Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”[c]
20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:18-25, NIV, emphasis added)
As put in the lyrics of the ’80s tune by Tears for Fears, “everybody wants to rule the world”.
In every era, on every continent, and for every driving ambition, it’s only a matter of ideology and method that determines who conquers the throne, so to speak, and sometimes competing groups clash.
Here in the U.S. this recent summer, for example, peaceful protesters-for-the-cause by day were swarmed by criminal rioters-for-the-burn by night (snagging a little loot on the side), protest-crashers who left a conflagration of hate and destruction behind, spending their youth, vigor, and intelligence on what history will reveal as yet another self-immolating ideology that uses mayhem and murder to amass power.
Many legal protesters soon scattered, many of them (courageously, even) opposing the rioters who hijacked not only the real cause but also the law.
Fast-forward to fall: and now the criminal element says they’re going to “burn the whole f—ing thing down” if they don’t get their way at election time (and that gives us five more weeks because apparently it ain’t over ’til it’s ash) some of them screaming their intent through bullhorns from smoldering streets, others, word-smithing the same intent in politicalese through plastic smiles from citadels of power.
For evil’s end game, as evidenced by the pyro punks et al, is only more evil as mob mentality and malicious intent obstruct higher-level thinking and harden hearts.
The irony of destroying the inner-city livelihoods of the very people the protest-hijacking destroyers claim to “save,” the ones whose lives matter, is completely lost on them.
Meanwhile, a modern “tragedy of the commons” is replayed in the devastation of city after city across America as the movement metastasizes to surrounding neighborhoods, much of this made possible by permission and support from certain local and state leaders.
And the rag-tag band of foot soldiers down with the cause and up for violence, lacking historical reference, do not even realize they are typically the second group up against the execution wall once the real powers of darkness (who fuel and feed them) no longer need them to terrorize the locals into submission, their role as useful idiots and/or nihilists (you pick) having expired.
Look it up, kids.
Of course, sadly, some of the rank and file are the victims of poor education, a 100-year sales job for a socialist Utopia in America, and the most coercive power for youth: the hip slick and coolness of being part of–and down with–the in-crowd, in this case, the political in-crowd. That said, there are some who know full well what they are doing and burn, loot, and assault anyway.
But many actors come alongside the arsonists and their rogue leadership comrades to soften the territory for the take-over: politicians, media, the academy, and, as former president Dwight Eisenhower (1953-1961) warned us, likely even elements of the Military-Industrial Complex, to which he allegedly added, Congressional.
Which we understand very well nowadays.
Much further back in our history, founding father and fourth president James Madison (1809-1817) offered this warning as well: “No nation can maintain its freedom in the midst of continuous warfare.”
Which we also understand very well nowadays–particularly when no holds are barred and no ways, means, and weapons seem off the table (see previous post on “hydra-fare“)
Pretty formidable, huh?
And I haven’t even mentioned the cyber division that employs a kind of mental scorched-earth policy, bit by byte by blatant censorship relentlessly encroaching on our freedoms of speech and opposition…
And yet, even the foolishness of God is wiser than all that mental, emotional, physical, virtual, and kinetic firepower.
God’s “Foolishness” (as noted in the opening verses)
Imagine them there in the garden, the first couple, their narrative a kind of backwards quest pattern where the prize, Eden, came first.
No calls to adventure and conquest, no trials and tribulations ahead, they find themselves at the get-go in the land of plenty and of pleasure.
God calls in the cool of every evening to teach and guide them, to reveal the magnificence He has provided for them.
Enters the snake wielding artful suggestions (first recorded example of word-fare).
Eve, then Adam, succumb, and after God provides garments to cover their newly-felt shame He tells them the consequences of their disobedience (like the snake said, they did, in fact, now have knowledge of both good and evil…and why God had forbid them to partake of only that one particular tree, as tasty as its fruit seemed, shimmering so in the soft sun of mid day…).
The rest of the story reveals the tragedy that befell them as they were driven out of perfection to the rugged terrain of their future.
HOWEVER, God already had a plan.
He always has a plan (see: biblical prophecy) because He knows human nature.
He designed human nature.
And He took a big risk (at least we would call it a big risk): He embedded them–and us all–with free will* because He didn’t want automatons obeying only by mind and heartless inclination.
He wanted, desired, living, breathing, thinking, loving, striving, learning, growing, (providing His help when we fall) creations “made in His image”(well, the best parts, anyway) who would ultimately choose Him out of love, not duty or mindless compliance.
(I mean would YOU want someone YOU desired who only felt a cold obligation to be with you?)
So God spread out Eden in all its glory and glorious potential and then placed one each man and woman center stage–who blew it.
But He already knew they would.
And the rest of us have been following suit since.
I mean, are you perfect?
The Ultimate. Stealth. Weapon.
At the gate on the east side of Eden, God declared the solution for disobedience, not only for Adam and Eve but also for every other human being who inevitably makes the wrong choices…and then seeks salvation, healing, and deliverance from same.
In keeping with the metaphor of a garden, God’s solution began with a prophecy-for the snake–featuring two seeds:
14And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.(Genesis 3:14-15, KJV)
God prophesied, there, the greatest weapon against any and all forms of evil–on the ground, in high places, as well as in minds and hearts–which is this: that His only Son, Jesus, would one day don human flesh (having been seeded in Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit) for the purpose of paying the full price of our wrong choices, our sins, so that each of us could once again walk in Eden, only a new Eden, this one lasting for eternity…sans snakes, evil, temptation, darkness both literal and figurative–not to mention civilization-crashers abroad at night–and defying all the power even the brightest of human minds and the darkest of hearts could, can, and will again conjure up and inflict on the world.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)**
Things can and may yet get worse down here, more intimidating and scarier, and some power-mongers will even overcome the world’s best and brightest resisters, for a season, but here’s another aspect of God’s stealth weapon: it’s an “inside job.”
A job powered by the Holy Spirit, not available to those who reject Him but available to all who yield to Him.
I mean, when one knows the truth of God, who wouldn’t yield?
But each generation of people hungry for power still ask, Why Him?
As put in the last line of the song referenced above, because
Nothing ever lasts forever.
That is, nothing in this world that everybody wants to rule lasts forever.
Because every totalitarian conqueror is only on the top of the heap until somebody younger, smarter, and possessing bigger and better weapons of coercion and control comes along…
So if you think about it, if there’s a better and eternal option, why not Him?
And given where we might be on the prophecy timeline, today would be good.
Oh, and one more thing.
If you think about it, if Socialism in its various totalitarian iterations were really best, and its leaders the smartest and most powerful, how come so many of them now litter the bloody pages of their tenures and how come so many people worldwide do whatever they can despite innumerable odds to make their way to the free world–even with its flaws and challenges?
There HAS to be something, Somebody, bigger, smarter, and more powerful Who holds it all together for some reason…
Know what I mean?
*For more commentaries on free will, read here.
**For more information on salvation, read here.
Image of cross from the public domain.
Image of Seattle rioter from the public domain.
Image of snake from Wikimedia Commons.
Image of God’s hand pointing at globe from Wikimedia commons.