Thursday, July 07, 2016

"God's Foolish Plan"

1st Corinthians 1.18; 26-27 NIV

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”

I am the opposite of God. I value strength and wisdom, power and intelligence, beauty, brains and brawn. He, on the other hand, elevates the simple, foolish, weak things of this world to demonstrate His character and convey His message. I would do it differently. I would select smart, good-looking, super-fit, and successful people to prove my point. To achieve my objective to inspire the masses and win a following, I would utilize individuals who already command universal respect… movie stars, political leaders, war heroes, famous artists, beautiful models, rock icons, the filthy rich, and big name authors.

By contrast, God chose me and people like me. He chose complete unknowns to promote the most important message in the universe. This strategy is questionable to me.

“God deliberately chose men and women that the culture
over-looks and exploits and abuses, chose these ‘nobodies’ to
expose the hollow pretensions of the ‘somebodies’”.
1st Corinthians 1.27 “The Message”

God chose shame as the pathway to salvation. I would rather use inspiration. Shame seems so, well, shameful. For me the way up is the way up. For God, the way up is the way down. Humility, weakness, human frailty have no place in my plan. But God used weak and foolish people to shame the proud, powerful, popular, and pretty. I would have paid the proud, powerful, popular, and pretty to inspire everyone else. Apparently, God and I are very different.

At the beginning of time the members of the Trinity consulted together and formulated a plan to reach the world with the message of God’s love. Jesus agreed to die on a cross. They knew it would seem foolish to everyone else. They did not consult me. I would have voted against such a foolish plan. It is a very good thing that I am not God.

_________________

The beautiful shot of big hands cradling a tiny foot is called "daffodil" by Pawel Loj (http://www.flickr.com/photos/48745248@N00/).

6 comments:

One Sided said...

Dave, I might have followed you.
I feel I have to take you message and carry it with me. Look for the message not messenger! I also need to remember when preparing a lesson "it is not about me". I was recently shocked when one of my class members reported to the class that they reacted to a situation at work, after asking themselves. "What would Larry do?"
All I could think to do was to ask that he not lay that burden of responsibility on me.
Now I question, "How did I get his focus off of the message on on to the messenger?"

Lee Thomas said...

The strange thing is, Dave, that even people who were nobodies can start to think they're somebody once God has elevated them.

There's a joke I heard a long time ago, that comes from the definition of a Yiddish word:

Shamus, n. [Yiddish]: A shamus is a guy who takes care of handyman tasks around the temple, and makes sure everything is in working order. A shamus is at the bottom of the pecking order of synagog functionaries, and there's a joke about that: A rabbi, to show his humility before God, cries out in the middle of a service, "Oh, Lord, I am nobody!" The cantor, not to be bested, also cries out, "Oh, Lord, I am nobody!" The shamus, deeply moved, follows suit and cries, "Oh, Lord, I am nobody!" The rabbi turns to the cantor and says, "Look who thinks he's nobody!"
-Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"

There's that great scene where Paul takes Peter to task for separating himself from the Gentiles after some strict Jews show up (see Galatians 2:11-14). I always envision that as little Paul taking on big Peter like a Chihuahua barking at a St. Bernard - and the St. Bernard backing down!

The church has no place for "nobodies" who think they're better than somebody else.

I thank God that I can go from the lowliness of making coffee to the high status of teaching a class and then right back to the lowliness of making coffee again, lest I start to think that this nobody has become somebody.

-Lee (Romans 12:3)

P.S.: Excellent blog - keep up the good work!

Dave's Bible Blog said...

One Sided ~ great words. Thanks for contributing to the bible blog. "Its not about me" is a good reminder phrase for all of us. Dave

Dave's Bible Blog said...

Hey Lee, That Yiddish humor really cracks me up. Thanks for your input. I appreciate you. Dave

Anonymous said...

I might be late in asking this, so I hope you get a chance to see this Dave.

Question: God loves me and wants me to follow him. I know it and feel it. I was in church the other day and heard someone say that they but God in front of everything they do and I thought I would love to do that. Sounds easy right? When I get faced with something challenging I find it hard to see it as God would ro know how to act. Is that because I need more knowledge of the Bible or is it because I'm not truly allowing God to do his work through me? I want to honor him and find it had to in the simplest tasks sometimes.

Bro, Danny

Dave's Bible Blog said...

Hi Danny,

Great questions, Danny. All of us, if we were honest, could admit to times when we find it hard to follow Christ. That's why He commanded us: "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me" (Luke 9.23).

The cross is no fun. The Christan life is not always easy, nor is it intended to be. It requires a certain amount of diligence and discipline that runs counter to our consumer culture of fast and cheap. Christ demands more than that. He expects full committment.

I recommend "The Cost of Discipleship" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. You'd like this book, Danny. Bonhoeffer paid the ultimate price for his determination to follow Christ... martyrdom. He deals with this very question of yours by contrasting "cheap grace" with true discipleship.

You are not alone, Danny. Stay strong.

Your Brother,
Dave