Merritt Seventh-day Adventist Church

Foolishness of God

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Foolishness of God

 

Scripture reading1 Corinthians 1:18: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

 

Has God done some foolish things? You bet He has – at least in the eyes of some who believe to be smart and enlightened people.

 

Apostle Paul wrote about it in 1 Corinthians chapter 1.

 

Let’s read some of his thoughts.

 

In 1 Corinthians 1:19 Paul quotes from prophet Isaiah: “For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

 

In verses 20–25 he goes on: “Where is the wise? Where is the scribe (the scholar)? Where is the disputer (skeptic) of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God the world through its own wisdom did not know God it pleased God through the foolishness of the message proclaimed to save those who believe. For Jews demand a (miraculous) sign and Greeks seek after (human) wisdom; but we proclaim Christ crucified, to (most of) the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks (intelligential) foolishness. But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

 

God’s way to save humanity is by most people perceived as sheer foolishness.

 

The proud, intellectual, supposedly educated and secular consider it naive.

 

Moralists, humanists, exclusive, bigoted and self-righteous think it scandalous.

 

God’s self-sacrificing way to save humanity is by most people perceived as sheer nonsense..

 

It does not make sense to self-sufficient, self-righteous, supposedly educated, secular or even moralistically religious mindset. It was so in Paul’s day and so it is today.

 

Verse 18:  “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

 

The doubters, critics and rejecters of God’s grace, God’s plan, God’s love, God’s ways call it foolishness!

 

Will no one receive God’s “foolish” plan?

 

There always be some “fools” who will believe and they will experience God’s salvation!

 

Who are these people?

 

1 Corinthians 1:26–28 NCV: “Brothers and sisters, look at what you were when God called you. Not many of you were wise in the way the world judges wisdom. Not many of you had great influence. Not many of you came from important families. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise and He chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose what the world thinks is unimportant and what the world looks down on and thinks is nothing in order to destroy what the world thinks is important.”

 

Well, who is writing this?

 

An intellectual genius Paul, former proud member of Jewish elite leadership!

 

Then there is Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, both of them very rich, very influential and well educated members of Sanhedrin!

 

What about the educated historian and beloved physician Luke, the author of one gospel and book of Acts? There are many others.

 

Yet majority of Christ’s followers and those accepting the gospel were ordinary men, women and youth, many of them slaves.

 

Were they fools? Hardly! Their faith in claims of Christ radically transformed their lives.

 

They knew by experience the effects of the gospel.

 

Listen to Paul’s bold testimony in Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is power of God to salvation to everyone who believes…”

 

This is Paul the former Pharisee who despised Christ and persecuted Christians!

 

What Paul did not gain by rigid religiosity and strong will, Jesus did! His enmity against Christ gave way to salvation from guilt, sin and controlling power of self-centered nature.

 

Paul was not ashamed of the gospel for it has worked in his life and in the lives of all who believed!

 

That whole “foolish thing” was designed in the counsel of Godhead – in the self-sacrificing and loving heart of God.

 

Its 1st revelation comes when God entered into the arena of world’s moral decadence, spiritual confusion and suffering through the humble entrance in Bethlehem.

Jesus came in weakness and vulnerability. God bypassed the proud, the self-sufficient and those settled in their skepticism and human opinions.

 

He revealed Himself to the humble, oppressed and ignored.

 

No, it did not make front pages or evening news!

 

As predicted by Bible prophecies God entered human suffering and predicament as the humble babe of Bethlehem. Humble God reveals Himself to humble and teachable folk!

 

Here again is another December and with it the Christmas Season when Christians remember the birth of this world’s Redeemer.

 

In spite of many un-biblical trappings and human traditions that piggy-bag on this event many hearts are touched by a simple story each year.

 

The story of Christ has inspired arts, music, literature and poetry. Think of Handel’s Messiah as its inspiring music sends pure thrills through one’s soul!

 

May you not get swept by the superficial trappings of the season!

 

May our hearts get softened, may generosity abound!

 

May tenderness, love and self-sacrifice get awakened!

 

Are you struggling with poverty, sickness, loneliness or unemployment?

 

May the embrace of Savior’s love and comforting Presence become real to you!

 

Are you living in plenty? Invite the Savior to your table in the person of poor or lonely.

 

God’s humility rebukes our elitism and pride. To worship Him and then to serve Him by serving others, we all come to the same ground 0 level.

 

Are there unresolved issues between you and some of your loved ones or neighbors?

 

Allow Savior’s love melt the hardness of heart and heal years of estrangement.

 

May “the weakness and foolishness of God” transform and fill our hearts with love, grace and peace Divine!