Villanova beats Michigan: what the experts got wrong

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The experts were right: favored Villanova defeated Michigan last night to win the NCAA men’s basketball championship. But they were wrong about how the Wildcats won their second title in three years.

Their best player wasn’t the best player in college basketball. Jalen Brunson has been named AP’s Player of the Year, the Oscar Robertson Player of the Year, and the Naismith Men’s Player of the Year. But he scored only nine points in last night’s game.

It turned out, a player who didn’t start the game dominated it. Donte DiVincenzo scored thirty-one points and was named Most Outstanding Player.

Market predictions were “pathetically wrong”

As the Danish proverb notes, “It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, last year’s stock market predictions were “pathetically wrong.” The day after the last presidential election, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman predicted, “We are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight.”

It’s not that we’re worse at predicting the future than those who came before us. The World Economic Forum reminds us that Thomas Edison once expected alchemy to be perfected, so that “it will be an easy matter to convert a truckload of iron bars into virgin gold.”

The New York Times announced in 1920, “a rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.” In 1949, Popular Mechanics predicted that “computers in the future may have only 1000 vacuum tubes and perhaps weigh only 1.5 tons.”

And in 1977, Digital Equipment Corporation founder Ken Olsen claimed, “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” (To be fair, his computers were larger than many people’s homes at the time.)

“No one ever spoke like this man!”

I was reading in the Psalms recently and came upon this remarkable statement: “How great are your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep!” (Psalm 92:5). “Deep” translates the Hebrew omqu, meaning “mysterious, intense, profound.”

Scripture declares that God “knows everything” (1 John 3:20). In fact, “no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).

God knows the future better than we know the present: “Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether” (Psalm 139:4). He reminds us, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).

Solomon was known to be “wiser than all other men” (1 Kings 4:31), but his wisdom came from God (1 Kings 3:12). Thus, God was wiser than Solomon. And his Son was God incarnate.

If I may put it this way, Jesus was the greatest genius who ever lived.

Our Savior “knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man” (John 2:24-25). He predicted his coming death (Matthew 16:21; 17:22-23; 20:17-19). His intellect as a child amazed the scholars (Luke 2:47). His wisdom as an adult stunned the religious authorities (Matthew 22:22).

No wonder the officers sent to arrest him testified to the authorities, “No one ever spoke like this man!” (John 7:46).

“Eternal mind, eternal wisdom”

Solomon noted, “Death and Destruction lie open before the Lord–how much more do human hearts!” (Proverbs 15:11 NIV). Unfortunately, many of us are such empiricists that we believe what we see and not what we cannot.

Thus, we are blind to the entire realm of the spiritual. We are fish who cannot believe there is a world above water or birds who cannot believe there is a world beneath it.

Meanwhile, there are angelic beings all around us, so that “some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2). The Spirit of God dwells within us (1 Corinthians 3:16). The Son of God is praying for us (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). Our Father knows what we need before we ask him (Matthew 6:8).

So ask.

See the risen Christ as your friend (John 15:15) who longs to open the Scriptures to you (Luke 24:32). See the Holy Spirit as your counselor who will “guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13).

Name your greatest problem or doubt or fear, then ask the greatest genius who ever walked the earth to give you his wisdom. Resist the self-sufficiency our culture applauds and choose the Spirit-dependency our Lord rewards.

Missionary Adoniram Judson: “No mind, no wisdom–temporary mind, temporary wisdom–eternal mind, eternal wisdom.”