Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not find words of knowledge. Proverbs 14:7 (NRSV)
For the kingdom of God depends not on talk but on power.- 1 Corinthians 4:20 (NRSV)
For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.- 2 Corinthians 4:6-8 (NRSV)
Anyone who follows any kind of TV drama, or even who watches the news, will learn that talk is cheap. It’s easy to learn how to talk a good game. Politicians attempt to color themselves as the best thing out there since sliced bread. Athletes put on the swagger- and the smack talk- before key sports events. However, in the end, only actions and results stand the test of time.
We live in an era of instant information and instant gratification, but how much “information” is really just foolish babbling? How do we know what information is edifying (things we need to know) and what information we should just let pass by?
Much of what we know to be good science and history are backed up in Scripture, even though Scripture was never intended to be a science or a history textbook. Many things science once thought to be “fact” have later been proven to be completely wrong- based on erroneous assumptions or conclusions drawn before all of the evidence was considered. We now know the world is round, not flat. We know that germs cause disease, not “miasmas” or “bad air.” We are slowly discovering that the archeological record backs up many of the events portrayed in the Bible. Humans don’t always do the greatest job figuring out things, or getting to the truth.
Pontius Pilate remarked, when Jesus was brought to him for judgment, “What is truth?-“(John 18:38) as if truth were something that is arbitrary and subjective as we humans can be. Many times we can be fools. Many times we just go with society’s flow, or go dancing around to whatever tune sounds good today. We aren’t always noted for the words of knowledge that leave our lips, or come forth from our pens or keyboards.
The apostle Paul was very aware that God’s kingdom is built on God’s power- not on the power of weak and fallible humans, but real power. Power that transforms and makes things-and people-new. Even in spite of our fragility and weakness, God finds a way to shine through us.
Are we living in and trusting in God’s power today? Even when we seem to be sailing on a ship of fools, and the words and so called wisdom of the prevailing culture tell us to do otherwise?