2017-07-23 - Exodus
Introduction to the Joy of Foolishness
We all remember the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes. It is the account of how two con artists suckered the Emperor and his officials, the wise men of the town, into paying out substantial amounts of money for nonexistent clothes, by appealing to the emperor's vanity, and all of their fears of appearing foolish.
As each man, having been told that only the wise could see the garments, came into the room to see the fabric, they would respond:
“I am not stupid, I know I am not!” thought the man, “so it must be that I am not fit for my good office. It is very strange, but I must not let it be noticed.” So he praised the cloth he did not see and assured the weavers of his delight in the lovely colors and the exquisite pattern. “It is perfectly charming,” he reported to the emperor. 1
And so the con continued on supported by the foolish who must appear wise at all cost. And one day the clothes were finished, and it was time for the emperor to show off the wonderful garments to the people.
The people also had bought into the con. They were concerned that they appeared wise. And so it went as follows.
“No one wanted to let it appear that he could see nothing, for that would prove him not fit for his post. None of the emperor’s clothes had been so great a success before.
“But he has nothing on!” said a little child.
“Just listen to the innocent,” said its father. And one person whispered to another what the child had said. “He has nothing on. A child says he has nothing on!” “
But he has nothing on,” cried all the people. The emperor was startled by this, for he had a suspicion that they were right. But he thought, “I must face this out to the end and go on with the procession.” So he held himself more stiffly than ever, and the chamberlains held up the train that was not there at all.” 2
And so the world continues to carry their trains of self-salvation. But the Christian says the emperor has no clothes. And the foolishness of God confounds the wisdom of men. Praise the Lord if we are foolish.
Verses 1-10 Verses 11-12 Verses 13-18
Supplemental Readings: Acts 7:20-44;
Hebrews 11:23-29 “… God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong ~
Exodus study to be continued.
All verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.