The Wise Become Fools
A graphic image from the time of Paul that has survived the centuries pictures a donkey bowing down before a cross. The inscription reads, “This man worships his god.”
That stone carving represents the Greek disdain for the cross.
We laud humility as a virtue, but the Greeks saw humility as a weakness. They were unable to conceive of a god that was executed by the Roman government.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the foolishness of the cross.
— 1 Corinthians 1.18-20 – For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
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?
We need more than smart people.
Like multitudes around the world, I am extremely disturbed by the war in Ukraine. When I see video clips of young couples getting married and then taking up arms to defend their countries, it brings me to tears.
The look on children’s faces, who will have horrific images engraved on their hearts, is another tragic image.
The wanton destruction of human life has me joining millions before God’s throne, asking for his mercy.
This war and every other war is a commentary on Paul’s words to the Corinthians.
— Highly intelligent people have devised powerful weapons of destruction.
— Skilled tacticians devise plans to swiftly conquer an innocent nation.
— Leaders in tailored suits use the gift of intelligent speech to justify the ruin of a nation of 40 million people.
Without a doubt, being smart is not enough to have a civilized society.
Powerful dictators, business moguls, military leaders, and the like use intelligence as a tool of Satan to steal, kill, and destroy.
They believe humility is a sign of weakness and the cross-life is utter foolishness.
We will all stand before God.
The Biblical definition of a fool is someone who believes they can act in any way they please and never be held accountable.
The Psalmist wrote:
Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
there is no one who does good.
Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
who eat up my people as they eat bread,
and do not call upon the Lord?
There they shall be in great terror,
for God is with the company of the righteous.
You would confound the plans of the poor,
but the Lord is their refuge. (Psalm 14.1, 4-6)
Wise people become fools when they think they can “eat up” God’s people like they are bread and never stand in judgment.
As we pray for the people of Ukraine, let’s pray for the Lord to be their refuge. As we think about evil dictators, let’s remember that they will one day stand before God in judgment.
A Cross-Like Life
The world needs people who will live in self-giving love. The cross-life is not weak. In fact, the most powerful act in human history took place when Jesus died on the cross.
Here are some ways that the cross-life can influence our attitude and actions.
— We can use the intellect God has given us to express his love in word and deed.
— We can ask God to show us how to pray for the evil that is taking place in the world.
— We can pray for people who are confronted by evil weapons that they will be empowered to live like Jesus.
— We can pray for aid workers and countries that welcome refugees that they will represent a Jesus-kind-of-life.
— When we suffer hardships because of sanctions on Russia, we can ask God to help our speech to glorify our Savior.
I am writing this at a time when Ukraine is in the balance. Last Wednesday, the people of Ukraine were not having to fight for their lives and flee for safety.
Rudy Ross and I produced a video last week that covers more of the Bible passage I have referenced. It can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
Please email your prayer request to email@example.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.