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The Foolishness Of God?

The Foolishness of God?

     It is possible that on the first of April, you either participated in, or were the victim of some harmless prank or foolishness. This is because of the tradition of “April Fools’ Day”.   There are varied ideas as to how this tradition came to be, some themselves foolish, yet none proven. Some records show that “April Fools’ Day” has existed as far back as the twelfth century. Various cultures also participate in it differently.

     As a child we may have delighted in being on the “giving end” of one of the many pranks played on such a day. We delighted in the “fooling” of another. As maturity is achieved, many see the silliness of such pranks as childish or adolescent. Perhaps some are just “sticks in the mud”, and resist such frivolities. Nevertheless, others continue to participate in the irrationality that surrounds these traditional days.

     There are indeed many “foolish” things in which one may participate and many things which man thinks to be foolish. When we dislike, or are incapable of doing something, we often deem it “foolishness”. When we disagree with something to the point of refusal to participate, again we denounce it as “foolishness”.   Such is the case in the only occurrence of God’s Word when foolishness is ascribed to Him. 1Corinthians 1:23-25 is this passage. Contextually applied, it is easy to see that the “foolishness” that is being exposed is that of man, and not God. Nothing God has said or Commanded is foolish. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which 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.  It was the Greeks that considered the preaching of the cross foolishness.  The Jews “stumbled” at the preaching of the gospel because it went against their preconceived notions and therefore, to them, also foolishness.

     As rational human beings, blessed with the capacity and capability to learn and discern, should we not be able to determine what is foolish and what is not? Should not this especially be the case when it comes to the destination of our eternal soul?   God’s Word is given to mankind so we can see where foolishness leads. Proverbs 19:3 informs us of the path that is taken when foolishness is embraced. The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD Perhaps this is why the Spirit had the palmist pen the Words we find in the first part of Psalm 14:1: The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.

     When God is not considered nor regarded, much of what man does becomes foolishness.   The Pharisees in Mark 7:5 considered the eating with “unwashen hands” foolishness and defiling, as it did not align with the “tradition of the elders”.  Jesus’s response to His disciples regarding this in Mark 7:18 was given so they would know not to follow tradition. And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;  His Words from Mark 7:20-23, also places man’s foolishness in some dubious company. And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21  For from within, out of the heart (mind) of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. 

     How do such thoughts as these listed above get “into” the man? He has to put them into himself by learning.  There are those who study philosophy, psychology, theology, and all others sorts of things. Then, they consider themselves wiser than others. It is obvious that they do not consider God’s Word.  1Corinthians 1:27-29 shows us the fallacy of the world’s wisdom.    But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;  28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 

     Are you willing to risk your soul to the “wisdom of man”? Do you think Jesus was “fooling” when He made the statement in Mark 7:7-8? This was in the same context of the Words of Jesus above. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 

       Wouldn’t you rather depend on the Word of God and the instruction He has provided for salvation? 1Corinthians 1:21 shows that only God’s Wisdom can bring one to salvation. For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Why not follow God’s Word and obey the gospel as outlined in His Word so you can be saved?   God’s Commandments are not now, nor were they ever foolishness.  

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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