NOT MANY WISE, NOT MANY MIGHTY
This is the portion of Scripture that Brother Luis was reading when we came in that morning:
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but 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, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God (1 Corinthians 1:26-29 NAS).
The life of a Christian was not an easy one for those people of Cascarí. The village was known in the area for its drunkenness and the rather sordid lifestyle of many of the people. Because of the teachings of the Bible concerning the dangers of a promiscuous life, many people of the village did not want anything to do with the church.
For several years the church had been made up mostly of young children and older people. When the children of the village of Cascarí entered into their teenage years, they would usually yield to the pull of the predominate lifestyle of the village and abandon the teachings of the Bible that they had learned as children in the church.
It seemed to me that the life of the church, like the building itself, was hanging on the edge of a precipice. One bad shake of the moral ground would send it sliding deep into the valley below.
And yet also like the building, the church as a body of believers continued to hang on. It had for many years. The people still gathered. God sent those to help out at the church when it was needed. There was a woman who worked tirelessly in ministry with the children of the village. Perhaps without her, the church would have indeed ceased to function. It was the presence of the children that was encouraging to the older ones.
It may not have been considered a “healthy” church in modern seminary parlance. Nevertheless, as it was, every Sunday the few faithful gathered to listen to the Scriptures read and to pray together. Since none of the men of the church had had any schooling beyond a few years of grammar school, they did not feel adequate to teach from the Bible. So if there was a guest who came and whom they felt could bring a teaching, they considered it a provision from God.
I thought of all these things as I walked up to the front to share with them. I had heard them read this portion of Scripture before and I think it is one to which they turned often.
In the eyes of the people in the village, the Christians seemed foolish. In that same passage in First Corinthians it says “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18 NAS).
The brothers and sisters of the church may have seemed foolish to the rest of the village, but wisdom is not always what it seems. That which appears wise today may only seem so because it is viewed from the perspective of today. However, it is only when we view our beliefs from an eternal perspective will it be shown how wise or how foolish we truly are.
For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside. Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:19-20 NAS).
(In a few days I will finish this post with: WISDOM THAT THE EYE DOES NOT SEE