BARNEY GOOGLE is an American comic strip that since 1919 gained a huge international readership, appearing in 900 newspapers in 21 countries. For more than 100 years whenever anyone heard the word “Google,” the comic strip character flashed to mind. Several terms and phrases were added to the English language inspired by Barney's huge, “goo-goo-googly bug eyes” as the pop song of 1923 made famous. The comic strip is the third longest running, uninterrupted series of all time. It starting out on the sports page because of his decrepit, old race horse.
Today when we hear the word GOOGLE, we think only of the Informational Internet Giant GOOGLE that came on the scene only a decade ago. It has since become the world's largest and most popular search engine, almost omnipresent and omniscient. It seems that we can ask GOOGLE anything and get an answer!
GOOGLE'S huge virtual “bug eyes” scan the world's knowledge of past history and current happenings, both significant and trivial information. All knowledge is now at the fingertips of young and old from the computer keyboard, smart phone, or countless mobile devices. GOOGLE “sees” and shares everything through its video files. Its large “ears” listen for the latest news, communication tools, services to offer, and products to purchase. Through GOOGLE EARTH you can virtually walk down any street, byway, or jungle path in the world without leaving your computer chair. There seems to be no limit to its power searches.
We used to achieve our knowledge in school buildings with live human teachers and retrieving it from libraries and museums and through salesmen coming to our doors offering bargain sets of the World Book of Knowledge. The Encyclopedia Britannica was the most comprehensive source and had to be tediously updated to keep up with the times. Information and knowledge became more instantly and widely accessible through the inventions of radio and then television, then through the electronics and digital explosion.
Now in the palm of my hand I hold a slim smart phone that I can—just to begin with—speak commands to, that will record my speech, let me read books, view the Internet, check and send my email, text, take photos and videos, Skype my image “live” to people anywhere in the world, view the night sky and constellations in real time, and above all, connect to GOOGLE and all the world's information—all wireless!
So what am I missing here? Since we have GOOGLE now, why do we need GOD?
We are immersed in an information explosion. However, information without wisdom is like a deflated hot air balloon. It goes nowhere. Knowledge by itself simply puffs up. To live an abundant, successful, satisfying life, a life pleasing to God, knowledge is not enough. GOOGLE can't give me wisdom to make use of the knowledge. Wisdom can only come from God. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).
When God asked King Solomon what one thing he wanted, he asked for wisdom—not riches, honor, long life, fame, or victory over his enemies—God gave him wisdom above all the kings of the earth and all the other things came along with the package. In Psalm 90:12 Moses prayed, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” In Psalm 51:6 David prayed, “Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part you shall make me to know wisdom.” “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding” (Proverbs 3:13).
In the gospel of Matthew it is recorded that the people were astonished at Jesus and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works?” We are told that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. Colossians 2:3 declares about Jesus, “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” The Apostle Paul prayed in the letter to the Ephesians for the Christians of his day and ours, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him.”
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all your getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7). Wisdom is a gift of the Holy Spirit. It is seasoned with understanding, acquired through experience and age, and anchored to the knowledge of God. I'm thankful that I can freely ask GOOGLE for the world's knowledge, and I will continue to enthusiastically make use of its search engine.
BARNEY GOOGLE can entertain us, GOOGLE can inform us, but only GOD can dispense wisdom!
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