The Foolishness of God and the Wisdom of Men

Before reading this post, consider the following passages:

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 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. For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the 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. For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 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, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.” (1 Corinthians 1:18-31 NASB)

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is THE ONE WHO CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR CRAFTINESS”; and again, “THE LORD KNOWS THE REASONINGS of the wise, THAT THEY ARE USELESS.” So then let no one boast in men. (1 Corinthians 3:18-21a NASB)

I love how for the first three chapters of 1 Corinthians, Paul emphasized the “foolishness of God” compared to the “wisdom of man.” In a society that highly prizes education and literacy (aside from the fact that texting and the like have transformed many to zombies), science and logic, it takes a lot more faith to believe in something, or Someone, we cannot see. It seems foolish that people will pick up this random book, call it the word of some random supernatural, all-powerful being who controls our eternal state, and follow it with passion and persistence.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9 NASB)

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:12-16 NASB)

Strangely, when a person accepts Jesus Christ as their savior, they are able to understand God’s thoughts, or at least some part of His logic. Sure, there are those questions that remain unanswered, but they understand why God allows pain and suffering, why He is so intent on choosing Him or choosing the world, et cetera. It seems foolish to the world, but to believers it makes sense, because God has revealed His mind to us and helped us interpret His thoughts.

Personally, as a believer, I find the thought process reversed. I see the foolishness of the world and the wisdom of God. I can’t fathom why people will be so intent on proving God does not exist, and not even leave the slightest room for the possibility of accepting the idea that there is a higher power in the universe. This is only one of many foolish thoughts, and I thank God for saving me so I can see the world through the only logic that makes sense — His.

I also find it amusing that we humans get stumped by so many problems, diseases, natural marvels, and the like. God has placed so many things in our lives we can’t understand, but can only fear or be fascinated by. He truly has thoughts that are way beyond ours.

Though we, as Christians, may seem to act foolishly, we know we have been given the wisdom of God. He made order in the world, and He is the only one who can help us understand it. The world may be intelligent, but it is in no way wise without God’s Word and His guidance.


2 thoughts on “The Foolishness of God and the Wisdom of Men

  1. Perspective here, is totally out of the picture. Man’s knowledge, wisdom etc is equated in Isaiah to that of a beast. When man fell, he lost the God image and it’s only through restoration that it can be gained. So until then, talk about man being clever even from a human perspective should be chucked aside altogether.

    Are scientists clever? If they refuse to acknowledge their Creator as most do then the bible classifies them as fools. Same to atheists, fancy scholars and such.

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