Of course as a minister I have read more of the Bible than Romans 1 – 8. The Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 1:25 wrote that the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. If God appears to act foolishly, might he not be called a fool? About 25 years ago I wrote “An Ode to the Fool“. Now I am writing another version of my thoughts in prose.
According to the Bible, God created man and woman and planted a garden for them to live in. Two trees were in the garden: the tree of life and the tree of knowledge. The tree of knowledge b0re forbidden fruit. Any wise human could have told God not to plant the tree of knowledge or forbid eating its fruit. But the risk-taking, loving, forgiving, and merciful God foolishly planted the tree and wisely forbade the eating of it’s fruit, anyway.
- God told the couple that on the day they ate fruit of the tree of knowledge they would surely die. Any wise human knows it’s best to stick to one’s word. But on the day they ate of the fruit, the loving, forgiving and merciful God foolishly took the risk and wisely sent the couple out of the garden to populate and take care of the whole earth, anyway.
Cain, the first son killed his younger brother Abel in anger. A wise human could have told God that capital punishment was the right way to control evil. But the loving, forgiving and merciful and risk-taking, foolish God wisely let the murderer live and kept him safe, any way.
- When it seemed like the whole earth was filled with corruption and violence God determined to destroy the earth by a flood. A wise human could have affirmed God’s decision for when an experiment goes awry it is best to end it. But the loving, forgiving and merciful God ran the risk and wisely saved Noah and his family, anyway.
God delivered the Jews from slavery in Egypt. On their way to the promised land, the people camped at Mount Sinai where God gave them his law. Knowing that no one could keep his law, the loving, risk-taking, forgiving, and merciful God wisely provided a complex system of sacrifices as a way for sinners to be accepted by him. Yet a wise hymnist wrote: not all the blood of beasts on Jewish altars slain could give the guilty conscience peace.
- Despite the repeated warnings by God-sent prophets, the people divided into factions. One faction worshipped the law more than they worshipped God, another favored the sword as a means to freedom, while another compromised with outside powers to gain influence and wealth. All of them took advantage of widows, the poor, and stoned the prophets.
So, the loving, forgiving, and merciful God decided to save the world by sending his son to earth as a baby. Any wise human could have told God that a baby wouldn’t cut it. What the world needed was a person of power backed by a large fully armed and well-trained army of special forces that could establish national boundaries, control terrorists and refugees, and be unloving and unforgiving, and rule without mercy. Through foolish-risk-taking, the loving, forgiving and merciful God wisely sent his son to save the world as a baby, anyway.
- Not much is known about the first 30 years of the baby’s life except that he grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people, Luke 2:52. When he was about 30, he left home and began a public practice of godlike loving, forgiving and showing mercy to everyone. He was such a good man that he could not be allowed to live. In their wisdom, power, and knavery, humans unlovingly, unforgivingly, and without mercy foolishly crucified him. His memory was kept alive by followers who practiced love, forgiveness, and mercy in his foolish manner, believing that through such deeds the world will be saved, anyway. Thus is my reading of the Bible about the making of fools:
love, forgive, mercy.
All such attributes of God
make God look foolish