Ancestry, Religion

Enemies

Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life.

I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families.

Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”?

That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God.

Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ.

That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”

Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you;
toddlers shout the songs
That drown out enemy talk,
and silence atheist babble.

Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

He makes the magicians look ridiculous
and turns fortunetellers into jokes.
He makes the experts look trivial
and their latest knowledge look silly

who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense,

“‘How can you say,
“We know the score. We’re the proud owners of God’s revelation”?

Look where it’s gotten you—stuck in illusion.

Your religion experts have taken you for a ride!

Your know-it-alls will be unmasked,
caught and shown up for what they are.

Look at them!

They know everything but God’s Word.
Do you call that “knowing”?

The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the LORDE, what kind of wisdom do they have?

It’s written,
I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots.
So where can you find someone truly wise,
truly educated, truly intelligent
in this day and age?

Hasn’t God exposed it all
as pretentious nonsense?

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?

Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God,
God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb
—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.

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.

We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, but it’s not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so. God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven’t a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn’t have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That’s why we have this Scripture text: No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— What God has arranged for those who love him. But  you’ve  seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you. The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets  us  in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way.

What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.

Listen, dear friends.

Isn’t it clear by now that God operates quite differently?

He chose the world’s down-and-out as the kingdom’s first citizens, with full rights and privileges.

This kingdom is promised to anyone who loves God.

And here you are abusing these same citizens!

Isn’t it the high and mighty who exploit you, who use the courts to rob you blind?

Aren’t they the ones who scorn the new name—“Christian”—used in your baptisms?

Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?

The mark of the beast is coming.

The beginning of religion was the first lie.

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