A month ago, Randell concluded his post by saying, “We should choose wisdom over wealth, because wealth is the lesser blessing.” Dick Ang responded and said, “Don’t be impressed with your own (man’s) wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” This made me ask, “Is there such a thing as man’s wisdom? Can man really be wise on his own?’”
In order to find the answer to this, I reviewed the definition of wisdom. The Hebrew word is “chokmah”, which means the capacity to understand and the ability to adhere to a set standard. The Bible says that wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. Which means, wisdom is the ability to understand and adhere to the standards of the Lord. It is therefore not just to know what is good and evil, but to do what is good and not evil. If man can be wise on his own, then that means his wisdom is not based on the standards of the Lord, but of the world. And 1Corinthians 3:19 says, “The wisdom of this world is foolishness before God.”
An example of man’s wisdom is the introduction of GMO seeds. Farmers in Bukidnon have used these and now complain about its failure to live out its claim to improve the farmer’s income. The promise of these GMO seeds is to increase the farmer’s yield even if he plants in nutritionally depleted soil. They are suppose to replace the labor for weeding with herbicides and the need to improve the soil with synthetic fertilizers. Yet farmers have lamented that they are not getting the desired yield per hectare. Also, the GMO seeds give out poor quality corn with big husks and small sized kernels which is opposite of what the traditional seeds produce. Moreover, their savings on labor have been transferred to buying more chemicals and fertilizers. In farming, I have learned the over-use of synthetic fertilizers eventually kills the organisms in the soil which is needed to produce healthy crops. The natural thing to do (according to the ways of the Lord), is to feed the soil with organic matters that will eventually feed the plant. This is how to achieve sustainability. In our present agricultural system, it is the seed companies that earn well while the farmers suffer. Indeed, the wisdom of man is foolishness for all.
I agree with Randell, that we should choose wisdom over wealth because wisdom can create wealth, but wealth cannot buy wisdom. But this wisdom must be based on the standards of the Lord for it to benefit us. Tama din si Dick, man should not be proud of his wisdom because he will eventually look foolish to the world.