God's Foolishness is Wiser than Man's Best Wisdom
Often I hear people, both those who would claim to be Christians and those who would claim otherwise, say that the God of the Bible seems so difficult to understand. They question God’s wisdom, assuming the God of the Bible exists, concerning how this world operates. Many can agree that God’s workings seem confusing at times and that God’s actions are certainly out of step with how we might do things on this earth.
No doubt men who have such objections to the God of the Bible might be surprised to realize that the Bible admits God’s ways to seem unwise on the surface. The Bible goes further and freely admits that God’s way of doing things rarely matches up with the wisdom of this world. But should this really surprise us? Perhaps considering an everyday illustration will furnish us with an analogy.
When a father or mother refuses to allow their child to run and play in the street, such a rule seems foolish and restrictive from the child’s perspective. But, of course, the parents see the bigger picture that their child lacks. Might not God’s actions seem foolish to us for the same reasons as the child? Could it be that we cannot really see anything close to the big picture, so God’s ways seem foolish and foreign to us?
In I Corinthians, Paul freely admits that God often chooses foolish things in the world as a showcase of His wisdom (1:27). Furthermore, Paul claims that mankind will never be able to come to know God by means of human wisdom (1:20-21). He then claims that God is pleased to choose what men see as “foolish” and use it to show the “wisdom of men” to be the real foolishness.
If we consider only a brief example of current political policies, we can quickly find examples of plans that many thought wise, but turned out to be foolish. Even mankind’s best attempts at wise choices often fail because we cannot see the entire picture. No doubt it seemed wise in the 1930s to allow Adolf Hitler free reign in Europe. But the bigger picture of history has shown how that and many other decisions have been the height of foolishness.
Perhaps we should look again at what God says in the Bible. Perhaps we should consider the wisdom of trying to judge the ways of God. For as Paul says in I Corinthians 1:25 “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” Perhaps we should all take a close look at the often-devastating results of our human wisdom before we seek to judge God’s actions by such a changing standard. Our lack of the big picture perspective should make us careful lest we too quickly make sweeping judgments on matters that are really out of our league.