- Religion and Philosophy
God has Chosen the Foolish of the World
In my first hub called Prepare to Meet the Bridegroom, we observed Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins awaiting the return of our Lord (Mat 25:1-10). Five of them were wise and five foolish. Surely with the “signs of the times” happening in the world today, we want to be prepared like the five wise virgins, do we not? What makes one wise in the eyes of God?
The Wise of the World
As for me, I’ve certainly encountered the “wise of the world”. These would include scientists, atheists, evolutionists, Gnostics and agnostics. There are those who are deeply educated in world history and philosophy. There are those of other religions that have studied all kinds of material for decades; their roots are deep and still growing. These people are, no doubt, brilliant, intelligent and typically those with which I would rather not contend. Why? They can be the most hostile, mocking and belittling debaters when it comes to faith in Jesus Christ. Everything proud feasts on the humiliation of others. We must remember that “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6; 1 Pet 5:5). So, I must say that if I contend with such persons I am not doing it, but my Lord is.
Who am I in comparison to these wise men? I am a high school graduate, with some college. While raised in the orthodox Christian faith I chose to study the Bible, which I felt was truly a matter of spiritual life and death. I praise God for the teachers willing to show me how to study and use the tools so graciously provided to all who seek deeper learning of the scriptures. I’m not talking about extra-Biblical materials that contradict the written Word, but Bible study tools (i.e. Concordance, Bible Dictionaries, etc.) In the ways of the world I have been labeled a “fool”; the wisdom of God says the “wise of the world” are labeled as such. Like oil and water, the two don’t mix. Truly, I feel unlearned in the ways of the world and I know no matter how much I study the Bible the mysteries contained therein are never-ending.
The Apostle Paul said, “…I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil (Rom 16:19).”
Great Is Your Reward!
Two things we need to remember when dealing with the “wise of the world”:
1. The Word of God says in Mat 5:11-12, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Why should we rejoice and be glad ~ why are we rewarded for bringing out the persecution of these “wise” ones? See, Heb 4:12 tells us “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” See, these people do not know they have sin, for they have no spiritual “law” written in their hearts as believers do. Jesus said that He will draw all men unto Himself, if He be lifted up from the earth (John 12:32) and also said in John 12:48 that “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke will judge him at the last day.”
2. For someone to get mad and upset, they have to be under “conviction” (guilt). What are they feeling guilty about? Ah! The Seed of the Word is getting through! God says His word will never return to Him void (Is 55:11). Truly, we don’t “wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12) and “the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (2 Cor 10:4).
What’s the goal in all this? The salvation of the lost! Jesus said in Mark 2:17, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners." So, if Christ be in us, we carry on His ministry. To those in Jesus’ day, He was viewed as a fool, and so shall we be.
Who's The Fool?
The title of this hub sounds a bit twisted, but is it really? Once again, let’s reference the definitions of wise/wisdom here again to use as a tool of understanding throughout this continued study:
wise 5429 phronimos (fron’-ee-mos); thoughtful, i.e. sagacious (adj. wise or shrewd, having or based on a profound knowledge and understanding of the world combined with intelligence and good judgment) or discreet (implying a cautious character; practical skill or acumen; intelligence or mental acquirement); in a bad sense conceited.
From this root come other derivations: wisdom 4678 sophia (sof-ee’-ah); wisdom (higher or lower, worldly or spiritual); wise 4679 sophizo (sof-id’-zo); to render wise; in a sinister acceptation, to form “sophisms”, i.e. continue plausible error:-cunningly devised, make wise; and wise 4680 sophos (sof-os’); akin to saphes (clear); wise (in a most general application):-wise.
I’d like to take you through the scriptures now to show you the paradigm of “godly wisdom” and “worldly wisdom”; “godly foolishness” and “worldly foolishness”. I pray this will bring comfort to the saints of God.
A Fool For Christ!
Paul wrote some words of wisdom to the church at Corinth:
1 Cor 1:17-20 “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. 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?
1 Cor 1:21-22 “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.”
1 Cor 1:25 “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1 Cor 1:27 “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.”
1 Cor 2:1-3 “And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”
1 Cor 3:18-20 “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise [4680 lower wisdom] in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise [higher wisdom]. 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.’"
1 Cor 4:9-10 “For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake …we are weak… we are without honor.”
2 Cor 11:19 “For you, being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly.“
2 Cor 11:30 “If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.”
2 Cor 12:9 “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.“
2 Cor 13:19 “For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak…
Wise Men Still Seek Him!
So we can see that the wise of the world, contrary to fools for Christ, are those who speak with cleverness and attempt to nullify the message of the cross. These not only include the best of debaters, but religious leaders, too! Because of their so-called “wisdom” they do not come to know God! Actually, those who feel they must “know” all they can about worldly wisdom in order to “prove” the existence of God end up shooting themselves in the foot. The more they “know”, the less they know. Very few of them would ever “boast in their weakness” or dare to be considered a “fool” to their peers of like mind.
Fools for Christ are exhibited to the “wise world” as men condemned to death, spectacles and weak without honor. The message preached of Jesus Christ and Him crucified is deemed foolish by them, yet it is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe! See, godly wisdom gladly receives this “foolish message” and the “fools for Christ” who bring it. The wisdom of God in believers rejoices in weakness because this is how the power of Christ Jesus is made manifest! “We are weak, but He is strong”; Amen!
Let me close this teaching with the words of the prophet Jeremiah in 8:9: “The wise men are put to shame, they are dismayed and caught; behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, and what kind of wisdom do they have?” And who does God use to shame them? The “foolish” ones to the world; the wise in Christ (1 Cor 1:27).
For more of my hubs on wisdom:
- Prepare to Meet the Bridegroom!
Like the stirring up of a wasps nest, believers all over the world are observing the signs of the times, feeling the urgency to prepare for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ as prophesied...