Summary: Paul refers to the "foolishness of God" and the "weakness of God." Is God indeed foolish and weak?


Preached At Point Assembly of God on April 20, 2003

By Louis Bartet


TITLE: The Foolishness of God

TEXT: 1 Cor. 1:18, 23-25

TOPIC: Trusting God is better than relying on our own powerless foolishness.


18 For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

23 ¡Kwe preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness,

24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

In these four verses Paul makes two interesting references to God. He refers to the "foolishness of God" and the "weakness of God."

In his book The Attributes of God, Arthur W. Pink lists 17 divine attributes or traits belonging to God. He deals with such characteristics as¡K

1. The Knowledge of God. He says that God knows everything perfectly.

2. The Sovereignty of God. God is the supreme ruler of the universe.

3. The Holiness of God. He is the sum of all moral excellence in whom there is no imperfection or lack of wholeness.

4. The Power of God. He has the ability and strength to bring to pass whatsoever He pleases.

5. The Patience of God. He endures great injuries without reacting to avenge Himself.

6. The Grace of God. He joyfully gives us what we do not deserve.

7. The Mercy of God. He does not give us what we do deserve.

No where in his list of 17 attributes does Pink mention the foolishness of God or the weakness of God.

Somehow, foolishness and weakness do not seem to be terms that one would associate with the creator of the universe. In my judgment God is too wise to be foolish and too powerful to be weak.

When I think of foolishness.

ILLUS: I’m reminded of 19 year old Bowling Green, Ohio student Robert Ricketts, who had his head bloodied when he was struck by a Conrail train. He told police he was trying to see how close to the moving train he could place his head without getting hit. That’s foolish!

ILLUS: Larry¡¦s boyhood dream was to fly. But fate conspired to keep him from his dream. He joined the Air Force, but his poor eyesight disqualified him from being a pilot. After he was discharged from the military, he sat in his backyard watching jets fly overhead.

He hatched his weather balloon scheme while sitting outside in his "extremely comfortable" Sears lawn chair. He purchased 45 weather balloons from an Army-Navy surplus store, tied them to his tethered lawn chair dubbed the Inspiration I, and filled the 4¡¦ diameter balloons with helium. Then he strapped himself into his lawn chair with some sandwiches, drinks, and a pellet rifle. He figured he would pop a few of the many balloons when it was time to descend.

Larry¡¦s plan was to sever the anchor and lazily float up to a height of about 30 feet above his back yard, where he would enjoy a few hours of flight before coming back down. But things didn¡¦t work out quite as Larry planned.

When his friends cut the cord anchoring the lawn chair to his Jeep, he did not float lazily up to 30 feet. Instead, he streaked into the LA sky as if shot from a cannon, pulled by the lift of 42 helium balloons holding 33 cubic feet of helium each. He didn¡¦t level off at 100 feet, nor did he level off at 1000 feet. After climbing and climbing, he leveled off at 16,000 feet.

At that height he felt he couldn¡¦t risk shooting any of the balloons, lest he unbalance the load and really find himself in trouble. So he stayed there, drifting cold and frightened with his beer and sandwiches, for more than 14 hours. He crossed the primary approach corridor of LAX, where Trans World Airlines and Delta Airlines pilots radioed in reports of the strange sight.

Eventually he gathered the nerve to shoot a few balloons, and slowly descended. The hanging tethers tangled and caught in a power line, blacking out a Long Beach neighborhood for 20 minutes. Larry climbed to safety, where he was arrested by waiting members of the LAPD. As he was led away in handcuffs, a reporter dispatched to cover the daring rescue asked him why he had done it. Larry replied nonchalantly, "A man can¡¦t just sit around."

ILLUS: Foolishness well describes the Seattle thief who attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street. When police arrived at the scene they found the ill thief curled up next to the motor home. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline, but said that he plugged his hose into the motor home¡¦s sewage tank by mistake and while attempting to siphon gas got a mouth full of sewage that made him sick.

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