TO CHEW ON: "For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe." 1 Corinthians 1:21
I love the "wisdom" wordplay that comes out in the NKJV translation of this passage: "For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him…" God's wisdom dictated that the world not come to Him through its wisdom.
The world's wisdom would be the wisdom of a "sign":
[Sign - semeion - a sign, mark, token by which a thing is distinguished from others and is known—an unusual occurrence, transcending the common course of nature.]
Or the wisdom of the Greeks:
[Wisdom - sophia - wisdom, broad and full of intelligence, used of the knowledge of very diverse matters.]
And what exactly is that "wisdom of God"? Examples of His sometimes surprising wisdom are sprinkled throughout the Bible.
- We see it exhibited in God's ability to see through outer appearance to inner reality. Samuel is told to reject Jesse's oldest handsome son: "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" - 1 Samuel 16:7.
- We see it at work in the judgments and decisions of God-honoring rulers, here young King Solomon - 1 Kings 3:28.
- We see it at work too in the common sense of the farmer who, by experience, discovers the best way to plant and harvest crops. of course God's wisdom of creating the natural world in a way that it's predictable comes into that as well - Isaiah 28:24-29.
- We also see it playing out in God's plan and how He God unveiled it, sending messengers (prophets) that were killed for their unpopular message and whose collected blood would be on the generation that put Jesus to death - Luke 11:46-51.
- And here we see the wisdom of God in His plan of getting us back. As stated, it's not through a sign or a human philosophy but through the despised instrument of Roman torture and death—the cross (1 Corinthians 1:23). Through the sacrifice of His son Jesus, we are redeemed (bought back) and made righteous and holy - 1 Corinthians 1:29,30.
These truths bring out two responses in me:
1. A desire to get ever more familiar with God's wisdom—a wisdom that is often not what I would intuit - 1 Corinthians 1:25-28.
2. Gratitude for the great gulf God spanned to reconcile us shallow, foolish creatures back to Himself.
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for Your multi-hued wisdom that devised the way—Jesus—for the lowliest, simplest, least sophisticated of us to be reconciled to You. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.