God Uses The Foolish Things To Confound The Wise: A Powerful Teaching For Every Christian

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Published by Shannon Jacobs



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The Bible tells us that God uses the foolish things to confound the wise. This idea, found in 1 Corinthians 1:27–29, is a key concept of Christian teaching.

It conveys the power of faith and is an important reminder that no matter our earthly accomplishments or status, we are nothing without God. This teaching is one of the many reminders of faith’s power in our lives and that the world God has chosen is not always the same as that chosen by man.

Key Takeaways

  • The article emphasizes that God often operates in ways that defy human wisdom, choosing the foolish and weak to demonstrate His power and sovereignty.
  • Biblical wisdom stresses the importance of humility, teachability, and reliance on God’s guidance rather than on human understanding.
  • Through biblical examples, the article illustrates how God uses unlikely individuals and situations to fulfill His purposes, highlighting His ability to work through anyone and His superiority over human comprehension.

What Does The Bible Say About The Wise And The Foolish?

The Bible speaks about the wise and the foolish in various ways throughout its pages. In Proverbs, we are told that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10), highlighting that a relationship with God shapes our understanding and decisions. Similarly, in James 1:5, the author writes that if we lack wisdom, we are to ask God for it[1].

The Scriptures also emphasize the importance of humility and teachability, which are closely related to a wise approach to life. Proverbs 11:2 states that “when pride comes, then comes disgrace,” while humility is seen as a way to increase understanding.

Proverbs 15:32 says, “He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.” The Bible also speaks of the difference between wise and foolish people regarding their actions and outcomes.

In Proverbs 10:8, we are told that “the wise in heart accept commands,” signifying that wise decision-making is based on listening to and following the teachings of God. On the other hand, Proverbs 14:15 says, “The simple believe anything,” which speaks to the folly of making decisions without looking for truth or wisdom through proper discernment.

The Bible also points out that what the world considers foolish mindsets can lead to poor consequences. Proverbs 14:12 says that “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death,” noting how our own misguided thinking can lead us astray if we don’t rely on God’s wisdom.

What Does It Mean That God Uses The Foolish Things To Confound The Wise?

The idea that God uses foolish things to confound the wise is found in 1 Corinthians 1:26–27, which reads, “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise and the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”

This passage points to the fact that God has a very different way of looking at things than we do. We often rely on our own wisdom or strength when making decisions or taking action. But God chooses to use the things that appear foolish, weak, and insignificant in the eyes of men. He does this to demonstrate His glory and power when the wise feel ashamed of their actions.

The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom that comes from God. Proverbs 3:5–6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” This reminds us that although we may think we know what’s best for us, only God truly understands what is wise and good.

God desires to be honored in our lives. He uses foolish and weak things to show His power, so that no one can glory in themselves but rather in Him. When God confounds the wise, it shows us that we should not rely on our own wisdom and strength but instead turn to Him for guidance. God uses foolish things to magnify His greatness and demonstrate His power, showing us just how powerful He is.

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Why Did God Use The Foolish Things To Confound The Wise?

God often uses foolish things to confound the wise and show God’s grace, power, and mercy. The Bible tells us that “the Lord chooses what is foolish in the world to shame the wise” (1 Corinthians 1:27). This means God will often use unlikely people, events, or situations as vessels of His glory, despite the world’s opinion.

We see this in the Old Testament when God used Gideon to battle against a large and powerful enemy army with a small group of 300 men carrying only pitchers and torches (Judges 7:16–25). Gideon couldn’t win this fight according to human wisdom, but he trusted God’s might and ended up winning the battle.

We also see this in the New Testament, when Jesus chose 12 disciples as His closest companions, despite their lack of educational background. It surprised everyone that he didn’t choose more “respectable” people like the Pharisees or Sadducees. However, Jesus knew these disciples would be perfect for spreading His message of love and mercy.

God often uses foolish things to confound the wise because He wants us to see how powerful and merciful He is. When unlikely people, situations, or events are used as vessels of God’s glory, it serves as a reminder that God works in mysterious ways and is willing to use anyone to accomplish His plans.

Ultimately, this should give us hope that no matter how unlikely or difficult the task may seem, with God’s help, anything is possible. Therefore, when God uses foolish things to confound the wise, it is ultimately for our benefit so that we can marvel at His brilliance and glory.

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How Does God Use Foolish Things To Confound The Wise?

In the Bible, several stories illustrate how God uses foolish things to confound the wise. One of these is found in 1 Corinthians 1:26–27, as mentioned above. This passage clarifies that God chooses those who seem foolish or insignificant to accomplish His will because “no human being might boast in the presence of God.”

The story of Daniel and his three friends is another example of how God uses foolish things to confound the wise. When Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw these four young men into a furnace if they did not worship an idol, they refused to comply and instead relied on God for their deliverance.

As it turned out, their trust was well-placed; God saved them from the furnace, and they emerged unscathed. In this story, God used these four young men’s faith to confound Nebuchadnezzar and show He is all-powerful.

The same can be said for Gideon in the book of Judges. After being commanded by the angel of the Lord to lead the Israelites into battle against the Midianites, Gideon was understandably fearful. However, God assured him that He would be with him and gave him a small but mighty army of 300 men to fight against thousands. As it turned out, Gideon’s faith and reliance on God were enough to defeat the Midianites, and God used this small army to confound the wise.

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3 Reasons God Uses Fools To Confound The Wise

God uses the foolish to confound the wise in three ways. First, God uses those perceived as “foolish” or inadequate because they strengthen our faith and direct us to rely on God’s power.

As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:27, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” In other words, when we are confronted with situations that seem impossible or foolish, we are forced to trust in God’s power rather than our own.

Second, God uses the foolish to confound the wise because it helps us understand how small our problems can be and how large his plans are. When we realize that God could choose even an insignificant shepherd boy for a great task, it puts our own worries and problems in perspective.

Third, God uses the foolish to confound the wise because foolishness can be a great teacher. Seeing how even something perceived as foolish can achieve great things with God’s help gives us faith that anything is possible through Him. As Proverbs 26:5 states, “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.”

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God often uses the unlikely and foolish to confound the wise. This is evident throughout the Bible, from Moses being called to lead the Israelites despite his stammering speech to Jesus choosing humble fishermen as his disciples.

In 1 Corinthians 1:27–29, Paul encourages believers that “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise,” showing that God can use even the most unlikely person or thing to confound those who think they know better. Ultimately, God is sovereign and He has a plan, no matter how unpredictable it may seem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does God Use The Weak And Foolish?

God’s selection of the weak and foolish is seen as a demonstration of divine wisdom and grace, transcending human understanding. It reflects humility and inclusivity, showcasing that divine strength operates beyond conventional wisdom and societal norms, inviting believers to trust in a higher divine plan.

What Does God Consider Foolish?

In religious and philosophical contexts, God perceives foolishness as actions or beliefs that disregard divine wisdom, moral principles, or spiritual growth. This encompasses behaviors like arrogance, selfishness, greed, and the rejection of moral guidance, as well as attitudes of hubris or denial of divine truth.

Ultimately, God’s view emphasizes the importance of humility, moral integrity, and a willingness to seek wisdom beyond human understanding.

Why Did God Say He Will Destroy The Wisdom Of The Wise?

God’s declaration to “destroy the wisdom of the wise” challenges human reliance on worldly knowledge, emphasizing the superiority of divine wisdom over human intellect.

It highlights the need for humility and openness to divine guidance, suggesting that true wisdom comes from aligning with divine truths rather than relying solely on human understanding.

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