When a bank teller goes through training, they are told to count thousands and thousands of dollars with their hands. The bank wants them to know what the touch of real money is so that when a counterfeit comes through, they automatically know by the touch of their fingers. The funny thing is that the bank rarely trains them on how to spot a counterfeit. They know contact with real money reveals the fakes. The same goes with wisdom. Exposure to true wisdom reveals the wrong wisdom.
The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and snared. They have rejected the word of the Lord, so what wisdom do they really have?”
Jeremiah’s congregation, whom he continually spoke too, were the corrupt leaders of Israel. Being the last prophet before captivity wasn’t an easy job because the messages he delivered were ones of final judgment. In the leadership of Israel, there were three groups; Kings, Priests, and Counselors or wise men. Jeremiah is going after the counselors in the passage because they had the wrong wisdom. They told the king what he wanted to hear and not the truth the nation needed.
Wrong wisdom always leads to being put to shame. Many people who topped their industries have come crumbling down because they were fed and espoused false truth that sounded good at first but has no base to it. The masses, in turn, end up believing and repeating those lies, and it leads entire nations to crumble. That is where Israel is, and they are about to be put to shame and snared by the Babylonians.
The Right Wisdom
How to recognize the wrong wisdom? It starts with the knowledge of God’s Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit. When these are alive in us, we know the truth, and our conscience is sensitive to something that isn’t right. It may have a bit of the fact in it, but as a whole, it is off. The real test is whether we are willing to stand for the truth. Jeremiah was the only one who would stand in Israel, and in the beginning, it caused him great pain, but in the end, he was the only one who wasn’t put to shame.