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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Secular Stupidity

is significant.

Note: Yesterday's DEEP was published out of sequence. It was written for Monday 11/27. The next five weekday DEEPs will get us back in sync and next Tuesday's DEEP will be on time.

Genesis 13:10–18 (ESV)

And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they  separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD.

The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the LORD.

Lot was smart to look for a place that’s well watered everywhere. Every place has plenty of sunshine, air and dirt. Water is what makes the difference. That’s why virtually every city in the world is near a source of water.

But Lot ignored a huge warning sign. Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD. He moved to a city that had plenty of water, but it was no place to try and raise a family. Lot should have avoided that place like the plague.

As we shall see, this turns into a nightmare—a nightmare that could have been avoided. Lot’s decision to move there was stupid on multiple levels. He ignored some major red flags.

This illustrates an amusing principle about wisdom. The Bible is filled with examples of how spiritual wisdom trumps secular wisdom. Secular wisdom is useful, but to a limited extent.

But note well—secular stupidity matters. There are a few counterexamples, but if something looks really dumb, it probably is really dumb.

Secular wisdom is worthy of limited attention, but always be on guard for secular stupidity.

This simplifies how we seek God’s will. Lots of things can be ruled out as obviously wrong or stupid. If God wants you to do something dangerous, He’ll make it very clear, and you would be justified in asking for some pretty strong confirming signs.

So, don’t ignore your intuition about what God wants you to do.

In asking for His guidance, it’s normal to be choosing between alternatives that have already passed the sniff test.

To forward this devotional, see the link in green below.

These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. Saturdays' by Matt Richardson. Subscribe here:

The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, are here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NASB stands for the New American Standard Bible. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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