious (mostly!) and drink is refreshing. Even that which is not essential can be pleasant, from beautiful sunsets, to awesome landscapes, the universe around us is so much more than a arrangement of matter. Even more amazingly, he has sent his Son that our sin might be dealt with, and that we can know him.
This should cause us to be glad that the God who created us and sustains us deals with us some mercifully and graciously.
With what we are given, we should be generous. After all, we brought nothing into this world, and we can take nothing out. Out grasp of material things should not be so great that they become our gods.
For ultimately, God gives us all good things not only for out enjoyment, but that we may honour him with their use.