Paul reminds his readers of how God’s ways are so different from man’s ways. The wise miss it and the strong can’t hold it. Only those who trust in Him see the truth.
God’s ways don’t make sense to the natural mind. Why would Jesus give up everything He had and become a lowly servant? Why would He lay aside His power? Why would He subject Himself to ridicule? Why would God bear with a group of people who always disappoint Him? Why would He rescue them time and time again? Why would He even concern Himself with humanity?
These are the questions that confound the wise. To the simple, the answer is clear; because He loves me. The child doesn’t ask why the parent takes care of him and makes sure he is fed and clothed. He accepts it and trusts in that care because he knows his parents love him. That’s how it is supposed to work.
Questions from the strong might include: How is it that God gives to those who haven’t earned it? Why does God help those who are helpless? How is it that those who give gain more? Why doesn’t God ask me to solve all the problems through my own strength? Why is my strength not enough?
Jesus set a child in the midst of His disciples and told them that unless they become as a little child they cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. A child is weak. He has nothing to offer in the realm of authority, power, strength, or wisdom. He is dependent on others to care for him. He has no great wealth or refined talents to offer. But he is exactly who God can work with.
The man who is weak doesn’t try and exhort power over others. He accepts the needed protection being offered. The strong man is “self-sufficient” and has no need of a Savior. The man who is simple doesn’t try to solve the riddles of the universe. He willingly follows the path laid out for him. The wise man knows how to do everything on his own and needs no one to lead him; no Master or Teacher.
But the wise man and the strong man can only go so far. They cannot move beyond this life. They may be able to work their way ahead in the natural world but it will all amount to nothing in the end. You can’t take money or prestige with you when you depart this world. Your strength will fail you and your mind will not keep you from death.
Only God can give you life beyond this one. He works for our eternal life, not simply the one we have here. By laying aside your strength, your wisdom, your honor and your plans can you find His strength, His wisdom, His honor, His glory, and His plan for your life. By surrendering you succeed. When I recognize my weakness, THEN He can make me strong in Him. When I recognize my lack of understanding, THEN He can make me wise in HIS ways.
Father God, Your plan is so backwards from what the world tells us. They tell me to be strong and stand on my own two feet. But You show me how falling on my knees makes me stronger than I could ever hope to be on my own. Thank You for Your strength. Thank You for Your wisdom that You give to me when I ask and seek You. Thank You that I lack nothing when I turn over everything I am and have to You. Only by being poor can I be rich. And it is all because of Your love. Thank You for loving me; the undeserving and unlovable. You counted me precious instead. Remind me of this daily Lord, especially when I start thinking that I’m doing everything in my own power.