Saturday, January 29, 2011

The foolish ones

Artist's rendering of David's sling.

TODAY'S SPECIAL: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

TO CHEW ON: "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are." 1 Corinthians 1:27-28

The Bible is full of examples of God working through foolish, weak, base, despised things and people. Here are just a few of the many in the Bible:

  • When God wanted to free the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, He used Moses's shepherd rod, also called  a staff (Exodus 4:2).
  • When He was planning to defeat the Midianites, He chose a cautious leader (Gideon), and then instructed him on how to thin out his army to a mere 300 men. Their weapons consisted of trumpets, pitchers and torches (Judges 7:1-23).
  • Samson killed 1000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey (Judges 15:15).
  • Saul, Israel's first king, came from the small, insignificant tribe of Benjamin (1 Samuel 9:21).
  • David killed full-armoured Goliath with a stone hurled from a primitive sling (1 Samuel 17:40).
  • Jesus fed a multitude with five loaves and two fish (John 6:9).

Why does God use such un-intuitive means? Paul tells us in verse 29: "...that no flesh should glory in His presence." In other words, when God accomplishes things using people and methods that, according to human wisdom should never be successful, all the credit and glory go to Him.

We can respond in several ways:

1. With relief. There's hope for even us very ordinary, unexceptional folks. If we get out of the way and let God be in charge, He can use even us.

2. With self-searching, asking, is there within our desire to live a significant, contributing life any vestige of seeking after our own fame, our own credit, our own prominence? Perhaps within our answer lies the clue to why our efforts are so often ineffectual.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to leave my ego and its wisdom behind. Help me to be content to be one of Your foolish, weak, base, despised glory-bearers. Amen.

MORE: Foolish enough
"When looking back on the lives of men and women of God the tendency is to say - What wonderfully astute wisdom they had! How perfectly they understood all God wanted! The astute mind behind is the Mind of God, not human wisdom at all. We give credit to human wisdom when we should give credit to the Divine guidance of God through childlike people who were foolish enough to trust God's wisdom and the supernatural equipment of God."
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, October 26th reading.

- Be blessed today.

Bible Drive-Thru

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