It’s easy to think we’re smarter than we actually are. We live in a time when technology has put unprecedented amounts of information at our fingertips. When compared to most people in most places at most times, we live in luxury. We confess the faith in its truth and purity. It’s easy for us to become like King Uzziah, strong and proud. It’s easy for us to think our wisdom surpasses that of Solomon.
But pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). The Lord has a Day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up, against all the cedars of Lebanon, against all lofty mountains, against all the lofty pride of man (Isaiah 2:12—17).
Uzziah grew strong and proud to his destruction (2 Chronicles 26:16). For all of his worldly wisdom, Solomon lacked the discernment to choose for himself a godly wife, instead lusting after pagan women, who turned away his heart to false gods (1 Kings 11:3—4). It’s amazing how people so smart can sometimes be so dumb.
Like Uzziah and Solomon, we sin often. We know better. To sin is foolish. To put it more crassly, it’s just plain dumb. But there’s another sense in which we’re dumb. Psalm 29:1—2 says, “All creation ascribes to the Lord glory and strength and gives Him the glory due His name.” All creation declares God’s glory: the heavens and sky, day and night, sun and moon (Psalm 19). The mountains and the hills break forth into singing, the tress of the field clap their hands (Isaiah 55:12). Our Lord says if His disciples were silent, the very stones would cry out (Luke 19:38).
We may not be dumb in the intellectual sense, but our tongues are often struck dumb—dumber than even a rock—when it comes to declaring the glory of the Lord. There are times when declaring God’s praise is the last thing we feel like doing. Our tongues can become like lead weights in our mouths when it comes to declaring God’s praise, but move with the greatest of ease when it comes to spewing forth the evil from that comes from our hearts (Matthew 15:18). Like Solomon, we may have all the worldly wisdom in the world, but we often put on fantastic displays of ignorance when it comes to spiritual matters.
It’s humbling to realize that even the creation around us recognizes and declares the glory of God when we often do not. There’s no room for pride when we realize that even inanimate objects sometimes do a better job of praising God than we do. God brings down the mighty from their thrones and exalts those of humble estate (Luke 1:52). He does this that He might show us mercy, for His mercy is for the poor and the lowly. The kingdom of heaven belongs to the poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3). He sets on high those who are lowly (Job 5:11).
Apart from God’s love in Christ Jesus, our hearts would be stone cold (1 John 4:19). When he opens our lips to declare our praise (Psalm 51:15), we realize He has indeed drawn forth praise from the stones! He softens our hearts and draws forth His praise from lips that once were more secure than Jesus’ tomb. He brings forth something where there once was nothing: faith where there once was unbelief, praise where there once was silence, and life where there once was death. “Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen!” (Psalm 72:19).