Confronting The Wolves :: By Steve Schmutzer

This is about confronting the wolves. If you are wise, it’s what you’ll do.

“Whaddya’ mean, ‘If I’m wise!?'” I can hear the question already.

The Bible teaches that wisdom begins with a fear of the Lord (Prov. 9:10). Let’s unpack that and see where it goes…

In this verse, “fear” is not the same thing as “afraid” – – not mostly, anyways. If we are IN the faith, we should have an awe for God that reminds us of His holiness, His justice, and His righteousness. That’s what’s meant by ‘fear.’

And yes – if we have this posture, we’ll also properly “….fear Him who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell” (Matt. 10:28). God is the final judge. Even for the Christian there will be a face-to-face accountability with God (2 Cor. 5:10) that evaluates our works on earth.

But what Proverbs is emphasizing is all legitimate definitions of learning, awareness, and applicable knowledge begin someplace. That “someplace” is a correct attitude towards God and a right respect for who He is.

Here’s a gut check. If you doubt Jesus Christ is who He claims to be, then you display a lack of wisdom. If you choose not to believe Him, or if you’re comfortable defining “God” by your personal preferences, then you cannot be wise.

If you believe the Bible doesn’t mean what it says – if you opt to diminish God’s eternal power and divine nature – then wisdom will elude you. You’ll be ridiculous and foolish instead (Rom. 1:20-21), and it’ll be obvious to others.

The issue is quite plain. If you think you’re wise by any definition other than what is found in God’s Word – you’re not.

Forget college degrees, framed certificates, and all such forms of man’s recognition. Big deal! Those things just mean you got the assignments done.

Those things mean you did what you were told to. A trained dolphin does the same thing. Some of the most inept and foolish people I know have a parade of alphabet soup after their name.

The truth is real wisdom starts with a proper relationship with God. There is a direct and inviolable connection. That’s the essence of what Proverbs 9:10 is saying.

If you’re not in a proper relationship with your Creator, your views and your actions will be futile, irrational, and unwise. If you’d rather embrace a cultural view of Jesus Christ that paints Him as racist, imperfect, genderless – – or anything other than what the Bible plainly states, then you don’t – and you won’t – have wisdom.

The implications of this go further. If you don’t have a right reverence for God, you won’t have a right respect for morality. You won’t pursue God’s values. Sound character – and virtues like honesty, self-control, integrity, and fairness will mean little to you.

Institutions like rightful leadership, true justice, law and order, the nuclear family, two distinct genders, and national boundaries are some of the things you will be inclined to mock if you don’t have a right view of God. All of these things find their foundation in God’s inerrant Word.

Furthermore, if Biblical truth is not valued BY you, then human life holds no real value FOR you. This is especially so concerning those who haven’t taken their first breath or with those who are close to their last one.

Here’s the heart of what I want to say. We are surrounded by wolves who are working to tear down and suppress God’s truth. They don’t like it, they don’t want it, and so they’re attacking it. Those wolves are assaulting the very pillars of wisdom, and they are breeding rapidly INSIDE the church and OUTSIDE of it.

It’s not a new problem. It was a dilemma many centuries ago when God’s faithful encountered wolves inside and outside of their religious practices. Daniel 11:21-35 tells the whole story.

Here, we find a corrupt leader who came to power deceptively. He tried to enforce cultural conformity because he had no tolerance for the truth. Everyone had to goose-step the same way because his agenda was one that did not revere God.

Though his policies were foolish and deceptive, and though they made no sense, he still managed to get some of the religious leaders on his side. He flattered them. He made them feel special when they unwisely compromised the most important things they needed to cling to instead.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Daniel 11:32-33 contains a remarkable statement, “….the people who know their God will be strong and take action. Those who are wise will instruct many….”

These people were the real heroes. They stood up for what was proper. They contrasted starkly with all the foolish folk. They preserved a proper reverence for God, and they held others accountable to the things that were right. They were wise for doing this, and they displayed great strength in the process.

These folks bucked the system. They called a spade a spade. They bravely stood their ground and they cried, “Fraud!” when it was so. They refused to compromise or bend. They knew the truth and they clung to it. They paid a price for doing what was right, but they did it anyways.

As it was true in the past, so it is true now. Those who still “know their God” – those who are wise – will “display strength and take action” against deception and compromise just as those who revered God before did. Those who embrace the principles of God’s Word will stand firm and resist the encroachment of the world’s system upon it.

The hard-hitting truth of Daniel 11:32-33 is there is a distinction between two types of people: those who are strong, and those who are not. It is the strong ones that will wisely resist any invasion into the pillars and expressions of their faith.

It is the strong of faith that will achieve the things which Daniel 11:32-33 calls “great exploits.” And it’s not just individuals we’re talking about here. The same is true for churches. It is also strong churches that don’t buy into the ‘smooth talk’ that they are doing the right thing when they let the world define them and their choices.

The wolves are among us – there is no doubt about that. Just look around you.

Standing up to the pack takes wisdom and strength.