2016-05-06 - The Foolishness of God
Originally Published 1996-09-12
1 Corinthians 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. (NASB)
I remember the first time I learned in school, what an oxymoron is. I thought, "that's pretty cool!" You know what they are -- two words that seemingly contradict each other, i.e. jumbo shrimp, honest politician, good devotional ; ) etc. When I read this oxymoron, "foolishness of God," I thought, "now that is the ultimate oxymoron!" God being foolish -- that is impossible! But as you look deeper into this and think through the Bible about all the seemingly foolish ways of God, the term takes on new meaning.
Think about it. The foolishness of God occurs throughout the Bible. In Genesis 6-8 we read of Noah, who had a barge parked in his driveway 120 years, to save 8 people. In Judges 15:16 we read about how Samson kills thousands of Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. In Jonah 2 we read of the large fish swallowing the reluctant prophet Jonah. In 1 Samuel 17 we read of the lowly shepherd boy, David, killing the giant Goliath. On and on throughout the Bible, God uses things that are foolish to the world, to shame the wise.
1 Corinthians 1:27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong.
"God's view" turns "the world's view" upside down. The world says, "Do something and be somebody!" God says "You are somebody; now do something." The world says, "take all you can get, and you will get more!" God says, "give all you have, and you will receive." The world says "hate your enemies, run over people, climb to the top!" God says, "love your enemies, help people, be a servant leader."
But you know what the ultimate foolishness of God is? Do you know what the ultimate oxymoron is? It is an old wooden cross on a hilltop, two thousand years ago, holding an innocent Savior Who was dying in my place and yours. That is the ultimate foolishness of God. And you know what else? When we lose sight of that foolishness, when we lose the meaning of the cross, when we lose the gratitude in our hearts for what He has done for us, then we are the ultimate fools. Don't become complacent in your gratitude for what God has done for us. For out of that gratitude for what He has done, all good flows.
Father, thank You for your perfect plan. Thank You for Your perfect wisdom. Thank You for Your Spirit, Who illuminates Your word to us, and helps us to understand Your view and to follow Your plan -- instead of our only seeing the world's view and following its plan. Forgive us for falling short of Your purposes. We pray all this in the name of our perfect Savior Jesus, Amen.
All verses are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.