God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong.
–1 Corinthians 1:27
Wisdom, wealth, and power can be barriers to accepting the gospel and to being used by God. Think about a person who is wise in the world’s eyes. The idea that humans are basically sinful and need a Savior goes against the wisdom of the age, so wisdom becomes a stumbling block to that person accepting the gospel. Or think about a wealthy person. When she hears that wealth can actually keep her from entering the kingdom of God, her money becomes a hindrance to her coming to know Jesus Christ. Or think about a person who has pulled himself up by his bootstraps and obtained a position of power. When he hears that his efforts are worthless in securing salvation, his own power becomes a stumbling block to accepting the gospel.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:27-28, “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised has God chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are.”
That phrase “the things that are not” referred to slaves. Half to two-thirds of the Corinthian Christians were probably slaves. In society’s eyes, these people were nonentities, “things that are not.” Yet God chose the slaves of this world to be transformed into servants of God. That is the mystery of the gospel. God has chosen the foolish, the weak, the base, and the despised in order to turn human wisdom upside down.
What do I mean by that? Consider the person who has obtained a position of influence in this world, perhaps as a powerful politician or a CEO. One day he is going to leave that position, either by retiring, by being forced out, or ultimately through death. Now consider a disciple of Jesus Christ who has no money or fame. Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:12, “If we endure, we will also reign with Him.” That person nobody has ever heard of is one day going to be a co-ruler with Jesus Christ over this entire universe. So who is the truly powerful person–the one who reigns here on earth for a few years and then gives it all up, or the one who reigns for eternity?
God is not impressed by human wisdom; He is not impressed by power; He is not impressed by wealth. Instead, by choosing the humble, God has turned the wisdom of this world upside down.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Person God Uses” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.