“Where is the one who is wise? 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 did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe.”
~1 Corinthians 1:20-21 (NRSV).
Our decisions apart from God—a.k.a. our wisdom—is foolishness. We go our own way myriad times to the most certain of peril. Let’s consider three salient very personal examples:
Our wisdom abuses the body (which is God’s tent for our spirits); God’s wisdom, conversely, demands we take good care of our bodies. This is a lesson many people learn too late or not at all, suffering all manner of physical ailment and premature death as a result.
This does not explain, however, many cancers and other virulent diseases. God’s wisdom makes foolish humankind’s wisdom of providing for its own health i.e. beyond God. We’ll never solve every health dilemma.
Our human wisdom has us destroying our minds in all manner of filthy pleasure including smashing our brain cells with alcohol and other drugs. We saturate our minds in pleasure and, with it, anesthetise every godly sense for the edification of our souls.
God’s wisdom is teaching the mind; it fills the mind with constructs at truth, capable for both discerning and embodying truth. And knowledge is always power.
Our wisdom feeds the soul we’ve been urged to protect all sorts of idolatrous junk; that is, anything we place our faith in that doesn’t add up to truth. Many are these. We don’t have to use our imaginations very intently to locate them. It is our mission, however, to seek and destroy (by putting them behind us) anything that sets itself up against God’s truth.
God’s wisdom, of course, has provided a way—one way only (John 14:6)—to replenish the weary soul (Matthew 11:28-30). All else is meaningless for it has no basis in truth. God encompasses all truth.
God’s Answer to Our “Proclamation”
Of course, we decided (in our wisdom) to go our own way; we had no need of God. So, God decided that Wisdom would rest solely on belief—and ultimately, that, through the Son of God.
This made sure that those who proudly proclaim their own wisdom—and we see them everywhere in this life—will finish last, whilst those who get the ‘message of foolishness’ (which is God’s wisdom [1 Corinthians 1:25]) will finish first, even though they appear to not get this life.
Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.