Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Walter Martin:

The Foolishness of God

For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. 1 Corinthians 1:18

The foolishness of God . . . this is a phrase that ought to cause every person who reads the Bible to stop short. What does the apostle mean when he says this? I can understand how human beings can be foolish because I deal with them every day. I can understand how I can be foolish because I have a long, accurate memory of the number of foolish things I’ve done. I can understand how the United Nations can be foolish—all you have to do is go there to see how the nations of the world can be foolish. I can understand every degree of foolishness that I confront in life, but I cannot for the life of me conceive of how God can be foolish. But here it is in Scripture.

So, I began my quest by going through the Scriptures trying to find out exactly what was God’s foolishness. The first man I found in the Bible who was the perfect example of foolishness was a man named Noah. I have a friend named Dr. John Montgomery; he climbed Mt. Ararat and then wrote a book, The Search for Noah’s Ark. Years ago, an absolutely enormous hunk of wood was discovered up there at 14,800 feet. It’s approximately 450 feet long; it looks to be about fifty to seventy-five feet thick and about fifty feet wide. The image they’ve been able to see through the ice is at least the Biblical least. Nobody knows what it is but it’s sitting up there in frozen water, perfectly preserved.

There are stories of what has been found there. I heard a tape recording of an elderly man who climbed Mt. Ararat with his grandfather when he was a boy. Once there, he stood on the deck of an immense boat—and he described boats as they were built in ancient times. He said the deck was put together with what looked like very large pegs, and it was so big he couldn’t walk the entire distance of it without getting tired.

In addition to this account, there are testimonies of archaeologists and other people who were there. They estimate that approximately 50 million tons of lumber is up there. I have actually held a piece of it in my hand. That lumber is white oak impregnated with pitch, and the Scripture says that God commanded Noah to cover the ark with pitch, inside and out.

Interestingly enough, there is no white oak within 200 miles of Mt. Ararat and even if there were, what would it be doing at 14,800 feet? Dr. Montgomery says it’s either the ark or the largest Turkish outhouse in all history!

I am not in a position to debate the findings with him, but there was a man named Noah of historical validity. The Lord said to him, “Build a barge!” So Noah started to build. You can imagine the reaction of the local neighborhood:

“What are you doing, Noah?”

“Oh, we’re building a barge”

“Really, why are you building a barge?”

“Well, I talked with the Lord recently—the Creator of the universe—and He told me there’s going to be a lot of water around here.”

“There is? We’re in the middle of the desert; what are you building this thing for? It’s like building a sailboat in your basement. How are you going to get it out?”

“Well, God told me to build it. I’m going to build it.”

This went on for years and years. This crazy old man hammering, banging and sawing; putting this monstrosity together. The neighbors must have thought he was ready for Happydale. Everyone laughed at crazy old Noah until it started to rain—then no one laughed anymore. That was the end. God deluged the earth with water.

Noah built his ark. He built it in the face of every kind of argument. He built his barge in the face of every kind of criticism: 120 years worth of building. Then he got inside and everyone laughed until it started to rain...and Noah survived.

In the end, it doesn’t make any difference what the world says about you. The only thing that matters is what God says. Noah believed the foolishness of God, “Build a barge...” when there was no water. What is utterly incredible and totally foolish to you and me is the essence of divine wisdom.

What is the foolishness of God?

It is divine wisdom demanding faith.


Blogger johnj said...

Thanks for the article from your dad.
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:5
Respectfully yours with love in Christ, John

8:31 AM  
Blogger JonathanAHuber said...

That is very clarifying. I have wondered about that scripture before, but I never really thought about it in depth to that degree. Divine wisdom demanding faith is the foolishness of God being wiser than man's wisdom. I wonder if you have thought about the "weakness" of God?

12:59 AM  

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