Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Good News for Dummies

“A senseless man has no knowledge; nor does a STUPID man understand this: that when the wicked sprouted up like grass, and all who did iniquity flourished, it was only that they might be destroyed forevermore” (Psalm 92:6-7 NAS).

But “as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, my steps had almost slipped”—because—“I was envious of the arrogant as I saw the prosperity of the wicked.  They are not in trouble as other men, nor are they plagued like mankind. They have set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue parades through the earth.  Behold, these are the wicked; and always at ease, they have increased in wealth.  Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and washed my hands in innocence; for I have been stricken all day long and chastened every morning” (Psalm 73:2-3, 5, 9, 12-14).

From our fleeting breath of transitory-existence-perspective it is easy to be stupid about things too wonderful to comprehend, nevertheless, we can see (and therefore understand) as God sees from the vantage point of “the sanctuary of God” within us.  Indeed, “when I pondered to understand this (how it is that the wicked prosper and not me), it was troublesome in my sight UNTIL I came into the sanctuary of God; THEN I perceived their end.  Surely you set them in slippery places; you cast them down to destruction.  How they are destroyed in a moment!  They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!  Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when aroused, you will despise their form” (Psalm 73:16-20).

The good news—even for dummies—is that God does not function according to our timeline or fashion; senseless, ignorant, and/or stupid are those incapable or unwilling to see things differently, to see anything outside their own myopic perspective.  Thankfully, however, stupidity does not have to reign.  The key to dethroning stupidity is found here: “When my heart was embittered and I was pierced within, then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast before you” (Psalm 73:21-22).  Though an admission of stupidity is not technically made here (only an admission rising to the level of senselessness and ignorance), the underlying cause is addressed: bitterness of heart!  Moreover, the root cause of the cause is also known; the psalmist admitted to being “envious of the arrogant” as he “saw the prosperity of the wicked.”  This, no doubt, caused his heart to be “pierced within” by the poisonous root of bitterness.

Senselessness and ignorance are explainable by nature, but stupidity rises to the level of complicity.  Far be it for me to call someone stupid; it is, of course, considered rude, insensitive, and even politically incorrect to do so.  But God does it!  And rightfully so, especially if we really understand what the word “stupid” means.  Most dictionary definitions claim “stupid” means “unintelligent,” and it can mean that, but looking deeper (and into the etymology of the word), we see that it is derived from the idea of being “amazed, stunned, or struck senseless”; additionally, the idea of “foolishness” is implied.  The Amplified even placed foolishness and stupidity together in synonymous harmony: “So foolish, stupid, and brutish was I” (Psalm 73:22).

Can fault be found in being struck senseless?—in being amazed or stunned?  Only if the incredulous reaction is warranted.  Webster (in his 1828 dictionary), in part of his definition for the word “foolish,” said, “In scripture, wicked; sinful; acting without regard to the divine law and glory, or to one's own eternal happiness.”  Is being foolish warranted here?  How amazed and stunned are many going to be come Judgment Day?  Will God’s verdicts be warranted?  Of course!

Now without being flippant or impertinent, let me introduce another word (not directly biblical, but thematically biblical); the word is “nincompoop.”  A nincompoop is a word that means “A FOOL, OR STUPID PERSON,” and, believe it or not, the Bible has much to say about nincompoopery.  Here are some scriptural excerpts which speak about what a nincompoop is, or reflects their nature (emphases mine in all the following):

“Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is STUPID” (Proverbs 12:1 NKJV).  A nincompoop hates correction; they’d rather stubbornly retain their own mind and opinions about things no matter how much and how strong the evidence is that contradicts what they believe—evidence which ought to have made them change their mind (which ought to have led to repentance).  
“Consider and understand, you STUPID ones among the people! And you [self-confident] FOOLS, when will you become wise?  He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see?”  (Psalm 94:8-9 Amp).  A nincompoop is particularly obtuse and generally ignorant of the fact that God hears and sees everything.

“How long, O simple ones [open to evil], will you love being simple? And the scoffers delight in scoffing and [self-confident] FOOLS hate knowledge?”  (Proverbs 1:22 Amp.).  A nincompoop glories in ignorance and truncated solutions; they hate knowing things well enough—deep enough—to genuinely make a difference.

“A [self-confident] FOOL has no delight in understanding but only in revealing his personal opinions and himself” (Proverbs 18:2 Amp.).  A nincompoop is wholly selfish, completely self-absorbed; truth, wisdom, and knowledge mean nothing to him.  He only delights in expressing his own mind and/or person to the exclusion of anything else worth expressing.

BUT, good news dummies (and nincompoops, fools, the stupid, the senseless, and the ignorant); God’s plan of redemption through Jesus Christ is still available (though the hour is very late).  Get out of self; get out of that narrow and biased perspective and come into the sanctuary of God.  Get out of the flesh and into the Holy Spirit within your spirit.  The solution is simple, perhaps not easy, but necessary.  Envy leads only to poison, and poison to death.  Plus, the wicked are not getting away with anything anyways!

Remember the remedy!  “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.  Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.  For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.  Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; and you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.  But the humble will inherit the land and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity” (Psalm 37:7-11).