The foolishness of God is wiser than man

Introduction

If someone had to ask you – “Is God Foolish?” – what would your answer be?  I am hoping that your answer will be – “certainly not!”. Our God is by no means foolish, and you would be right.

What if someone had to ask you – “Is your God weak?” – what would you answer be?

I am hoping that you will answer the same way.  “Certainly not – my God is not Weak, never was weak and never will be weak? I take strength in Him.” – and you would be right.

However, let’s examine a scripture

1 Corinthians 1:25 New King James Version (NKJV)

25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Now this is quite interesting if someone shows you this scripture.  See, the scriptures say that your God is foolish, and your God is Weak?  How do you think we should respond to that?

Always read in context

Firstly, we always need to read and understand things in context and not take a verse or two out of context.  Or, looking at simply one or two verses, and not understanding why it was written, to whom it was written, and reading the full context around that will also lead to a false and fallible understanding of the scriptures.

With that said let us examine the entire text – 1 Corinthians 1:18-31.

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. 19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.


26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.” (NKJV)

The people of the world, the wicked, the perishing – they choose not to listen to God’s word – to them God’s word is foolish.  Those people who consider themselves, their ways to be wise. And they laugh at and mock at God’s way.

However, we all know that God is wise, that God is strong and not weak.

Where does foolishness and weakness lie?  In Man not in God.

What these people consider to be the foolishness of God is still wiser than them, and what these people consider as God’s weakness is still stronger than these men.

21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;

God has chosen things that are considered foolish and weak, i.e., his Wisdom, His Word, His people to prove over and over again, that the wisdom of man is flawed.

What do we know of the wisdom of man?

Psalms 1
1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish. (NKJV)

The wisdom of man comes from the world and as we learn and know that the ruler of this world is Satan.  So, if this worldly wisdom is not from God then it must come from Satan.

I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. (NKJV) – Jn 14:30

This of course is referring to Satan. More relevant to the wisdom of man is the following scripture:

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and [a]self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. – James 3:13-18

This verse exactly describes those who call God foolish, and view God as weak.  The words describe them aptly – Bitter Envy, Self-seeking.

Something to bare in mind is that these people can be non-believers of God, and quite often they can be people that call themselves Christians, however, even those who call themselves Christians that perform deeds in the name of God but are wicked.

There are many “so-called” Christians who lead people astray from God’s truth, calling themselves prophet, healing the sick, raising the dead, etc.

These that do such are self-seeking and searching for their own glory. However, we are taught that whatever we do we do for the glory of God. (“do all to the glory of God”. (NKJV) – 1 Cor 10:31)

The wisdom of the world is foolishness with God

While we may think we are wise in this age (this age meaning the times that we live in now), we dwell in our own wisdom, however, we deceive ourselves, since the thoughts of the wise are futile. 

18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 21 Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours. 23 And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. – 1 Cor 3:18-23

The wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. To give full glory to God and live a Godly life study is required on what God wants from us.  Studying of the scriptures so that we can apply God’s wisdom through His word.    What does this mean?  Studying the God’s word leads to knowledge of what God wants from us.  Application of this knowledge is wisdom.  The decisions we make, the steps we take, we should place God first in this.  In how we do business, raise our families, and in general how we behave with everyone else.

Our own wisdom brings arrogance, greed, malicious intent, however we are to walk circumspectly, not as fools but wise. 

15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God. – Eph 5:15-21

The wise of the world does not want to understand what the will of the Lord is.

Wisdom from God

Building of the Tabernacle

In Exodus 31 we see the knowledge imparted by the Holy Spirit to the artisans to build the Tabernacle.  They did not know how to do this through their own wisdom but relied on the wisdom and knowledge of God.

31 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship. – Ex 31:1-5

Building the ark

Neither did Noah have any clue what was required to build the Ark; however, he took instruction from God, and he followed these instructions precisely that lead to them being saved from the flood.

Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. – Gen 6:22

Joseph’s wisdom

Joseph’s wisdom and favour in the presence of the pharaoh is another example of God’s wisdom over men’s wisdom.  The magicians, in their wisdom could not interpret the Pharoah’s dream.

38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?”

39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be [g]over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” – Gen 41:38-41

Moses’ strength in the presence of the Pharaoh

Although Moses doubted himself to go to the Pharaoh, God’s reply to him was that He will certainly be with him. 

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

12 So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” – Ex 3:11-12

The wisdom of King Solomon

King Solomon was a wise king, in fact the wisest King.  Solomon did not rely on his own wisdom from that given to him from God, that there will never be anyone else that will be as wise a Solomon.

1 Kings 3:10-12
10 The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. (NKJV)

Solomon also did not take this glory onto himself, but all knew that this wisdom was from God.

And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice. – 1 Kings 3:28

Conclusion

It’s evident that we should not seek our wisdom or the wisdom of this world, but from God. Is this something that we ask God for?  Yes, provided we study His word, and we need to come to the correct understanding of His word. (more on this later)

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. – James 1:5

Retesting man’s hypothesis of God being foolish and weak

Is our God Foolish? Absolutely not!

saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” – Rev 5:12

Is our God weak? Absolutely not!

saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” – Rev 7:12

These are based on men’s understanding of what and who God is, based on their own worldly wisdom and understanding.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?”
35 “Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?”
– Rom 11:33-35

All praise and glory to God, our Father in heaven.

Amen

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