Pastor Justin and his two sons drove from Alabama to spend a weekend at my home. It was a rich time in fellowship with our brother from Congo who is working hard to find as many ways as possible to help bring the gospel and better living conditions to his countrymen in eastern DRC. When Justin conversed with his sons, Moses and Junior, in Swahili, I could not understand what they were saying. In reading Paul’s words to the Corinthian believers below, it occurred to me that for those who do not accept Jesus, listening to His words truly sounds like a foreign language.
1 Corinthians 2:13, 14—We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. But the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually.
There are two kinds of foolishness. The first consists of thinking and behavior that is silly, irrational, crazy or idiotic. Solomon describes this kind of foolishness in Proverbs. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Pro. 1:7). Jesus illustrated this in His famous sermon on the mount when He said, “But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand” (Matthew 7:26).
The second kind of foolishness is much darker. This occurs when people perceive God’s word as irrational. Paul taught, “Where is the philosopher? Where is the scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish? For since, in God’s wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of the message preached” (1 Co. 1:20,21). Jesus was rejected as the Messiah. His parables were not understood and His claims were considered outrageous. Isaiah forewarned this when he prophesied of Jesus, “I gave My back to those who beat Me, and My cheeks to those who tore out My beard. I did not hide My face from scorn and spitting” (Isa. 50:6). Why did they crucify Him? Because they rejected His teaching as foolish and considered Him an imposter.
Don’t be discouraged when you attempt to share your faith and your message is met with derision and disbelief. The only cure for dark foolishness is that the Holy Spirit saves a person from the blindness he does not know he has! Our responsibility is not to transform what the Spirit teaches into something intelligent. We are to be obedient and thankful that we can see! As God’s own fools we carry the light of truth. Pray that truth will penetrate the darkness!
It is a tragic thing to be spiritually blind, but it is more tragic still to be blind and not know it.—John F. MacArthur, Jr. inThe Gospel According to Jesus
©2017 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)